How to Make Bed Bugs Come Out of Hiding: Top Tested Methods

In this article you will find out how to make bed bugs come out of hiding - from understanding main hiding places of these insects to luring out and trapping them all
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Last updatedLast updated: April 21, 2022
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A bed bug invasion may not be the worst thing that happens to you in life, but dealing with them is a tad frustrating, especially when you can’t see them. You may think you have fully exterminated bed bugs with pesticides and heat treatments, but the insects are tough survivors owing to their hiding abilities. Often times, people wake up with bed bug bites but can’t see the actual bugs, and this makes it hard for them to go all out for an expensive or time-consuming bed-bug treatment.

Bed bugs only come out at night because they are naturally drawn to your body heat’s warmth, carbon dioxide, and blood. The easiest way of destroying bed bugs is by using their natural instincts against them to lure them out of hiding. This article looks at how to make bed bugs come out of hiding and where they are likely to hide or lay eggs.

What Makes Bed Bugs Hide?

Bed bugs are excellent hiders, and they can easily evade your best efforts of exterminating them by hiding. Moreover, the bugs’ shape is almost flat, giving them the ability to hide in any gap or slot as thin as a credit card. This means bed bugs can hide virtually everywhere.

On your bed

A bed bug’s top favorite place to hide in your mattress and box spring. These spots offer the perfect mix of easy access to you (the host) and other hiding spots. Both your mattress and box spring have fabric folds in which the bed bugs can hide. Plus, you barely lift or move your mattress.

The bugs can also hide in your bed frame, even if it is metal. The cracks and joints in the wood and metal are wide enough for the bed bugs to fit. The bugs can hide in a metal bed frame in the screw holes. Moreover, the underneath of your bed is dark and stable, with many corners to hide.

On your body

How to Make Bed Bugs Come Out of Hiding: Top Tested MethodsBed bugs do not hide on your body. They are just parasites that live near their host but not on them. Even if bed-bugs tried to live on your body, they would never succeed, and here is why;

Bed bugs only need to feed once every five days, and their feeding frequency depends on the weather, and sometimes they may only feed once every other month. If you don’t have to feed daily, there is no point risking your life living on the host.

Also, your hair is the only suitable hiding spot on your body, but bed bugs don’t have the body shape and structure needed to push through it as lice do. They are wide and flat, which is the worst shape to fit between hairs.

Egg hiding places

Bed bugs hide their eggs anywhere they won’t be disrupted, like the dark corners of your bed frame, the underside of the pillow on your couch, your mattress, or box spring.
If you barely move or lift your mattress and lay perfectly still for a year, they can lay eggs on top of your mattress and bedding to be close to you.

Bed bugs’ eggs are small and white, and they are usually stuck on the surface they are laid on so firmly that even vacuuming or scraping them off becomes difficult. The ones that are alive are rubbery and hard to squish. Any central hiding spot for bed bugs has eggs. For example, if you have discovered bed bugs under your mattress, then it is likely that eggs are there too.

How to Lure out Bed Bugs?

Here are some of the things you can do to make bed bugs come out so that you can easily kill them;

Check for bugs first.

How to Make Bed Bugs Come Out of Hiding: Top Tested MethodsThe first thing to do is confirm that you have a bed bug infestation. Look for the bed bugs, old bed bug shells, eggs, and fecal staining.

  1. Begin by checking your bedding. Look inside the duvet if you have one.
  2. Remove all of your sheets from the bed and air them, then check the top of your mattress.
  3. Check all the folds in the mattress, under the dust covers in the box spring, and in the bed frame itself.
  4. Check under your furniture and in the corners of your drawers.
  5. Check all the soft furnishings next to your bed, like carpets and curtains.
  6. Check all the corners of the room, like electrical outlets and cracks in the wall.

Once you have established the central hiding spot for the bed bugs, you can exterminate them using any effective method, including bed bug heater or fogger.

If you are on the market for a bed bug fogger and are overwhelmed with the sea of options, check out our article on the best bed bug fogger for market-leading options.

The EcoVenger Natural Bed Bug Killer is one of the most acclaimed bed bug foggers. It has a 100% kill efficacy and kills all stages of bed bugs, including eggs on contact.

Bug traps

How to Make Bed Bugs Come Out of Hiding: Top Tested MethodsYou can get bed bug traps from the store or online. Most of the traps mimic us, as we are the perfect bait for bed bugs. Essentially, the traps are plastic box containers with two packets inside. One packet releases carbon dioxide to simulate breath from a human, while the other contains kairomones, which are chemicals that insects release to communicate with other insects.

The traps can be effective, but a live human is still a better bait. Therefore, if you are in a room with the trap, the bed bugs would still prefer you. Read our article on bed bug traps for more information.

Bug interceptors

How to Make Bed Bugs Come Out of Hiding: Top Tested MethodsBug interceptors, commonly known as ClimbUp interceptors, are plastic dishes that are rough on the outside but smooth on the inside. Their design allows bed bugs to climb in but not out. You can place your bed’s legs into the interceptor and use it to catch bed bugs that climb the bed to feed on you at night. Ensure that the interceptor is the only point of contact between your bed and the floor. Once the bugs come out of their hiding spot to feed on you, they will climb into the dish and fail to come out when trying to climb up to you in bed.

According to popular reviews, the ECO PEST bed bug interceptor is the best money can buy. It has an effective, heavy-duty, and versatile design that will eliminate your infestation once and for all.

