Bed bug issues may seem like they arise out of thin air. One night you go to bed and wake up the next morning with strange bites. Night after night, this occurs until suddenly you see a little bug scurry across the sheets, and you realize – It’s BED BUGS! Or maybe you’re a hotel/motel owner/manager and a customer spotted bed bugs in their room. The first thought for many people would be, “How did this happen?” and “Where did they come from?”.
The Top 3 Ways Bed Bugs Spread
#3 – Bed bugs love an old couch (or other “hand-me-down” items)
If you’ve recently been thrifting, yard sale shopping, or worse, picked up free furniture from the side of the road, and then randomly started seeing bed bugs everywhere, then you can pretty much assume that that new couch is the cause. Usually, bed bug infestations take a while to grow to a size where you see live bugs scurrying across your bed. The exception to this rule is when an already established infestation enters the home; this is 100% possibly by bringing in an infested piece of furniture. Bed bugs can live in any type of item; Such as dressers, nightstands, upholstered chairs and sofas, clothing, mirrors/pictures and even books. The larger the furniture the more places there are for bed bugs to hide.
#2 – Bed Bugs on a Field Trip
Traveling is one of the leading times when bed bugs are picked up. Bed bugs love to hitchhike around by hiding in your clothes or on your personal items. If you’ve been on a public bus, on the subway, in a taxi, flew in a plane, or used any other means of public transport, you are much more likely to pick up bed bugs.
#1 – The Notorious Bed Bug Hotel
This one is kind of a no-brainer. Hotels and Motels are a perfect place for bed bugs. Travelers will pick up bed bugs during transportation and bring them back to their hotel room where the bugs quickly get comfy in the bed or other furniture. Bed bugs aren’t picky about where they stay; it could be in a 5-star resort or a $50/night room.
So how can I avoid a bed bug infestation?
All of the above infestations started because someone didn’t do an inspection. Bed bugs inspections are critical in avoiding a bed bug infestation. In many cases, a bed bug problem was avoidable if the person knew what and where to look for bed bugs before the problem occurred. Here are some tips to help you perform easy and effective inspections.
To avoid getting bed bugs, you should:
1. Never take in old furniture without an extremely thorough inspection. Look inside, under and behind everything. Remove drawers and look inside. Look in upholstery seams and under and coverings (like the covering on the bottom side of a bed spring) and always check the seams and pocket linings in used clothing.
- Use hard case luggage to avoid giving bed bugs a place to “grab on” while traveling.
- Always keep your luggage on a luggage rack on in the bathtub. Never sit your bag on the hotel/motel bed!
- Do a quick visual inspection before you sit down on any public transportation. A small flashlight may be helpful to see in dark corners. Pay attention to the sides, back corners, and seams where others may not look.
- Likewise, always inspect your hotel/motel room for signs of bed bugs. Obviously, check the bed and mattress, but don’t forget about the chairs and nightstands too. Bed bugs can hide anywhere!
- Inspect your own home regularly. While the issue may seem to have popped up out of nowhere, bed bug infestations take time to grow. A single bed bug brought home from any of the avenues listed above will take weeks to become an infestation. If you’re unfortunate enough to have brought home a female bed bug, it will start to lay eggs within 24 hours of establishing it’s home. Each female bed bug can lay dozens of eggs at a time. Eggs take 7-10 days to hatch, and the newly hatched nymphs will begin feeding and growing immediately. Every 21-39 days those bed bug babies will be full-grown adults and will start breeding and multiplying very quickly. In just six months that one female bed bug will turn into a full-blown infestation of over 30,000 descendants.
Want to know what to look for while doing your DIY inspections? Check out our inspection guide, at https://ibbra.org/best-diy-bed-bug-solutions/
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