Bed bug paranoia is real, and after a lull for many years, these blood-sucking bugs are back. Bed bugs have been found everywhere from hotels to libraries and office buildings, but don’t panic! Understanding how Bed bugs spread not only prevents outbreaks, but also helps to keep you Bed bug free. Awareness of Bed bugs is the first line of defense.
Bed bugs are parasitic pests that rely on hosts to provide blood meals. There is no secret to how they travel; they do it the old-fashioned way and hitchhike. They do not fly, cannot move very quickly, and don’t usually crawl long distances. They find your clothing, backpack, or luggage and grab on tight, waiting for you to bring them back to the feeding ground: your bedroom.
Bed bug Hot Spots: Where You’ll Find A Bed bug
Bed bugs establish populations in areas that humans rest, which is most likely going to be the bedroom, but can also be a couch or other areas people tend to relax and stay put for long periods of time. For this reason, Bed bugs have been spotted in:
- Health care facilities, nursing homes, etc.
- College dorms
- Movie theatres
- Furniture rental stores
- Office buildings
- Day care facilities
These places harbor those stray hitchhikers, who then find places to hide during the day or when hosts (people) aren’t near, where they can then be picked up by new hosts and brought back home. Bed bugs do not usually establish large colonies in these places, but this is when they could find a new home with you.
Used furniture is a major way people accidentally introduce Bed bugs into their home. Be very cautious when purchasing or accepting used furniture and inspect it thoroughly before bringing it into your home. Check in all seams, joints, folds, etc. for live bedbugs.
Hotels and motels are notorious for Bed bug problems and another big way people bring bedbugs back from vacation. Even the nicest hotels could be susceptible to a Bed bug outbreak. Hotels and motels are just like the bedrooms in your home, since the host rotation is consistent and Bed bugs can establish a good size population.
Protecting Yourself and Others: Being Proactive
It may seem like there is a constant threat of Bed bugs all around you, but this is not the case. You can contact your city to see whether there are any known outbreaks in your area. If there are, take the time to examine susceptible places, like your office, day care, etc., to ensure they are bedbug free.
- When staying in a hotel, make sure to do a sweep of the room to make sure there are no Bed bugs present. Reading our article, How To Avoid Hotel Bed Bugs, can give you tips on how to prevent bedbugs from hitching a ride back to your home. You can also bring some things along with you to help ease your mind when traveling with some bed bug travel kits and products, like RestAssure Bed Bug Spray or bed bug proof luggage liners.
- Do your research when choosing a new daycare or healthcare facility to ensure this establishment has had no recent complaints of Bed bugs.
- If you suspect you were in an area where Bed bugs were present, create a “clean zone” to inspect clothing and items, preferably an area free of carpet and fabrics, like a garage or tile/wood entryway.
- Anything infested that must be thrown away should be clearly labeled that it is infested with Bed bugs, and preferably sealed to prevent escape of Bed bugs.
- If you suspect you have Bed bugs or just want to make sure you don’t, our Bed Bug Inspection Guide will help you check every susceptible area for bugs.
- At home, it is never a bad idea to start control efforts before you have a Bed bug problem. Bed bug mattress, box spring, and pillow encasements seal your items and prevent bedbugs from hiding in the folds of the fabric. This gives Bed bugs less places to hide and makes them easier to spot if they do make their way to your mattress.
- For more information on Bed bugs, doing your own Bed bug control, and bed bug products and recommendations, head over to our bed bug control page. Never hesitate to contact one of our pest control experts for more help.