There’s not a single person on earth who wants to deal with bed bugs. You might be under the impression that dirty environments attract bed bugs. In truth, bed bugs don’t care whether a home is dirty or clean as long as they have access to humans and their blood. The environment isn’t a motivator for bed bugs to move into space.
People believe dirty rooms attract bed bugs because extra dirt, mess, and clutter create better hiding spaces for the bugs. Unfortunately, bed bugs can be annoying and create stress for you and the rest of your family. We’ll be explaining exactly what attracts them so you can make the right choices to keep these parasites at bay.
What a Bed Bug Is
Bed bugs likely get their name because they often hide in beds and feed on humans while they sleep. Bed bugs only feed on blood and need to access it regularly to develop and survive. So, while bed bugs target humans, they also attack other warm-blooded animals, such as cats and dogs.
Bed bugs have been a concern of humans for over 3,000 years and can be found anywhere humans go, including public transportation, homes, retail stores, hotels, offices, and schools.
These little bugs don’t mind moving around and will latch onto items to travel long distances. They can get into clothes, suitcases, and linens and end up wherever those things are taken. This is one of the reasons that bed bugs can spread so easily.
In addition, the bites from a bed bug can be confused with bites from other pests, which means an infestation might have time to grow for a long period before you realize something is wrong.
The Appearance of a Bed Bug
Bed bugs have an oval shape and are very small at around 3/15 of an inch in length. Before they feed, the bugs are flat and brown, but after feeding, the bugs become swollen, elongated, and take on a reddish tint. The bugs have two antennae and six legs but don’t have wings and cannot fly.
An adult bed bug can be seen by the human eye and detected by sight, especially on box springs and mattress seams. However, the nymphs are harder to see since they are very pale and quite small.
How You Can Get Bed Bugs
Once a bed bug hops a ride to your home, it will crawl into hidden places where it can access human blood. After they find a host, they tend to stay very close to them to establish a colony of bed bugs.
These bugs can easily spread out since a single pregnant female is enough to create a colony that will grow. After this, the bugs can infest other locations and transmit diseases to humans or pets.
There are several reasons that bed bugs spread, including:
- You might disturb the bugs when you are attempting to remove them from your house.
- If a colony grows quickly, it forces some bed bugs to leave the territory for other space.
- When there is no host and little food available, the bugs will travel to find their next meal.
- If you shift any property that is infested with bed bugs, this can cause them to spread.
Unless there is a reason that bed bugs have come into your home, you’re unlikely to find them. This is because bed bugs are typically not born on the property. However, there are several belongings and areas you should watch out for when it comes to bed bugs.
Suitcases and Other Bags
When you move from one place to another, you probably bring along suitcases, duffle bags, or backpacks. Unfortunately, these happen to be the most common household item that bed bugs attach themselves to. It doesn’t help that you can’t avoid these items to prevent the bugs from coming home with you.
Bed bugs will often find a space to cling onto a suitcase, so you should examine all your belongings to ensure no bugs are in your luggage. This is a good way to prevent savvy little bugs from coming into your pristine home.
Schools and Workplaces
Schools and workplaces are public spaces and can suffer infestations of bed bugs since so many people come in and out. People who have bed bugs may not know and will bring the bugs into these spaces. It’s also hard to protect from bed bugs since so much human traffic is going on.
If you have bed bugs, it is a good idea to speak with someone at your work or school to see if the same problem is present. You can also recommend that people at libraries, schools, and workplaces use the services of bed bug exterminators to avoid the problem.
Hotels, Motels, Hostels, and Hospitals
Places like hotels and motels see many people, which means they can be threatened by bed bug infestations. Unfortunately, there’s no way to be sure of how many people in the space are carrying bed bugs, so it’s a good idea to watch for their signs when you stay in these places.
When you head home, take the proper measures to ensure bed bugs don’t go with you. It can also be a good idea to have all your clothes washed at a dry cleaner before taking them home so you can be sure any potential bugs are exterminated.
Many people use buses, trains, taxis, or other public transportation to get to and from work or school every day. Since bed bugs like to stick around areas where there is a lot of human activity, public transportation fits the bill. Someone who commutes daily could have bed bugs from their home that latch onto you and make their way to your own home.
How to Handle a Bed Bug Infestation
Bed bugs can come from all sorts of places, whether you’re moving into a new home, bringing in new furniture, or traveling back to your home after a trip. If you realize that you have bed bugs or have concerns that you might, you need to handle the situation before the infestation worsens.
The best way to handle the situation is by bringing in a specialized bed bug exterminator. This person will know the proper techniques and have the right products to fight back against the bed bugs.
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