Do Bed Bugs Only Come Out at Night? How To Find Bed Bugs During the Day

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Pest Control | January 5, 2024

Man with bites wonders do bed bugs only come out at night and wonders if there’s a way to learn how to find bed bugs during the day, places to look for bed bugs, where do bed bugs hide, and how to find bedbugs.

Are you wondering about how to find bed bugs during the day after a long battle with infestation? Do bed bugs only come out at night?

The thing about bed bugs is that they are masters of the dark and exceptionally skilled at hiding just when you are looking for them. Their dark skin and flaxseed bodies make it even worse to catch them in the act, much less in broad daylight.

As a cautious homeowner looking for solutions how to get rid of bed bugs permanently, you should understand that it all starts with knowing their exact locations. You need to know their perfect hiding spots, the fastest and most effective ways to expel them for good, and if the infestation is out of your hands, compare exterminator prices and treatments to ensure that bed bugs are gone for good.

Learning how to find bed bugs during the day can be the first step. This complete guide explains what to look for and where, and how you can find these critters before they multiply.

What Do Bed Bugs Look Like to the Human Eye? Can You See Bed Bugs?

It doesn’t come as a shock that one of the top searches online is how to get rid of bed bugs. Imagine sharing your bed with an unwanted pest, especially one that painfully bites you. Literally, everyone is familiar with these brown, flat bugs, no stranger to hotel rooms and residential places.Graphics with text that shows where do bed bugs hide during the day.

The second they make your place home, they easily hide between mattress folds, in couches and virtually anywhere, as long as you can’t spot them, that’s why they are such a headache to get rid of. So, what do they look like?

You can spot a fully-grown bedbug with your naked eye and you cannot possibly miss the reddish brown skin, oval and flat body, and their tiny size, almost like a flaxseed or apple seed.

As for the non-adults, you can detect them by their translucent bodies, although they are, of course, smaller and harder to see, unlike the adults. Unfortunately, in most cases, by the time you spot one, chances are high that there is already an infestation going on right under your nose.

If you are unlucky, you may end up discovering an attack when the bugs are already biting. Even though they are not exactly the type to transmit diseases, it doesn’t take away from the fact that their bites are itchy and cause redness and swelling and even in extreme cases, the bites may lead to anaphylaxis.

Apart from the obvious physical effects, there is also reason to believe that the bugs can also affect you mentally. Not only do they affect your sleep pattern, but they could also be the cause of what scientists call bed bug paranoia, where you keep obsessing over how to get rid of them.1

Looking for Bed Bugs With the Human Eye: How To Find Bed Bugs During the Day

It is rare to spot a bed bug during the day, which leads you to wonder, is it that they only come out of their hiding at night?8 Many homeowners believe that, but that is not exactly what happens.

Naturally, the pests are referred to as nocturnal, meaning that they would rather come out to eat or, in this case, take their blood meal at night. They love it when the lights are off but will still show up in broad daylight or when you leave the lights on when you sleep, particularly when there has not been a host around for a long time and they are starving.

So now, onto the most important part: how to find bed bugs during the day. You are on the right track if you are looking for how to catch an infestation at its early stages; here is how you check.

1. Keenly and Thoroughly Search the Bed and Furniture

The perfect hiding place for the bed bug is the bed. The mattress is cozy and warm and of course, the host is readily available when it gets dark, so that is the first place that you should check. Furniture pieces around the house are also not exceptions since the bugs still find ways to hide inside the cracks.

To be sure, you can use a flashlight to carefully check the gaps and cracks in the bed and furniture, but while doing this, be very careful not to startle them. Also, be very keen on the corners and seams when checking furniture and mattresses. You may either see the actual bugs, or just blood stains and fecal matter, that’s how you know.

2. Use a Card To Check Narrow Cracks

Sometimes, the flashlight won’t be able to help you spot the bed bugs hiding in the tiniest cracks in the furniture and mattresses. Here is where the card technique comes in. For spaces as tiny as 2 mm big, you could use a card to prod and get the bugs out of their cozy dark hideouts.

Think of a credit card you don’t use or even a folded piece of paper, slowly slide it around the drawers and furniture edges and corners to bring out the pests.

3. Traps

What if our search brings out nothing? Before you get excited that your home is not affected, you may want to confirm by laying out bed bug traps.

