16 Reasons Why You Might See a Bed Bug During the Day

If you just found a bed bug during the day, these reasons may help you figure out why. Each of these reasons is a real-life scenario we encountered during our thousands of bed bug inspections in New York City. 

It’s important to note that if the bed bug is flat, it hasn’t fed recently (in the past week), and it was probably searching for a blood meal.

bed bug during the day

1. Wandering In Under Your Front Door

  • Bed bugs can enter through small spaces and gaps, especially in apartment buildings where they migrate between units.
  • They are attracted to the warmth and carbon dioxide emitted by humans.
  • Regular door sweeps or thresholds can help prevent their entry.
  • We recently inspected a building in Queens, NY, and discovered bed bugs in the hallway, so its one of the reasons why you see a bed dug during the day.

2. Brought In From a Cab or Rideshare

  • Bed bugs can cling to clothing or luggage after a ride in an infested vehicle.
  • They often hide in the seams of seats, moving onto passengers unknowingly.
  • Regular inspection of personal items after public transport use can reduce the risk.
  • After every cab ride, put your clothing into a high-heat dryer or portable bed bug oven.

3. Carried In On Clothing After Sitting In a Theater

  • Cinemas, with their plush seats and high human traffic, are prime spots for bed bugs to spread.
  • They can attach to your clothes or bags and travel home with you.
  • Checking your seating area and belongings can help catch these pests early.

4. Coming In Through Outlets

  • Bed bugs can travel through wall voids and emerge from electrical outlets, particularly in multi-unit buildings.
  • They move in search of new food sources when their population grows or if they’re disturbed/repelled.
  • Sealing gaps around outlets can prevent their migration.

5. A Neighbor Is Self-Treating and Causing Their Infestation to Scatter

  • When bed bugs are disturbed by improper pesticide use, they can scatter to adjoining rooms or units.
  • Infestations often worsen as bugs spread to avoid treated areas.
  • Coordinated pest control efforts are crucial in multi-unit dwellings.

6. Hitching a Ride in Used Furniture

  • Bed bugs are notorious for residing in second-hand furniture like beds, sofas, and chairs.
  • They can remain dormant for months until brought into a conducive environment like a home.
  • Inspecting and treating used furniture before bringing it inside can prevent infestations.
  • Here are some effective methods for checking used furniture for bed bugs.

7. High Infestation in Nearby Apartments

  • In densely populated areas, bed bugs can spread easily from one infested unit to another.
  • They can travel through cracks, crevices, and even ventilation systems.
  • Regular monitoring and professional pest control can limit their spread.

8. Excessive Clutter Providing Hiding Spots

  • Clutter offers bed bugs numerous hiding places, making it difficult to eradicate them.
  • An infested room with high clutter is challenging to treat and may push bed bugs to move during unusual times.
  • Reducing clutter can make treatment more effective and decrease hiding spots.

9. Disturbed During Cleaning or Renovation

  • Activities like deep cleaning, moving furniture, or renovating can agitate and displace bed bugs.
  • These disturbances often cause them to seek new hiding spots, sometimes appearing during the day.
  • Isolating areas being cleaned or renovated can minimize displacement.

10. Presence of Pets in the Home

  • While bed bugs prefer human hosts, they can also accidentally get on a pet, if it lies near an infestation.
  • If your pet hangs out underneath your bed, they can transport bed bugs from one room to another within a home.
  • Regularly washing pet bedding, brushing your pet, and inspecting sleeping areas can control spread.

11. Delivery of Infested Items

  • Items such as packages or grocery bags can harbor bed bugs if they are stored in an infested area.
  • If your delivery driver has bed bugs at home, they can inadvertently have them in their vehicle.
  • Bed bugs can survive a while without feeding, making them tough hitchhikers.
  • Inspecting deliveries and isolating them before storage can prevent entry.

12. Returning Home from Travel

  • Hotels, hostels, and other lodging can be sources of bed bug infestations.
  • Travelers may inadvertently bring bed bugs home via their luggage.
  • The bed bug may emerge from your luggage in the middle of the day in search of a blood meal.
  • Using protective covers for luggage and immediate washing of clothes can reduce risk.
  • Learn more about how to kill bed bugs in luggage.

13. Poor Pest Control Practices

  • Ineffective pest control can cause partial treatments, leading bed bugs to migrate and appear during unexpected times.
  • Professional, comprehensive pest management is crucial to eliminate bed bugs thoroughly.
  • Regular follow-up treatments ensure all life stages of bed bugs are addressed.

14. Utilizing Second-Hand Clothing

  • Similar to furniture, second-hand clothing can be a vehicle for bed bug transmission.
  • Bed bugs can reside within folds and seams until they find a human host.
  • Washing and drying clothes at high temperatures before wearing can kill any hidden bed bugs.

15. Structural Gaps and Poor Sealing

  • Gaps in baseboards, between floorboards, or around window and door frames can provide entry points for bed bugs.
  • Older buildings with many crevices offer easy access for bed bugs from the outside.
  • Sealing these gaps can significantly reduce the risk of infestation.

16. Children’s Book Bags 

  • If your child’s cubby or locker is next to someone with bed bugs, they can crawl from one book bag to another.
  • If someone in your kid’s class is dealing with bed bugs, the whole class is at risk for bringing home a hitchhiker.
  • The best way to isolate backpacks upon returning home is to keep them in an airtight plastic bin near your front door.

Each scenario provides a pathway for bed bugs to enter and be visible during daytime hours when they are typically less active. Proper preventative measures can greatly reduce the likelihood of encountering these pests in your home.