Once upon a time, bed bugs were nearly wiped out. Unfortunately, that was a brief time in the history of the world, and we no longer live in a time when bed bugs aren’t a problem. The likelihood of dealing with an infestation of bed bugs at least once in your life is constantly increasing.
Knowing this likelihood probably makes you wonder a few things – like how bed bugs can spread into your home in the first place, what you can do to prevent them from coming in and spreading through your home in the first place, and when professional pest removal services should be called in to take care of the problem.
How Bed Bugs Typically Spread
One of the biggest questions people have about bed bugs is how they spread. Knowing how they spread can help you know how to prevent them.
Bed bugs are relatively slow spreaders compared to other pests. If a bed bug gets into your home, it will take a few months for there to be a serious infestation. The biggest reason bed bugs spread slowly is that they don’t have wings, so they have to crawl everywhere they go. They also don’t reproduce quickly, so it takes time for an infestation to happen.
That being said, bed bug infestations are increasingly common. And even though they happen slowly, they can still become an extremely unpleasant problem. So knowing how bed bugs do spread – however slowly – is important to know as a homeowner.
Bed bugs are known for hitchhiking in luggage. Luggage offers bed bugs a lot of little hiding places and it takes them to completely new feeding grounds. Bed bugs are often carried in and out of hotels in luggage, so it’s always important to check your hotel rooms for signs of bed bugs.
But luggage can also include things like backpacks or briefcases. See, bed bugs don’t live only in mattresses. They live all over the place. So you can even bring them home from school or work without knowing it.
It’s a good idea to regularly check your luggage and bags for bed bugs (and other pests). These bags are an easy way for pests to enter your home, but it’s also a preventable way. Do what you can to keep your luggage clean and pest free.
Bed bugs typically don’t like to be close to your body unless they are feeding. They really don’t like a lot of heat or movement. But they will sometimes catch rides on your clothing – especially clothing that might not be right against your body, like a jacket or a shoe.
Because bed bugs can live almost anywhere (though they like dark places), you can pick them up almost any place. Places like movie theaters are known for hosting bed bugs sometimes because they are dark places with a lot of humans holding still for a few hours at a time.
Bed bugs won’t live in your clothing long term though. One of the reasons for this is that clothing is used frequently, so they would be disturbed too often. The other reason is that laundry machines can kill bed bugs. The heat from the dryer is enough to easily kill them.
Bed bugs move slowly because they can’t fly and they’re very small (about ⅛ of an inch as adults). They don’t cover ground quickly. However, if they are experiencing a lack of food, they’ll go searching for it. That’s when they start spreading from room to room in your home.
If you know you have bed bugs in one room of your home, the best thing you can do is try to keep them from spreading to other rooms until you can call pest removal services to get rid of them. It’s not an easy thing to do, so the quicker you can get professional help for your bed bug problem the better.
Bed bugs do spread through reproduction, just like any other species. Even though they don’t reproduce a lot all at once, a female bed bug can still lay hundreds of eggs throughout her lifetime. And most of those eggs will hatch, so within a few months, you can go from one fertilized female bed bug to multiple generations of bed bugs in your home.
Catching a bed bug problem quickly is the best way to prevent it from turning into a full-out infestation. The less chance the bed bugs have to reproduce, the easier it will be to get rid of them quickly.
When to Call Pest Removal Services for Bed Bugs
If you find a bed bug in your home but can’t find any others and you haven’t come across any other signs of bed bugs in your home, then it is possible that it was a random bed bug that you just need to quickly get rid of before it can reproduce. However, that situation is more of an exception than a rule, so if you find a live bed bug in your home, immediately start checking for other signs of bed bugs.
The most obvious sign of bed bugs in your home is finding bites on your body after sleeping. However, the bites show up differently on everyone because everyone’s body reacts a little differently to bed bug bites. Some people might have itchy red bumps on their body while others might not have any reaction. Sometimes the bites don’t show up right away, in some cases not showing up for a couple of weeks.
Another sign of bed bugs is red marks on your bedsheets. This can come from blood, feces, or squished bed bugs. You might also find feces in other places around your bed or other furniture. Try to find where the bed bugs are hiding during the day and you’ll find plenty of this evidence.
Finally, you know you have a serious bed bug problem when you start to see shed exoskeletons of bed bugs around your home. Bed bugs shed at each stage of their growth, so if the bed bugs lay eggs, you should start seeing these exoskeletons around as evidence of new bed bugs.
If you can find evidence of bed bugs, and particularly if you start to find bites on your body, it’s time to call pest removal services. Long-term, they can be a detriment to your health. So the sooner you call pest removal services, the sooner you can feel safe in your home and bed again.