They are convenient and not even that expensive, and you have a pretty high chance of luring in the bugs and catching them. There are glue and pheromone traps that will work wonders for you.

4. Canine Inspection

Probably one of the easiest and fastest ways to tell that you have an infestation is by calling in some expert help. Some homeowners pay to bring in a dog that is specially trained to sniff out the tiny pests and will actually pinpoint their exact location. Imagine a 95% accuracy, and you don’t even have to lift a finger.2

Daytime Signs You Have Bed Bugs

As you already know by now, bed bugs are nocturnal, skilled at hiding in the dark in the tiniest and coziest spaces. So, in order to get rid of them, you should also be smart, and know how to detect their presence even without physically seeing one.7

Graphics with texts that show daytime signs you have bed bugs such as actual sightings, rust-colored stains, shed skeleton, and eggs and eggshells.

How to find bed bugs during the day doesn’t have to be daunting or time-consuming. These are some telltale signs that you are under a bed bug attack.

1. Actual Sightings

Of course, the most obvious way to confirm that there has been an infestation is if you actually see a bed bug. You already know what it looks like, and if by chance, it comes out looking for food during the day, you should be able to spot it.

One concern from homeowners is, if one room has bed bugs, do they all? These bugs don’t stay in one place. They either crawl their way to other rooms in search of more food or hitchhike on you or in your things, and that is how they spread so fast.

2. Rust-Colored Stains

You can easily tell that bad bugs have been in your space when you spot dark or rust-colored stains on your bedding and upholstered items. It may be the blood from where they last bit you, or their own blood after being crushed under your body, or sometimes even their excrement. The specks are usually irregular in shape, and in the case of death, you may spot the bug’s carcass nearby.

3. Eggs and Eggshells

Like other tiny pests, these ones are also known for their breeding, especially when they are in large numbers. So, you can also detect their presence by the eggs they lay and the shells that are left behind after hatching.

Therefore, how do you tell? These ones are particularly tiny, maybe a millimeter or so, and they are either white or cream in color. You will often bump into them in dark and warm places, mostly close to food supplies.

4. Shed Exoskeleton

Did you know that bed bugs also have a life cycle? That they are literally able to molt five times by shedding their exoskeletons?

So, you can use this to your advantage to help detect their presence. They usually leave behind skins that are tan in color, so be on the lookout for that.

How To Check for Bed Bugs (Common Hiding Spots)

It is interesting what is in a name. Bed bugs get theirs thanks to their favorite hiding spot, your bed.

But that is not to say that you will find them on your sheets or crawling on top of the covers. They will always be tucked away in a corner or crack where you cannot easily spot them unless they come out to eat.4

Graphics with text that shows the common hiding spots of bed bugs such as in furniture, curtains and luggage, under carpet edges, behind power outlets, and clutters.

You will start checking the mattresses, particularly the corners, folds, and buttons, and then go to the headboard and frames. You are definitely interested in knowing where else they love to hide, at least you will know the first places to start checking.

  • In Furniture: Bed bugs absolutely love upholstered items like the couch (how to check for bed bugs in the cushions, buttons, and fabric folds). They are also fans of dark drawers and furniture corners.
  • Curtains and Luggage: You will definitely not see the tiny bugs hiding inside the curtains and that makes it a perfect spot.5 It is also important that you carefully check your luggage when you come back home after a trip because, who knows, a bug might be hitchhiking from your hotel room all the way to your house.
  • Openings in Electrical Appliances and Behind Power Outlets: These are the last places that you would check, but bugs really love them, especially the heat from electronics.
  • Under Carpet Edges: It also helps to check the carpets when you are vacuuming the house.
  • In Clutter Around Your Home: The number one preventive measure when it comes to getting rid of bed bugs is to declutter your house. The bugs thrive inside the clutter, and you can’t even tell they are there.

What To Know About How To Find Bed Bugs During the Day?

If this is your very first time dealing with bed bugs, there is a lot about them that you may not know. The tiny pests are some of the hardest to get rid of, made worse by the fact that they are nocturnal and invasive, knowing the best hiding spots where they’ll never get caught. If you are curious about them and want to beat them at their own game, you may want to pay attention to the tips below.

1. Even though bed bugs work best at night, you can also easily find them during the day as long as you know what their needs are. They love cozy, warm places where food is readily available.

That is why you will find them hiding in and around your bed and other pieces of furniture. They usually stay within a 20 feet radius next to these spots so it makes it easier to find them.

