Bed bugs, a few ideas for hiding places
What do bed bugs look for first ? First of all, they hate light and avoid it like the plague. They will only move around in broad daylight if absolutely necessary. Otherwise, they will come out of hiding to breed and feed exclusively at night. When the sun is shining or electric lights are on, bed bugs prefer to lurk in dark, cramped nooks and crannies, where they can feel safe while minimising the amount of light that reaches them. Secondly, bed bugs are haematophagous: they feed on blood. Every night, they will leave their hiding place to come and bite you and suck your blood while you sleep.
Unlike mosquitoes, which fly, or their cousins fleas, which can jump very high to move quickly, bed bugs only crawl. So they can't travel long distances in a short space of time. Every time they bite you, it will be after a long journey from their nest. The longer the distance, the more danger the bedbugs will feel when they have to go for their meal. That's why bed bugs prefer to settle as close as possible to your sleeping body, i.e. most often inside your bed. This way, they take as little risk as possible when they come out and can bite you as often as they like.
But beware : although they tend to prefer the immediate vicinity of your bedding, bed bugs are particularly inventive when it comes to finding hiding places just a few metres from where you sleep. On this page, we have limited ourselves to showing possible hiding places exclusively in a bedroom. Obviously, these photos are far from covering every possible situation. They do, however, give an indication of the areas to be treated.
The tools for the treatment
There are various tools for spraying insecticide. Here are the most common :
- The backpack sprayer is the one used by professionals (large capacity, high constant pressure), it is the ideal tool for treating large areas. Most gardeners have them.
- The hand sprayer is less practical than the backpack one (smaller capacity, the pressure drops quickly), but it will still allow you to carry out a treatment in medium-sized rooms.
- The vaporizer is the least practical way to treat, but it can help if you only have a few nooks to treat.
- For slatted bed bases, treat all the supports and mainly the bottom of the support.
- For box springs, it will probably be necessary to remove the fabric from the bottom to carry out a complete treatment of the interior.
Wooden box spring frame
If possible, turn your bed over and treat all the frames, support, and particularly at the places of the connections where you may have a space. Check to see if your legs or bed frame are not hollow. These make excellent hiding places for bed bug nests.
Metal box spring frame
Typical example of metal frame with hollow tube legs and hollow bars with holes. Inject insecticide into each hole then seal the holes with adhesive tape. Go around the frame well, checking all the bars and feet.
Carrying handles and air vents are places where bedbugs can pass and invade your mattress. In this case, little solution even with the most violent of insecticides, it will be difficult to eliminate them all and at best, there will remain the eggs. The replacement of the mattress will be considered but in the meantime, you can always treat it on the surface and wrap it in a completely airtight cover. This will at least keep them from getting out.
If your mattress has no "holes", treatment on all sides will be sufficient. This will allow you to check the absence of bed bugs and mainly along the beads.
Return and treat if possible all the paintings, engravings, posters hung on the wall and mainly those located above the bed.
Completely empty your bedside tables, check the books, bedside lamp, drawer, photos, etc. turn it over and treat the underside and the back if necessary.
Completely empty your cupboards or chests of drawers. Wash your laundry at 60°C minimum, completely treat the inside of your furniture but also the unwaxed surfaces (top, bottom, back).
Power outlet not glued to the wall: dismantle it and check if a nest of bedbugs has not taken up residence there. Attention, cut the sector, especially if you have to treat !
Going up, try removing the spaces. If necessary, use filler or a cartridge of putty.
Switch not glued to the wall (see sockets).
If you have an exposed beam in your room, check there and fix any cracks. It is an ideal hiding place for bed bugs.
Treat along the baseboards, the face against the wall but also the face against the floor. If you can, plug all the spaces (coating, silicone, mastic, etc.).
Treat along the rods, the face against the wall but also the face against the floor. If you can, plug all the spaces (coating, silicone, mastic, etc.).
Amount of doors
A door jamb that doesn't stick to the wall can also be a hiding place for bed bugs. So, do not hesitate to treat wherever you have a space, a crack, an orifice...
To fill all the gaps, you can use acrylic putty, it's easy to use and it can then be painted.