The Importance of Locating the Nest in a Bed Bug Infestation


Bed bugs have made a fierce comeback in the past few decades. Virtually every major metropolitan area is coping with the pests. One of the most crucial factors in controlling a bed bug infestation is to make sure that the nest is found and destroyed, or they will quickly repopulate.


Understanding the Bed Bug Nest

Bed bug nests are where they gather after feeding to breed, lay eggs, and hide until the next time it is safe to emerge and feed. If you are battling a bed bug infestation, it is imperative that you find where the bugs nest in order to wipe out the population – adults, nymphs, eggs and all.


Hunting Down the Bed Bug Nest

Even professionals have a difficult time locating the main nest. Inability to identify the primary location of the bed bugs is often the reason exterminators fail to eradicate the infestation. If you do not treat and kill every single bed bug the infestation will continue. It only takes one female bug to repopulate an entire location.


Canine Detection for Bed Bugs

Dogs are at the front line when it comes to locating bed bug nests. Their highly sensitive sense of smell can quickly detect the musky aroma of a colony and alert you to the location. An inspector may fail to locate bed bugs with a visual inspection alone, but a dog can sniff out the pests even if they are congregating behind an electrical outlet, beneath a carpet tack strip, in a sofa, box spring, or behind a heavy object like an entertainment center that the exterminator may not otherwise think to move. Many exterminators are now partnering up with canine detection teams to offer complete detection services.


Tips on Finding the Bed Bug Nest

If you cannot afford a canine detection team or a skilled exterminator and must undertake the task of locating the nest on your own, here are a few tips:

  • Nests are usually located close to where people sleep and relax and are unlikely to be in the bathroom or laundry room.
  • Bed bugs measure only 6 to 8mm long and have a very flat body. This makes it easy for them to hide along cracks, edges, folds, and holes like between a picture frame and its glass, within a screw hole, or inside a clock radio.
  • Inspect the bed in detail including the headboard, frame, and box springs
  • If you have a metal bed frame using a flashlight to illuminate the interior of the metal tubing.
  • Closely inspect the grooves in hardwood flooring, especially beneath or around the bed.
  • Look along the bottom and top of the baseboards. Pay special attention to any cracks in the wood or nail holes.
  • Peel back the carpeting from the tack strip to look for the bugs. They can even hide in the glue line of the carpeting.
  • Inspect the crevice between the baseboard and the flooring
  • Look closely at any books in the room, focusing particularly on the binding
  • Inspect all electronics to ensure that there are no bugs hiding in the crevices
  • Don’t overlook electrical outlets. An entire colony can hide behind an electrical outlet with ease.
  • Visually inspect the exterior of all dressers and bedside tables. Remove the drawers from the tracks and take a close look inside, removing all items from the drawers in the process.
  • Remove all photos from the wall to inspect behind them and examine the frame
  • Look in the crevices of the cushions and along the springs of any upholstered items. Turn the piece of furniture upside down to inspect the bottom as well.



Get more information on Bed Bugs:

Do These Common Household Items Work on Bed Bugs?

A Guide to Bed Bug Mattress Covers

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