Bedbugs in Pillows

Bedbugs get their name from their habit of biting people during the night. The bedbug feeds for a few minutes, and then it finds a hiding place. Bedbugs stay in dark, quiet places between feedings.

Scientists have learned that bedbugs can detect a human host from a distance of 6-8 feet. Despite this, they seem to prefer hiding close to their feeding site. It is common to find bedbugs hiding in the cracks and crevices of the bed.

Bedrooms are not the only part of the house where bedbugs can attack. People have found bedbugs in couches and recliners in the family room. When the bedbugs are finished feeding, pillows can provide excellent hiding places.

Bedbugs leave telltale clues that show they have been active. Small blood spots are the most obvious signs. Many of these spots happen because the person rolled over and crushed a bedbug that had just finished feeding. Bedbugs sometimes over-eat and spill small amounts of blood. These blood spots can be seen on sheets, pillowcases, and comforters. On furniture, the spots can be found on cushions, throw pillows, and on the dust cover beneath the cushion.

Bedbugs leave dark fecal stains near their hiding places. These stains are common on bed frames, mattresses, and bedding. The stains may not be obvious if the bedbugs have been hiding inside the mattress pad or the pillowcase. Throw pillows with zippers can easily have bedbug fecal stains inside.

Bedbugs produce a “sweetish” smell from glands on their bodies. Many people do not notice the odor, but people who are sensitive to odors can sometimes smell it. The odor becomes stronger when there are a lot of bedbugs in the area.

Temperatures over 120° kill bedbugs, so they can be eliminated with heat. People who suspect they have bedbugs can wash sheets and bedding. Check the labels on comforters — they may have to be dry-cleaned.

It may be possible to place pillows in the drier to eliminate bedbugs. It might be easier to heat treat large pillows and other bulky items by placing them in a black trash beg. Set the item outside in the direct sun for several hours to be sure the pillows are heated enough.

People who suspect they have bedbugs should disassemble their bed. The headboard and bed frame are common hiding places. The cracks and crevices can be treated with insecticide. Many people prefer to call pest control professionals for insecticide applications. While they are treating the bed, they can also treat the cracks behind the baseboards. Nightstands are common hiding places, so they should be inspected carefully.

Mattresses and box springs can be treated. Pest control professional usually use steam to kill bedbugs in the tufts and seams of mattresses and box springs.