How Do I Get Bed Bugs?:
7 Ways Bed Bugs Can Spread in Your Place
Bed bugs have been around for thousands of years, and have always invaded human households. Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are tiny, parasitic nocturnal insects that feed on the blood of humans.
Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs do not come due to lack of hygienic surroundings. Even the poshest 5-star hotel can have bed bugs! Bed bugs not only infest beds but can also live in your sofas, curtains, wallpapers, and clothes. They can truly make one’s life miserable with their itchy bites and acrid odor.
So where do bed bugs come from?
It isn’t clear why exactly bed bugs prefer human blood (although it could be because the furless skin is easier to drink from) or where in nature they come from.
But it is clear that bed bugs can hitch a ride using many items and move from place to place. You can have bed bugs no matter how clean your surroundings are, whereas the dirtiest of homes might not have bed bugs.
How do you get bed bugs?
It all depends on what you or your house comes in contact with. Bed bugs are fast breeders – the one-bed bug is enough to start a full-blown infestation. A female bed bug can lay up to 8 eggs a day!
“Bed bugs can hitch a ride using many items and move from place to place. You can have bed bugs no matter how clean your surroundings are, whereas the dirtiest of homes might not have bed bugs.”
-The Bed Bug Inspectors
Ways by which bed bugs spread
- Used furniture: Think that old carved table looks fabulous in your bedroom? Noticed red itchy bites on your skin? The two might be connected. Bed bugs can travel from place to place through furniture. They can hide in the fine cracks of furniture and make their way over to your place.
- Travel: If you travel to new places, there are chances that you’ll pick up bed bugs. They can come from anywhere – from the hotel; you stay at to the cab you travel in. They can hide in your luggage and make their way to new their new home – your home!
- Clothing: Like mentioned above, bed bugs can hide in clothing. Always make sure that you launder all your travel clothes after coming back home. Be a bit careful before buying used clothing or clothing from thrift shops – these can often have bed bugs.
- Bed bug infested neighbors: If you live in an apartment and the apartment next door has bed bugs, there are chances that you’ll get bed bugs too. Unfair, isn’t it? Bed bugs are slow crawlers, but they can travel long distances (up to 100 feet) overnight. So if your neighbor has bought an old mattress that has beds bugs, the chances are that your place will have the creepy crawlies too in a few weeks. The only way to handle this situation is to eliminate the infestation at your place, or better still, take preventive measures.
- Old mattresses: Old mattresses are a big no-no! Don’t take a mattress home that isn’t new. Old mattresses are often reeking with bed bugs (which won’t be immediately visible since they are good hiders).
- Visitors: If you have a friend sleeping over at your place with bed bugs in her clothes (or even other items such as books or bags), you can easily get bed bugs too. As mentioned before, just one-bed bug is enough to start an infestation. Also be careful when you sleep over at someone else’s places – you can bring back bed bugs from there too!
- Other old or used items: Other old and used items such as books, bags, curtains, carpets, mats or ottomans can also be harboring bed bugs. Think twice before buying second-hand or old items!
Leftover bed bugs from an old infestation:
If you don’t properly eliminate the infestation you already have, it is guaranteed that the bed bugs will return in the future.
Bed bugs can stay in hiding and go without food for a year! They are stubborn insects, and often only professional pest control can keep them away.***