The habitat of bed bugs is anywhere humans are found. As humans are the preferred food source for bed bugs, they will find and live with and near humans.
Obligate Blood Feeders
Bed bugs only feed on blood and prefer human blood. They do not eat spilled human food or drink. They do not infest garbage cans feeding on our refuse. Each bed bug must feed at least one time to shed its shell to move on to the next nymphal stage or to adult.
Bed bugs will feed on other animals which have blood such as on dogs, rabbits, cats, and birds, but humans are far preferred.
Preference for Cracks and Crevices
The bed bug body is naturally flat unless they have had a recent blood meal. This flat shape allows the bed bug to hide in tight spaces such as cracks and crevices, folds of mattresses, behind electrical outlet plates, and between layers of roll up blinds.
Bed bugs capitalize on their shape and size to hide in places that we normally consider ‘safe’ from infestation by insects. When inspecting for bed bugs, it is important to look at any area that might be accessible to bed bugs.
Bed bugs are everywhere
Since bed bugs feed on humans, they can be found anywhere that humans are found. In the days before human shelter, bed bugs were found inhabiting caves with early humans. Today, bed bugs are found in previously unheard-of places such as offices, dorms, hospitals, trains, airplanes, ambulances, rental furniture stores, libraries, and even mortuaries.
There is a long history of bed bug infestations. Books exist from medieval times which discuss bed bugs and ways to control them. There are even historical notes about famous bed bug exterminators in Europe.