Bed bugs can’t fly or jump – they have to crawl to get anywhere. But thanks to their tiny size and the fact that they can survive months without a blood meal, bed bugs have no problem traveling from place to place. Bed bugs can invade a dwelling from other affected locations. They can travel on furniture, luggage, and backpacks.
A common misconception is that if someone has bed bugs or has been in contact with them, either they or the bed in which they slept are unclean. This is because bed bugs are supposedly attracted to dirt or filth, but this couldn’t be further from the truth: bed bugs will attract people, clean or not, because they feed on blood.
Bed bugs are most commonly seen in hotels and motels, according to pest control experts. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, as hotels and other temporary housing facilities provide a perfect environment for the development and spread of bed bugs, thanks to the high volume of guests and the frequent changes in staff. Infestations can spread rapidly; once a single adult female bed bug finds a way inside, she can lay up to five eggs a day for a full year. If bed bugs get into your home, they can quickly travel to other areas via pipes and vacuum cleaners, not to mention sneaking in via articles of clothes, bags, and other personal belongings. If you’re taking a trip soon, it’s important to know how to prevent picking up bed bugs at hotels so you don’t end up with an unwanted guest on your trip.
Tempted by the beautiful ottoman that has been abandoned on the corner near your home for a while? Don’t give in to the temptation; bringing in used furniture is a leading cause of bed bugs in homes. The suede sofa may seem wonderful, but it’s not worth the danger if you live in a city with a bed bug infestation because people don’t always clearly designate bed bug-ridden furniture. A $5 book from a yard sale seems like a good bet, right? Certainly not… There is a small risk of contracting bed bugs from books, but only if they have been stored in a box in a house or other location where bed bugs are present. In addition to beds, alarm clocks, coffee makers, and other similar equipment can become infested with bed bugs if they contain dark, undisturbed spaces where the insects can hide and multiply. Do not let anything enter your house without first giving it the once over.
But, even brand-new pieces of furniture, such as beds and sofas, can be exposed to bed bugs while in storage or in delivery vehicles, making every piece of furniture potentially infested. If the company you’re considering buying a mattress from also removes discarded mattresses from homes, for instance, there’s a chance that their truck is hiding some bed bug refugees looking for a new place to hide out.
Even if you take every precaution possible, you still might get bed bugs from a neighbor who doesn’t. Since bed bugs can travel over 100 feet in a single night, via microscopic cracks in the walls, through connecting vents, or even in the joints of floor boards, bed bug migration is rather prevalent, especially in shared housing arrangements like condos, apartments, and dorms. Or, they can take the time-honored route of slithering out the front door, down the hall, and into another apartment.
Merchandise that has been worn or borrowed… Bed bugs can be brought in on secondhand clothing, whether purchased or borrowed from a friend. Although thrift stores are still a viable option, you should wash any old apparel before bringing it inside your home. Bed bugs die in temperatures higher than 122 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore it’s important to wash your linens in very hot water. Obviously, this isn’t exclusive to the realm of apparel. Bedding, blankets, and stuffed animals that have been previously used must undergo a rigorous cycle in very hot water before being readmitted.
It only takes one trip to the wrong place at the wrong time to bring bed bugs home and start an infestation. If you find bed bugs in your home the best way to deal with this potential problem is to work with a professional pest control company that has experience treating bed bugs. At ECO, we provide specialized bed bug services that help prevent infestations. This can speed up the treatment and management of bed bugs by professionals.