2. You and your friends and family are not the only ones in danger of being bitten by unforgiving bed bugs. Did you know that they are also known to bite pets? The only problem is that you can never be sure if it is them or a different parasite, but you should still look out for them.

3. The bugs are not really the fastest breeders out there, but their population could grow fast under the right conditions. A female can lay around three eggs in a day or as many as 500 in her entire life, so you have to stop attacks before the population gets out of hand.

4. What makes bed bugs so slippery to catch red-handed? It is because of the fact that they feed really fast and then take off to their hideouts as their blood meal digests.

What makes it even harder is that they only feed once in like two weeks. As a result, it takes time before you can tell for sure that there is an infestation.3

Bed Bug on Wall During Day: What Next After Spotting Bed Bugs?

Did you just see a bed bug crawling up the wall during the day? Did you check to confirm that your house is indeed under a pest attack? You have spotted them in your space, so there’s one more thing: what next?

It goes without saying that your very first instinct is to find out how to get rid of bed bugs in a mattress and immediately look up what kills bed bugs instantly. No one wants to share their bed and home with these bloodsuckers. Therefore, if you are dealing with this for the first time, here is what you should do.

Do It Yourself

If you want to save some bucks and are sure that it is only a recent infestation, not too many bed bugs to get rid of, then the most economical way to go is to use DIY methods.6 For instance, some homeowners swear by the common kitchen item, baking soda, not only for bed bugs but also for other pests like roaches.

A glass jar filled with baking soda and a wooden spoon with a spillover of the white powder against a dark, shadowy background.

(Image: Azza_Hafizah9)

Thanks to its moisture-absorbing properties, it easily dehydrates the bug, killing it in the process. Diatomaceous earth for bed bugs also works even more effectively by puncturing through the pest’s exoskeleton. Lastly, you can also use a vinegar and water solution to kill the bugs and keep them away.

Where Do Bed Bugs Hide During the Day?

Bed bugs are very crafty when it comes to their hiding spots. Since they tend to come out at night when it’s dark, they will have to hide out during the day in places where you would never think of looking.

They will camp in the corners and folds of mattresses, curtains, carpets, and upholstered furniture. They will also sneak into cracks and tiny spaces like drawers.

How Long Before I Know if I Brought Bed Bugs Home?

Typically, detecting a bed bug attack could take you weeks. Say you brought in some from a different place, it will take a minute before they find the perfect hiding spot and start revealing their presence. You will only see dark rust-colored spots on your bedding, curtains and couches, but by that time, chances are high that you will have a full-blown infestation to deal with.

How To Find Bed Bugs During the Day: Professional Help

Truth be told, in normal scenarios, bed bugs are too difficult to expel on your own. The DIY methods are not always foolproof, especially when you have a dire situation on your hands.

If you want nothing but the best results, you will have to call in the experts. But there is a catch: how much does a bed bug exterminator cost?

You would think that it would be too expensive but not really. So many factors come into play when determining how much steam/heat treatment for bed bugs cost and any other professional method. Your house size, the level of infestation, the treatment method used, and so many other factors will decide the cost.

Bed bugs may be tiny and seemingly harmless, but they are some of the most feared in households. Unlike other pests that only need food and shelter from your house, these bugs need you to feed them, directly that is.

They are bloodsuckers who will stop at literally nothing to get their blood meal, and that explains why you wake up with bite marks, spots, and rashes all over your body. It therefore goes without saying that you want to stop them no matter the cost.

But all these start with knowing how to spot them. Where are they hiding? And how can you find them during the day? The best places to look at are in your bed, furniture, and cracks around the house.

These places are perfect for hiding thanks to the cracks and crevices where they can easily crawl into and out of when it is time to eat. Now that you know how to find bed bugs during the day, it makes it easier to DIY their removal or, better yet, call in the experts to help.

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Find Bed Bugs During the Day

What Time Do Bed Bugs Come Out?

Bed bugs are pretty smart, knowing that the best time to attack is between 2 and 5 am when it is dark, and the host is completely unaware of what is going on. It is rare for them to show themselves during the day unless they are really starved or that is the time that the host is available, say you work at night and sleep during the day.


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9Baking Soda for Bed Bugs Photo by Azza_Hafizah / Azzaryiatul Amar. Resized and Changed Format. Pixabay. Retrieved January 5, 2024 from <>