Bed bugs are small, flightless little insects that stay in beds and pieces of furniture where they can bite people. They never go very far. So, how does one get bed bugs? How do they go from one place to the next? The answer is in their ability to hitchhike. Bed bugs are good at going unnoticed, so they move around accidentally by hitching a ride in our belongings.
If you are noticing the early signs of bed bugs, like bites, contact a pest control company right away. Bed bugs usually require the help of a professional. A professional can inspect your property, then eliminate the bed bugs with steam and insecticide.
Here are the most common ways that people get bed bugs.
Be weary of the furniture you see on the side of the road. Bed bugs are great at hiding in the seams of mattresses, chairs, couches, and other upholstered furniture. They can also squeeze in between the joints and grooves of wooden furniture, such as night tables and bed frames. Bed bugs often go from one home to the next via used furniture.
Neighboring Apartment Units
While they do not go very far, bed bugs may crawl from one apartment to the next by crawling through the walls. Bed bugs have been known to nest in power outlets, baseboards, and wallpaper. They may then crawl through the wall and into the bedroom next door.
Hotels and BNBs
Hotels are prone to getting bed bugs, simply because of the amount of traffic they get. Bed bugs get into people’s clothing, which are packed into suitcases and brought into hotels. Though hotels are used to this and treat for bed bugs all the time, you can still get unlucky and find them there. Always check your luggage carefully when returning from a stay in a hotel or BNB.
Like hotels, laundromats are susceptible to getting bed bugs because it is where people bring their bed sheets and dirty clothes. Bed bugs are unlikely to survive a hot wash in the machine, but they can linger in the building and get into your clothes. Avoid leaving your fabrics unattended and fold them at home.
Movie Theatres, Lecture Halls, and Public Libraries
Bed bugs survive in areas where they can hide and come out to feed on people sitting still. Movie theatres, classrooms, and libraries have therefore been known to have bed bugs, because people sit in them for extended periods of time. Public transit services may also get bed bugs, which then cling onto your clothes and move with you.
What are the signs of a bed bug infestation?
One of the most obvious signs of an infestation is to wake up with bite marks. Bed bug bites appear as small, red dots that usually come in straight lines, zig zags, or clusters of bites. For some, they are very itchy, and they may become swollen. Bites usually appear on the arms, legs, neck, or face – wherever the body is exposed at night.
If you’re worried you may have bed bugs, take a look at the seams of your mattress and your bed frame. Look for brown, flat little bugs that look like apple seeds. Other signs of bed bugs include reddish-black spots and stains where bed bugs hide. Finding a fresh blood stain in your sheets may also indicate that there are bed bugs around.
How do you get rid of bed bugs?
The easiest way you can get rid of bed bugs is to call a pest control company right away. Bed bugs are resistant to store-bought pesticides, especially their eggs. A professional will find where the bugs are hiding and get rid of them with professional-grade insecticides and steam treatments. While the steam will get rid of eggs, the insecticides will last for weeks, eliminating any bed bugs that emerge later.
To help, you can wash all of your clothing in hot water, then keep them in sealed plastic bags until the infestation is over. Understand where bed bugs come from and always check your belongings when coming and going from hotels.