Bed bugs typically hide close to their hosts, however, they can travel up to 20 feet (sometimes more) to find one. When hiding places and hosts are few, they may be found almost anywhere– in the seams of mattresses, in bed springs, in cracks of floorboards, behind peeled wallpaper, in picture frames, in couches, stuffed chairs, clothing and even the seams of curtains; wherever a dark crack or crevice might be. Dark excrement spots of partially digested blood are often found where they rest. Cast skins will also be found, especially where infestations are heavy.
Bed bugs usually feed at night, but when very hungry they are less likely to wait for darkness. Bed bugs inject a fluid into their host to help them get their blood meal. This fluid makes some people sensitive to bites, causing irritation, itching and inflammation. Other people can live with bed bugs and not be aware of their presence. In spite of their feeding habits, bed bugs are not known to carry diseases.
There seems to be no consistent way to determine a bed bug bite without actually finding the bugs. Pets, birds, rats or mice may help support bed bug populations. These pests are also common in poultry houses and occasionally infest areas where animals are kept. Bed bugs closely resemble bat and swallow bugs, which exhibit similar behavior. The key to bat and swallow bug management is targetting the resting area and bat/bird proofing structures.