Heat

How to Make Bed Bugs Come Out of Hiding: Top Tested MethodsBed bugs are attracted to body heat, and that’s way they come to you at night because you are the only source of warmth in the room at night. According to a study by Laboratory medicine Trusted Source Bedbugs in the 21st Century: The Reemergence of an Old Foe | Laboratory Medicine | Oxford Academic Bedbugs are small parasites that feed exclusively on blood from vertebrates, including humans. Attention to these parasites largely disappeared until the past decade, when their incidence grew sharply due to increased international travel, use of less-effective insecticides, and growing insecticide resistance among bedbugs. academic.oup.com , bed bugs are attracted to both heat and carbon dioxide, which help them find a host. Some pest control experts take advantage of this by using traps that mimic human traps, but in most cases, the room is usually heated up to lethal temperatures. 122 degrees is hot enough to kill bed bugs in all their stages. If you are in the market for a bed bug heater and have no idea what to look for, read our detailed best bed bug heater article for top choices.

Flashlight

How to Make Bed Bugs Come Out of Hiding: Top Tested MethodsA flashlight will help you in your search for the central location of the infestation. The focused beam of illumination from a flashlight will help you see the bugs tucked away in dark places. Turn on all the lights in the room to improve your visibility. Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs aren’t put off by light.

Pesticides

How to Make Bed Bugs Come Out of Hiding: Top Tested MethodsPesticides have been the preferred treatment for bed bugs for the longest time. Even mattress manufacturers used pesticides to prevent infestations n the 20th century. However, as it is with all insecticides, extensive use has made some bed bug populations immune to them. This is the case for larger populations in big cities like New York and Los Angeles. According to a BBC News article Trusted Source Bed bugs develop resistance to widely used insecticides A new study indicates that bed bugs in the US have developed resistance to neonicotinoids, the most widely used insecticide in the world. www.bbc.com   bed bugs in Michigan and Cincinnati had developed high levels of immunity to common pesticides. Fortunately, we have myriad other ways to kill bed bugs.

Carbon dioxide

How to Make Bed Bugs Come Out of Hiding: Top Tested MethodsCarbon dioxide is an age old method of killing bed bugs. Like any other animal, bed bug can suffocate and die if deprived oxygen for long enough. Moreover, bed bugs are attracted to carbon dioxide, making it easier to kill them as it makes them come out first.

Carbon dioxide has been proven to kill bed bugs in all of their stages. Over 30% carbon dioxide concentration is enough to kill an entire infestation at 71 degrees within 4 hours. Eggs would die at 80% carbon dioxide concentration in the course of 24 hours but with 100% concentration, they’d be gone in 7 hours. Bed bug eggs are more susceptible to 100% carbon dioxide concentrations than anything lower. The carbon dioxide treatment must be administered at 71 degrees for it to be effective.

Kairomones

How to Make Bed Bugs Come Out of Hiding: Top Tested MethodsKairomones are chemicals like pheromones, that some insects exude to communicate with other insects. Bed bugs have kairomones of their own that they use to communicate to each other as making noises or any other signal would be too obvious to their host who would get rid of them. Their main reason for communicating is to find their way home, just like ants. They also use pheromones to mark out their home, and that is why you find them congregating at one place.

Some bed bug traps have kairomones in them to attract bed bugs out of their hiding spot. They are only effective if there is no human staying in the room because humans are a better bait than any other trap laid for bed bugs.

Essential oils

How to Make Bed Bugs Come Out of Hiding: Top Tested MethodsEssential oil mixes are an effective way of getting rid of bed bugs but only for small to medium infestations. A research study by Journal insects tested the effectiveness of essential oils by spraying many test rooms with Eco raider which is a natural spray and comparing it with Temprid SC. They also sprayed some of the rooms with the mix of Eco raider and Temprid SC. Although the experiment had no control group, its results were interesting.

The treatments were effective over the course of 12 weeks as they reduced the mean bed bug count by a large number almost 100%. Temprid SC was more effective. The experiment targeted about 100 bed bugs and after the treatment, they were reduced to 10 or less for each of the sprays. This proves that essential oil treatments are a decent solution for small and medium-sized infestations

Final Thoughts

Bed bugs are brilliant survivors. In the 20th century, we were sure we had gotten rid of them with pesticides and heat treatments but they survived. The pests are exceptional hiders and unless you are good at playing their game, you might never get rid of them. We have provided all the hints and tips on how to make bed bugs come out of hiding in this article.

Killing them should be a breeze when you know their hiding spot. You can use traps which are designed to mimic the human with the two main things that attract bed bugs; heat and carbon dioxide. If you feel the infestation is getting out of hand, be sure to seek help from pest control. The earlier, the better because bed bugs breed fast and you can have a huge population in your home within a short span.

References

1.
Bedbugs in the 21st Century: The Reemergence of an Old Foe | Laboratory Medicine | Oxford Academic
Bedbugs are small parasites that feed exclusively on blood from vertebrates, including humans. Attention to these parasites largely disappeared until the past decade, when their incidence grew sharply due to increased international travel, use of less-effective insecticides, and growing insecticide resistance among bedbugs.
2.
Bed bugs develop resistance to widely used insecticides
A new study indicates that bed bugs in the US have developed resistance to neonicotinoids, the most widely used insecticide in the world.
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