People hear the term “bed bug” or “bedbug” and they shudder, hoping to never have to deal with this type of pest infestation. Most people assume that bed bugs only gravitate and flourish in dirty environments, but this is not the case anymore. Recent surges in population growth are making bed bug extermination a priority once more, and homeowners are finding the need to call an exterminator to help rid their home of these biting pests.
What are bedbugs?
Bed Bugs are small, reddish-brown oval insects that live on the blood of animals or humans. While they don’t fly, the can certainly get around quickly, moving along walls, floors, and pieces of furniture so fast that they go undetected most of the time. Female bed bugs are to be feared due to their ability to lay hundreds of eggs in a lifetime, each of which is no bigger than a speck of dust. They wreak havoc on your furniture, your bedding, and your skin as they seek their next meal. Just how do they enter your home, and what can you do to prevent this from happening? Here are some unexpected ways that they might begin their unwelcome tenure with you:
Whether they are hiding out in a highly used mattress, or hanging out on a luggage rack strap, these critters can quickly and efficiently hop into your luggage and onto your clothing for a ride home. If you travel frequently, Jordan Larson from CustomBedBug.com recommends that you invest in hard suitcases to reduce your risk of bringing home any bed bugs that could be in your hotel rooms. Taking steps to ensure that you are bringing home clean luggage and clothing is a preventative step in reducing the risk of pest infestation. In addition, houseguests who have done some traveling can also be transporters of unpleasantness when they bring bed bugs into your home. Doing what you can to thoroughly inspect your luggage and clothing before bringing them into your home will help to eliminate potential problems.
Work and school
Commonly used places like workplaces and schools are hotbeds of infection and potential pest infestations. People that you work and attend school with maybe experiencing infestations in their homes, and as they enter these common areas, they are bringing the infestations with them to be transferred to others. Backpacks, extra clothing, briefcases, and other superfluous items can be ideal places for bedbugs to hide out in anticipation of their next home; if you are experiencing an infestation in your home, do what you can to contain it when you leave your home so that you do not spread the problem to others.
Those who live in community housing or apartment buildings can quickly spread infestations from one apartment unit to another. These slick creepers can slip through electrical boxes, move within walls, and hang out in common areas, waiting for a ride to another potential home. Doing what you can to contain, control, and eliminate infestations before they spread is key to keeping community housing developments clean and pest free.
Furniture and clothing
If you are a treasure hunter at weekend garage sales, beware of taking anything used home with you until you are sure that it is not carrying bed bugs with it. Used clothing, furniture, and other household items that enter your home could potentially bring with them an infestation problem; if you simply must bargain shop on the weekends, leave your new purchases outside in a safe location for a few days while you ensure that they are not contaminated, and treat them to prevent infestation issues from entering your home.
What to do if you discover an infestation
If you think you may be experiencing a bedbug infestation, don’t panic. First, call in a professional to assess your situation and identify whether your insects are indeed bedbugs. Don’t attempt to handle the issue on your own with store-bought pesticides; hire a pest control expert to safely and efficiently eliminate your bedbug problem. After treatment, wash all clothing, soft covers for furniture, and bedding in extremely hot water and dry with high heat to kill any additional eggs and bed bugs that may have escaped the first round of pest control. To prevent further issues with the infestation, watch your skin for telltale bite marks, as well as inspect your bedding for reddish-brown blood streaks and excrement that these lovely guests leave behind.
Bed Bugs don’t have to inconvenience you and invade your home; taking the proper precautions and being on the lookout for signs of possible infestation will save you both time and money when it comes to keeping your home clean and pest-free.