Can Bed Bugs Hide in Pillow?

Yes, bed bugs can hide pillow. Being small in size and flat in looks these bugs are usually not visible during day time. They hide themselves to take rest as they are normally active at night. There are number of places in any household where these bugs can hide during the day including frame of the bed, mattresses, pillows, furniture, carpets, cluttered goods and baseboards etc. They usually hide in the seams of the pillows, mattresses as well as in the springs of box mattress etc. but it cannot be considered as the sure-shot way to locate the infestation of these nasty parasitic insects. Their presence can also be identified from the black or brown stains of their excrements as well as stains of their blood, when crushed accidently, on the linen, pillow and mattresses.

Bed bugs

Why bed bugs hide in the pillows?

In order to spread widely and extensively around the human settlements bed bugs travel from one place to another within the same premise as well as out of it. They usually hide in the pillows as on one hand they get enough space to travel and on the other hand they remain nearest to the humans, their main target, to suck their blood. However, due to their very small size, controlling their infestation becomes problematic not only in homes but also in commercial establishments like offices, hotels and dormitories etc.

Along with pillows and mattresses bed bugs are also found hidden in the cracks and crevices in the bedroom. But pillows are the most important hiding place for these bugs as it allows them to grow rapidly by putting their eggs in them. Their presence can be identified from the dried stains of their excreted feces on the infested comforters, pillows, mattresses, cushioned furniture and mattress covers etc. During their developing stage the maturing nymphs of bed bugs shed their skin. The presence of this molted skin on the linen and pillows etc. also indicate their infestation. You can see them by closely examining the suspected space of their infestation like seams of your pillow and pillow cover, mattresses and other similar places in your bedroom.

The appearance of a row of bites, popularly known as papules or wheals, on the pillow can be another sign to identify the infestation of bed bugs in your pillow. Though these bites are not noticed by some people but after 2-3 days they start looking as red bumps on your pillow. You should check your pillow closely to find a bed bug, if a bite is experienced by you. You can also feel a sweet musty smell coming from your infested pillows, mattresses and bed linens as it is emitted by these bugs and ensures their presence at these places.

Bed bugs

Finding the Bed Bugs

When the presence of bed bugs is suspected in your bed then you should take some precautionary measures to prevent their reoccurrence again. They should inspect the places where their presence is suspected like pillows, bedding, blankets, mattress covers and mattresses thoroughly to ensure the location of their infestation, while removing them for washing at home or at professional laundry. Though it may take some time to inspect all the suspicious places but it is better to spend some minutes than allowing them to suck your hard earned blood.

Things to look for during inspection

While searching for bed bugs you may or may not find actual bugs as mostly you will see the signs of their infestation like fecal matters and yellowish brown or black shells of molten nymphs on their suspected hides. You can also find blood stains caused by their unexpected crushing. The nymph shells found at the places of their infestation are usually crushed while changing bed sheets or by humans by lying on them. Black or brown colored dots found on the pillow or mattresses are the marks of their fecal matter which can be seen easily with naked eyes. At some places you can also find the eggs of these bugs. You can control the speed of their infestation effectively by detecting their presence as soon as possible.

Ways to protect your pillow from bed bugs

Once the infestation of the bed bugs is detected in your pillows and mattresses etc. then they should be protected as soon as possible. Many people also use over the counter sprays to stop the infestation of bed bugs but usually they are found ineffective. Normally, washing of infested articles in high heat cycle or hot water is considered the best way to kill bugs and other bacteria. But before washing pillows you should remove their protector covers to wash them separately. Thus, all types of pillows and be protected by washing them except the pillows made of garneted polyester.

Bed bugs

Normally, pillow protectors with zip closure system are also considered a good way to protect the pillows from the infestation of bed bugs. You can find various types of pillow protectors in the market ranging from cotton cover made from high thread count fabric to bed bug resistant pillow covers form which you can choose as per your requirement.

Usually pillow covers made form cotton fabric are considered the best for domestic use due to their breathable texture. But instead of spending highly on dust mite proof covers you should prefer to buy covers made form cotton fabric with high thread count as they can block their entry effectively. But it becomes necessary for you to invest on bed bug proof pillow covers if your house is already infested with these parasitic insects.

So, when you wash your pillows regularly at least once a year and protect them properly by using bed bug proof pillow covers then you can easily protect them from the infestation of bed bugs. But you will also have to wash pillow covers and bed linen on weekly or after two weeks at high temperature to ensure the safety of your sleeping room as well as you.


Thus, bed bugs can hide in your pillow but to ensure the eradication of their infestation you should take several steps simultaneously. On one hand you will have to wash pillows, pillow covers and linen and mattress covers regularly along with using the covers made form bed bug resistant materials.

Call one of our hotlines, visit our office or contact one of our many friendly pest consultant today. We are here to help!


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