How To Find Bed Bugs
Need to know how to find bed bugs in
your home or hotel room? Let's walk through the inspection process
step-by-step right now. It's time to find out if you have bedbugs...
How to Look For Bed Bugs Step-by-Step
If you follow these instructions, step-by-step, you will be just as likely as to find bed bugs (if they are present) as a professional.
Start with the bed.
Credit: Liz West
This is the most
likely place you'll find bed bugs because they like to hide close
to where they feed. Here's how to find bed bugs there:
- Carefully pull back the bedding and
look for signs that bedbugs have been around like blood spots and
- Thoroughly check the mattress, paying
particular attention to edges, seams and air-holes. If possible, turn
the mattress on its side to inspect the under-side too. Bed bugs are
more likely to be closest to the head of the bed, but make sure you
take a look at the foot end of the mattress too.
- Do the same with the box spring. You
may have to cut or remove the gauze “protector” on the underside
of the box spring to take a good look inside – but you need to do
this (unless it's not your bed, of course). Box springs are the #1
bed bug hiding place, so spend extra time doing a really thorough
inspection here. This is where a flash light and magnifying glass
become your greatest allies. Pay special attention to wooden joints,
corners, screw holes and staples. The wooden slats make a very
attractive place for bedbugs to lay their eggs and the area where the
cover is attached to the frame is a favorite hiding spot too.
- turn your attention to the head
board and bed frame. Remember to really look closely at any grooves
in wooden headboards and pay attention to corners and joints. Don't
forget to pull the bed away from the wall and inspect the backside
Next, try to find bed bugs in any upholstered furniture.
This includes sofas, love seats, recliners, easy chairs, chaise lounges, and ottomans. Here's how to find bed bugs in these items:
- Carefully remove all cushions and pillows and inspect them one by one. Paying attention to seams, tufts and piping. Also examine the zippers closely (this is another common place for bed bugs to hide and lay their eggs).
- Look in and around all the seams of the couch or chair itself. Don't forget to lift up any skirting and check the underside - focus especially on pleats in the fabric and the seam that attaches it to the piece of furniture.
- Pull it away from the wall to inspect the back side as well.
- If at all possible (with the help of a friend or partner), lay it on its back side to inspect underneath/inside just like you did with the box spring.
Now, turn your attention to the night stands and dresser to see if you find any bed bugs there.
Credit: Lou Sorkin
Credit: Lou Sorkin
also use the directions below for coffee tables, end tables and desks
in other rooms of the house.)
- Take everything out and put it in a
large garbage bag or plastic tub with a cover to reduce the
possibility that they spread if there are bed bugs in those items.
- Pull the drawers completely out, one –
by one, and thoroughly inspect each one inside and out. Remember to
check underneath as well. Like the headboard and frame, pay close
attention to the corners, joints, screw heads and any grooves where
bedbugs might like to hide or lay their eggs.
- Next, check inside, behind and
underneath the piece of furniture itself. I think you know what I'm
would say here about, corners, joints and crevices...(c'mon, I'm sure you need a chuckle by this point)
If you've gotten this far and found nothing...
You've checked the top 92.6% of places where bed bugs are found in residences with infestations according to a study conducted by the Entomology Department at the University of Kentucky.
You also have all the skills you need to inspect the other places you might find bed bugs. You will find a list of more places to look for bed bugs here...
IMPORTANT NOTE: If at any point you find a live bed bug, STOP. Your inspection is done for now and you need to start working on your bed bug pest control plan.
Don't jump the gun and grab for a bed bug spray can or fogger! That'll just make things worse...much worse. Head over to the bed bug pest control section to learn what to do next.
How to Find Bed Bugs When You Travel
Obviously when you're inspecting for bed bugs in a hotel or friend/relative's guest room, you have to make some modifications. You really can't tear the bed apart in a hotel room. And you certainly don't want the folks you're visiting to come-a-knockin' asking “everything okay in there?”
Hotel rooms can present some special challenges because the bed frame and head board are usually affixed to the floor and wall.
Generally you won't have access to the the box spring (if there even is one) so your efforts will need to focus on the mattress itself, the head board and anything within about 5 feet of the bed.
Also, don't forget the luggage rack (never put your stuff there) and make sure to check any upholstered furniture like love seats and chairs.
When you're staying with folks you
know, discretion is the word of the day. You can hit the most common
bed bug hiding places without making a ruckus. Focus on the
mattress, visible parts of the box spring, and the headboard.
Consider how often/recently the room is likely used. If it's been
closed up since the last time uncle Chuck came through 6 months ago,
chances are slim there will be bed bugs present (they would have
migrated to where people in the house sleep or lounge). If it's also
used as a reading room, take a look at that big comfy upholstered
chair...you get the idea.
Whether you're on the road or at home,
make sure you know how to find bed bugs without helping them spread.
How to Find Bed Bugs without Spreading Them
The last thing you want is for some of
these little buggers to hitch a ride on your clothing while you're
looking for them. You're going to be getting up close and personal
with their hideouts, so this is a real possibility. Here are five ways to help you find bed bugs without letting them spread...
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How to Find Bed Bugs
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