Are Bed Bugs Nocturnal?
Bed bugs are rarely seen during the day. This can make confirming their presence a little difficult, but if you have the telltale bites on your body and stains on your sheets, there is a very good chance that bed bugs have decided to make your bed their home. Obviously, this is not a very pleasant experience.
Bed bugs have been around for a very long time, and there are proven methods to get rid of them. If you think that you have a bed bug infestation, your local exterminators will be able to eradicate the pests.
Unfortunately, bed bugs can spread very quickly, and it just takes one fertile female to spawn a whole colony. To stop an infestation, you must kill every single bed bug that has taken up residence in your home.
But do bed bugs only come out at night? Are they just nocturnal insects? What determines when bed bugs go out for a meal?
Do Bed Bugs Only Come Out at Night?
Bed bugs prefer the nighttime to come out and feed. This is not due to some aversion to light. Instead, bed bugs come out at night for two main reasons.
First, humans generally sleep during the night. This means that they are stationary targets for the bed bugs to feed on. Sleeping humans are the perfect meal. They are huge (compared to bed bugs), filled with blood, and will not fight back. A bed bug bite typically is not enough to rouse someone from their sleep so that the bed bugs can feed at will.
Second, bed bugs hate the heat. In fact, many extermination methods that deal with bed bugs rely on heat to kill them. Daylight may not be hot enough to eradicate bed bug colonies, but it is still uncomfortable for them to be out in the hot sun. The cooler nights are much more pleasing to bed bugs, and they don't run any risk of overheating.
Now, this doesn't mean that bed bugs will never come out in the daytime. They are documented to adjust their habits depending on their environment. If you are out of the house during the nighttime and only sleep during the day, they will follow your schedule to feed.
Bed bugs will also show up in the day if their colony has reached a critical size. When all of the bed bugs in a colony haven't had a chance to eat, more will try their luck at different times to get their meals. For this reason, bed bugs visible during the day can be a sign of a very large infestation, which needs to be treated immediately.
Do bed bugs feed every night?
Bed bugs are hardy little creatures. It can be hard to starve them out, as they can go for very long periods without food and still survive. While this is not ideal for them, it is still possible for a bed bug to stay alive long after their last meal.
On average, bed bugs will come out to feed about every 5 to 7 days. The issue with this is that this number applies to each bed bug. If you have a colony of hundreds, this can mean that you are being eaten alive every single night.
The sheer numbers of bites that accompany bed bug colony are a good indicator of what you are dealing with. If you have one or two bite marks that you notice sporadically, you probably do not have bed bugs. Some other insects may be bothering you during the night. Other insect bites like flea bites and mosquito bites are often mistaken for adult bed bug bites.
You may notice the telltale bumps on your skin from bed bug bites every night. If this is the case, you need to treat your bed and ideally hire a professional to treat your home to make sure that every bed bug has been eliminated. While this may seem like overkill, bed bugs are very hardy. They can re-establish their colony with a single female that is ready to lay eggs.
Where do bed bugs hide during the day?
Bed bugs are masters of survival, like most parasites. The extreme rate at which they multiply generally ensures their survival, but they also employ hiding as part of their strategy. In this regard, their small size is an asset to the bed bug.
You can see bed bugs with the naked eye, though they are very small. Their eggs are about the size of one millimeter, bed bug nymphs range from 1.3 to 4mm long, the adults can be anywhere from four to seven millimeters. You will notice them easier on light-colored sheets, but you may also be able to see them on darker bedspreads.
Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius ) hide in their safe zone during the day. This means whatever site they have selected is close to a food source but well-protected enough to support a colony's establishment. For a bed bug, this can be any upholstery.
The classic hiding place for bed bugs is, well, the bed. A mattress has a lot of surface area and is rarely disturbed enough to pose a threat to the bed bugs. Your bedbug colony may be hiding under your fitted sheet, especially on the flip side of the mattress. You can examine your bed for these little devils with a flashlight and rubber gloves.
Check under your bedsheets, between the mattress and the box spring, in the mattress seams, around the box spring, in the bed frame, and by the headboard of your bed with your flashlight. You will see small fecal spots (of bed bug poop) or small red bugs if you have an infestation. Always check other areas that could host a colony around your bed as well.
Bed bugs can make any upholstery home, so make sure the carpet around your bed does not have any signs of infestation. Your sofa, stagnant piles of laundry, and other cloth in the house can also be a suitable home for bedbugs. Examine each cushion thoroughly and check all your furniture's cracks and crevices if you are worried about a bed bug infestation.
If you are dealing with a serious bed bug infestation, it is best to contact a local pest control professional. Give our bed bug hotline a call and put an end to your bed bugs for good!