Do Bedbugs Like Lights?


The bedbug, also known as Cimex lectularius, is nocturnal and feeds predominately at night on the blood of sleeping humans. These flat, brown insects rarely exceed the size of an apple seed.

Hiding Locations

  • During the day, bedbugs hide in a bed's mattress or box springs and in crevices, moldings, beneath wallpaper and in door frames. The bugs do not like light and avoid it in favor of dark locations. Their hiding area usually becomes stained from the insects' blood-stained excrement. Bedbugs shed skin during molting, so castoff skin shells also collect where they hide.

Feeding Habits

  • A bedbug will consume a blood meal from a human in about three to 15 minutes. The insect prefers to feed under the cover of darkness, but if hungry enough it will feed in low light. Once the insect is engorged with blood, it will scamper to its dark hiding spot and spend the next three days digesting the blood before returning to feed again.


  • If you suspect you might have bedbugs, lie in bed with a flashlight handy. Approximately one hour before dawn, when the bugs are most active, turn on the flashlight and look in the covers for signs of an infestation. During the day, use a bright flashlight to look for bed bugs in dark locations. The bug's hiding location often has a distinctively sweet smell because of its excretions.

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