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Where are bed bugs most commonly found?

Bed bugs are small, flat, parasitic insects that feed solely on the blood of people and animals while they sleep. They are a nuisance pest that can be quite difficult to eradicate once established in a home or property. Bed bugs are most commonly transported from place to place as people travel and inadvertently carry them in luggage, clothing, and other personal belongings. But where exactly within a home or lodging establishment are bed bugs most likely to reside?

Bedrooms and beds

As their name suggests, bed bugs are most commonly found in bedrooms and on beds. Within bedrooms, they can be found hiding in a variety of places:

  • Mattresses
  • Box springs
  • Bed frames
  • Headboards
  • Sheets and bedding
  • Upholstered furniture
  • Bed skirts
  • Underneath area rugs
  • Behind baseboards
  • Inside electronic devices

Bed bugs prefer to reside where people sleep, as this provides a convenient location for them to feed on human blood during the night. Beds and other furniture used for sleeping or lounging are prime targets. Bed bugs can inhabit mattresses, bed frames, box springs, furniture, and even bedding and sheets. They tend to reside along the piping, seams, and tags of mattresses and couches, and in cracks and crevices of bed frames and other furniture. The close proximity to a sleeping human host allows bed bugs easy access to their preferred food source – blood.

Upholstered furniture

In addition to beds, upholstered couches and chairs are also common hiding places for bed bugs in homes and apartments. Like mattresses, upholstered furniture is soft, provides cracks and crevices for hiding, and allows bed bugs access to humans as they lounge and sit. Some common places to find bed bugs in upholstered furniture include:

  • Within the cushions and padding
  • Along seams and piping
  • Underneath or behind cushion covers
  • Inside couch skirts and aprons
  • Underneath furniture

Bed bugs often populate couches, recliners, and stuffed chairs in living rooms, family rooms, and bedrooms. Sleeping on an infested couch can provide bed bugs access to a meal. Upholstered office chairs can also harbor bed bugs in businesses.

Cracks and crevices

Since bed bugs are small and flat in shape, they can squeeze into incredibly tight spaces. They seek out cracks and crevices to safely hide during the daytime when human hosts are active and alert. Some common crack and crevice hiding spots include:

  • Floor moldings and baseboards
  • Wallpaper seams
  • Door, window, and electrical casings
  • Wall hangings and picture frames
  • Door hinges
  • Curtain rods
  • Light switch plates
  • Carpet edges
  • Peeling paint and wallpaper
  • Cracks in plaster
  • Screw holes
  • any other crack or joint in walls, floors, and furniture

Bed bugs congregate in these areas that provide shelter during the day when the space is occupied. At night, they emerge to feed on any nearby sleeping humans.


Clutter also provides excellent hiding spots for bed bugs. Clothing, papers, books, toys, bags, boxes, and other clutter scattered about a room gives bed bugs plenty of hiding options close to human hosts. Clutter should be minimized and contained to limit potential bed bug hiding areas.

Common areas and public spaces

While bedrooms are the most likely place to find an established bed bug population, these pests can take up residence in any room or area that humans frequent. Couches, recliners, and chairs in living rooms, family rooms, study rooms, libraries, and offices also are likely to harbor bed bugs.

In hotels, apartments, dormitories, hospitals, and other public places, bed bugs can infest waiting areas, laundries, theaters, hallways, offices, and any space occupied by humans during the day or night.

Proximity to beds

Regardless of the room, bed bugs tend to congregate within 6-10 feet of beds, couches, and other furniture used for sleeping or resting. Their small size enables them to travel 10 feet or more to feed after emerging from hiding, but they prefer to harbor in areas closest to a human host.

Focus inspections and monitoring efforts on areas adjacent to beds, even if not in the bedroom. Also be sure to inspect bedrooms that are not in regular use, as these can also become infested if bed bugs reside elsewhere in the building.

Clues of infestation

While finding live bed bugs is a sure sign of infestation, there are other clues that point to their presence in an area:

  • Dark stains from bed bug droppings or blood stains on sheets.
  • Pale yellow shed skins or empty light brown egg shells.
  • An offensive, sweet, musty odor from bed bug scent glands.
  • Itchy welts on human bodies in the morning.

Seeing these signs in an area likely means bed bugs are hiding nearby.


Bed bugs are most commonly found in bedrooms and on beds, especially in cracks, crevices, seams, and tufts in mattresses, bed frames, box springs, and headboards. Upholstered furniture like couches and chairs are also a common hiding place. During the day, bed bugs prefer to hide in cracks and crevices in walls, floors, furniture, and clutter near beds and upholstered furniture. Their small, flat bodies allow them to squeeze into extremely tight spaces. While bed bugs are most concentrated within 6-10 feet of preferred hosts, they can travel further to feed at night. Carefully inspecting these areas can help locate infestations and guide treatment efforts.