Dealing with a bed bug infestation will certainly test your patience. These bugs are flat and very small, which is why they can hide easily from view, especially during the day when they are not that active. They can easily hide in mattresses, furniture pieces, bed frames, baseboards, carpets, bedding, and bedroom clutter. Their favorite hideouts are inside box springs and in the seams of your mattress. Identifying an infestation takes time, and is not always about finding black stains on linens and mattresses, but once you have confirmed you have bed bugs in your house, it is important to take action or else things will go out of hand. You will have to struggle hard to clear an infestation, and that is why it is better to take precautionary measures and avoid bringing them in your home in the first place.
Many people do not realize that they actually invite bed bugs home. You do not get an infestation all of a sudden – you notice the problem when you return home after traveling to another city or country. People unpack in hotel rooms without confirming if there are bed bugs or not. Those tiny bloodsuckers cling on to your luggage and move wherever you go. They spread everywhere when you unpack your luggage again after reaching home. Let’s find out more about how you get bed bugs and what you can do to lower your risk of dealing with an infestation.
How Do You Get Bed Bugs
These tiny crawlers can move from one place to another by clinging to your luggage. Bed bug infestations are more common in hotels, domestic households, and dormitories. You may be thinking that even if you do not take care when traveling or checking in a hotel room infested with bed bugs, you may only bring a few bed bugs home. The truth is that those few bed bugs are enough to cause a heavy infestation because a healthy female bed bug can lay more than 200 eggs during her lifetime. It may lay up to 5 eggs a day, which is why a few bed bugs are capable of causing serious problems if you do not react in time.
You can accidently bring bed bugs into your home. Here are some of the most common ways of getting an infestation started:
- Staying at a hotel and not making sure that the room has any bed bugs or not
- Buying used clothing and leaving it in your cabinet
- Buying old furniture pieces without inspecting them carefully for bed bugs
- Buying old books and not checking if they are infested
It is important that you practice serious care when traveling and checking in a hotel. You should be spending some time to ensure that your hotel room is free of bed bugs. This may take a while to finish your inspection, but it saves you from wasting a lot of money and time to clear an infestation from your home. Here are a few things to do to ensure that your hotel room is free of any bed bugs:
- Soon after you arrive at your hotel, be sure to spot check the bed. Leave your luggage in the center of the room – never place it near your bed. You may also utilize the luggage stand in your room to ensure the bags do not touch the floor. Bed bugs cannot fly, so the chances are that they will fail to reach your luggage.
- Check your bed carefully for the presence of bed bugs. You may have to peel back the sheets to check the mattress. Do not forget to run your fingers alone the lower and upper seams. Never ignore the mattress tag because bed bugs often use this area to hide.
- Look for any tiny black spots on your mattress or behind the headboard. This indicates bed bug fecal matter. You should also look for translucent skins behind the headboard and on your mattress.
- Do not ignore any furniture close to the bed. You should be looking in all the dark places mainly because bed bugs do not like the light and often stay hidden during the day.
- Bed bugs shed their skin when they grow, so you should be looking for those shed skins, especially along the edge of your mattress.
- Check all the drawers, and if you see powder there, it may indicate that the room has already been treated for bed bugs. It is better to change your room in this case to be on the safe side.
- Do not opt for a room that has a foul smell – it could be like the smell of spoiled raw beef or may feel like a sweet odor like fresh raspberries. The odor indicates a heavy bed bug infestation.
- Be sure to double check your luggage before you leave your hotel. It may be a time-consuming task, but saves you from bringing bed bugs home. Be sure to have your items treated if you notice any signs of bed bugs.
Similarly, you should practice care when buying used furniture online. You never know what will arrive at your home. By the time you realize your furniture is infested, you may already have bed bugs in your home. Therefore, it is better to avoid buying used furniture pieces, or at least take your time to check for the presence of bed bugs before bringing it home.
It is true that bed bugs are not life threatening and do not carry disease, but they can cause serious discomfort. They feed on your blood and leave bite marks that can cause infections. The saliva of bed bugs contains anticoagulant that can cause itchy, red spots to develop on your skin. It is possible to develop a more serious allergic reaction because of a bed bug bite. Therefore, you need to take steps to get rid of bed bugs, and to avoid the hassle, be very careful when traveling or buying used furniture pieces. Failing to take care would result in a heavy infestation that may require a professional’s attention.