How to check a bed for bed bugs

Bed bugs and eggs on a mattress.

Mattresses…

Check these areas on a mattress. All seams and folds on the sides of a mattress from the top to the bottom should be examined for bed bugs.

Baby bed bug on a mattress seam in image. This is typically where bed bugs congregate on mattresses.
Baby bed bug on a mattress seam in image. This is typically where bed bugs congregate on mattresses.

Box Springs…

Check these areas on box springs. All seams on the top should be inspected. Then the cheese cloth on the bottom of the box springs should be examined over its entirety. This means checking under the cloth all the way back to the staples holding the cheese cloth to the box springs. Also be sure to examine on top of the cheese cloth especially where staples are. Don’t forget to check the sides of the box springs with the front or a side against a wall being the more likely place to locate bed bugs on a box springs. The last area to check is the corners where the plastic or metal guards that are stapled to the bottom of the box springs. If you look at the picture below you’ll see a bed bug and it’s shed skin hiding by a plastic guard on the bottom of a box spring.

Bed bug hiding next to a plastic corner guard on the edge of a beds box springs.
Bed bug hiding next to a plastic corner guard on the edge of a beds box springs.

Head board/ foot board/ railings (the bed frame)…

Check these areas on head boards, foot boards and railings. A head boards front side and back side should be inspected as well as the same for the foot board. Any place that two pieces of wood come together will be a spot that bed bugs will hide. Any type of hole or crack will also be hiding places. This is especially the case with screw holes even more so screw holes on wooden railings that hold up slats that the box springs lay on. Railings can have bed bugs hiding inside of screw holes as well as hiding on the very bottom or where boards come together. It’s usually the case that most bed bug infestations will be towards the front of a bed frame or if up against a wall they can use it to stay hidden for longer without being noticed.

Bed bugs inside of a screw hole on the railings of a bed. This is a typical hiding place for bed bug activity.​
Bed bugs inside of a screw hole on the railings of a bed. This is a typical hiding place for bed bug activity.

Special beds/ medical beds…

Not all beds are the same but all beds will have the same areas that make them ideal hiding places. We’ve noticed with medical or special beds that are motorized and can be raised or lowered most bed bug infestations or nests will be located on the very bottom. Even more so if the specialized bed has cheese cloth on the very bottom. With these types of beds the bed bugs tend to stay towards the sides of the bottom off the bed tucked up comfortably next to perfect recessed areas for making a bed bug nest. Just remember to check any areas that are stitched, tufts, stapled, screwed, nailed, etc. Basically anything that touches another thing on a bed is game for bed bug activity. You’ll hardly ever see bed bugs out in the open of a stretch of flat facbric or wood that doesn’t have some sort of defect or human made crevice for then to hide in.

Just because they are called bed bugs doesn't mean they are only on beds! Picture shows bed bugs, eggs and shed skins on the back a night stand.​
Just because they are called bed bugs doesn’t mean they are only on beds! Picture shows bed bugs, eggs and shed skins on the back a night stand.

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