Bed Bugs are gross and upsetting. It doesn’t matter whether you find them in a five-star hotel or a cheap hostel–you still won’t feel safe. Unfortunately, bedbugs don’t discriminate. If a host is infested, other travelers and locals in that region could be affected too.
These bed bug infestation tips will help you avoid bringing bed bugs to your friend’s home or back from a staycation.
How Do Bed Bugs Spread?
Because they don’t have wings, bed bugs must move about only by crawling. As a result, infestations may develop more slowly in particular situations. However, they can traverse through walls, up and down pipes, and cracks in the floor and ceiling.
Bed bugs spread from house to house in a variety of ways. They can travel on clothing, luggage, or small items like books or dolls. They can also live in curtains and rugs, which means they could be transported from one home to another by moving furniture or just walking around with your shoes on. They’re also known to hitch rides on pets, so they can spread from home to home if you bring your dog or cat into a different residence.
How Do Bed Bugs Reproduce?
The female bed bug lays anywhere from 5 to 7 eggs each day and can lay up to 250 in its lifetime. These eggs hatch for about ten days and molt five times before adulthood.
The eggs are white or yellowish and are about 1mm long. The eggs hatch into nymphs, which look like smaller versions of adult bed bugs. Nymphs feed on blood immediately after hatching. It takes 2-4 months for them to be adults.
How to Prevent Spreading of Bed Bugs
It’s easy to spread bed bugs to others, but following these guidelines can protect yourself and those around you.
- Keep your luggage off the floor when you’re traveling so that you don’t bring home bed bugs from a hotel room or another location where they were present.
- Vacuum everything thoroughly, including your furniture and carpets.
- Apply heat treatment (heat for 90 minutes at 118 degrees Fahrenheit) to all items that can’t be washed or vacuumed.
- Keep your belongings in plastic bags until they can be washed or dry-cleaned. It will prevent them from spreading to other areas of your home.
- Seal cracks. Ensure that any cracks or holes in walls, floors, and ceilings are sealed with caulk. If you have damaged furniture or worn it down, replace them.
- Inspect luggage before going home. If you have been staying in an area with reports of bed bug infestations (such as a hotel or dorm room), inspect your luggage before going home. Check for bedbugs on your clothes and belongings; if you see any, throw them out immediately!
- Don’t buy second-hand furniture. Bed bugs hide in tiny cracks and crevices in used furniture. When purchasing furniture, ensure it’s been inspected for bed bugs before bringing it home!
Signs of Bedbugs
Bedbugs are a serious problem, and it’s essential to know how to spot them. Bedbugs hide in crevices, so you’ll need to look carefully for signs of their presence.
- Musty odor: The bugs emit a musty odor as they feed on blood, so if you notice a stale smell coming from your bed, it could mean that bed bugs are hiding in your mattress.
- Bedbugs themselves: The insects are brownish-red and about the size of an apple seed, so if you see any tiny bugs crawling around on your sheets or pillowcases, it could be a sign of an infestation.
- Bedbug eggs: If you see small white shells on your sheets or pillowcases, baby bed bugs might be hiding under them! They are 1mm in size.
- Red spots on your skin that are raised or inflamed disappear after 14 days.
- Black dots on your sheets or mattress. These are excrement from the bugs themselves.
- Dark spots on your sheets or mattress resemble rust stains (this is dried blood).
- Finding bug casings (punctured exoskeletons) that are yellow in your bed or furniture.
Even though bed bugs are considered an invader to most people, you can try to prevent spreading bed bugs to others by following these tips. But if you have a bed bug problem, look for a pest control exterminator. It is also a good idea to alert your neighbors so that they can look for signs of a possible infestation in their apartments or homes. You must always remember to practice proper sanitation, which involves cleaning your home and treating any item you move out of your infested home.