We’ll begin with the bad news – there are actually countless ways to get a bed bugs infestation. Moreover, bed bugs are hardly discriminating when searching for a new place to set up camp.
It won’t matter if you mop and vacuum every day or if you live in the poshest and most exclusive neighborhood in the city – if a breeding bedbug makes its way into your abode, it will stay right where it is, start reproducing and bite.
So is there any good news? For bed bugs to gain access to your living space, they’ll have to hitch a ride in on something or someone. This means that if you’re extra careful about what and who you allow into your home, you have a pretty decent chance of avoiding an infestation.
Here’s a list of some of the more common causes of bed bug infestations – along with tips that you can use to avoid coming into contact with these biting and incredibly annoying parasites.
How Do People Get Bed Bug Infestations? Let Us Count The Many Ways
1. Get ‘Em at The Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn…
This is a jingle that could have certainly been composed by bed bugs themselves because they’re definitely at hotels, motels and even big-name chains like the Holiday Inn. In fact, these are all among the top three places where bed bugs are routinely found by the average exterminator.
This isn’t really all that surprising given that places of short-term lodging are absolutely perfect for bed bugs – they have high turnover rates and lots of short-term residents – and this equates as plenty of opportunities for these parasites to be introduced. It only takes one female bed bug that’s sexually mature to arrive on the scene, and this single insect can lay up to five eggs each day – she will even mate with her own offspring until space is overrun with an infestation.
After bed bugs have gained access to the property, they’ll spread like wildfire – to adjacent rooms via vacuum cleaners and pipes, as well as into your home by hiding away in luggage, purses and clothes.
One of the most common ways to get bed bugs is to unwittingly pick them up during your travels and thus if you intend to take a trip shortly, you want to know how to avoid picking these parasites up at motels and hotels.
2. “Free” Can Wind Up Costing Quite A Lot
You might be tempted to pick up a beautiful ottoman that’s just been left lying on the street corner. This is an urge that you want to resist because taking discarded furnishings into your living environment is an incredibly common cause of bed bugs infestations.
People aren’t always going to mark furniture that’s riddled with bed bugs – especially if you happen to live in a densely populated area that’s struggling with this issue – these items really aren’t worth the risk, no matter how attractive they might appear.
Even though used and discarded furnishings come at a very high risk – even new sofas and mattresses can be exposed to these insects on delivery vehicles and while they’re in storage. For instance, if you buy a mattress from a company that additionally transports used mattresses – fugitive bed bugs could be hiding in the company’s trucks, just waiting for something new to infest.
3. Choose Your Company Carefully
Bed bugs do not fly, and they certainly aren’t great jumpers – they crawl everywhere they go. Given their compact sizes and the fact that they can live for months without any blood, these bugs can easily travel from one place to another.
They just hide away in purses, bags, and clothing to move from one infested area to the next.
This makes it important to be careful about where you crash out and who you let crash over, especially if you live in a community with widespread bed bug problems. Inviting the wrong people over is an incredibly common cause of bed bug infestation. Learn more about the signs that a person is struggling with bed bugs.
4. You Have Neighbors With Bed Bugs
This one is hardly fair – you might be doing all that you possibly can to prevent an infestation, but you have a dumpster diver as a neighbor who’s constantly picking up every “practically new” sofa he can find until soon enough, you’ve got bed bugs too.
Bedbugs migrate, especially in dormitories, apartments, condos, and other forms of shared housing given that these insects can crawl more than 100 feet in a single night while traveling through vents, cracks in walls and even through the seams of floorboards. They can also get things done the old-fashioned way by crawling right out of the door and across the hall into the next unit.
Because these bugs will breed with their mothers – just a single, reproducing female has to make this journey.
You should be all the warier if your neighbors have a reported case of bed bugs because they may get rid of their infested furnishings by dragging these items right through common areas before properly sealing them. As a result, both bed bugs and their young will be dropped along the way. Find out how to keep your home safe from bed bugs.
5. You Have To Wash Used Clothes
Whether borrowing from a friend, getting donations, or buying clothes at a thrift store, used clothing is a potential cause of bed bugs infestations as well. It’s still possible to shop at thrift stores, but always wash these items before bringing them into your home.
Moreover, these items should be washed in water that’s really hot because bed bugs can survive temperatures up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit and beyond. Here are some helpful hints on how to clean your used clothes to prevent bed bugs.,
This isn’t just something that you should do with used clothes. Linens and stuffed animals that are used should be washed in hot water as well.
Note: Clothes that are purchased brand new can harbor bed bugs – several retail stores like Nike and Hollister had to temporarily shut down their Manhattan locations as the result of bed bugs.
6. Even Non-Fabric Items Aren’t Safe
Don’t even think a used book that you’ve purchased from a street vendor is free and clear. Books are not a common vehicle for these insects, but if they’ve been in areas or homes with infestations, it could happen.
Bed bugs have set up camp in coffee makers, alarm clocks, and many other appliances – particularly appliances with lots of dark hiding places.
Be sure to check everything before bringing anything new or used into your living space.
7. And In Areas That Are Infested With Bed Bugs…
Bed bugs can be present in any environments in which people stay, rest, work or live – including schools, offices, and movie theaters.
If your community has been struggling with bed bugs infestations, even placing your child’s backpack next to another school bag with bed bugs can open the door to a problem.