One of the hardest issues when dealing with bed bugs is understanding where they came from and how they invaded your home. The first thing to remember is that bed bugs can infest anyone, anywhere, at anytime. They are not only found in low income housing, they can be found in multi million dollar homes as well.
How do they get into your home?
Bed bugs simply attach to a shoe, an article of clothing, a suitcase, a backpack or a jacket.
Where are they likely to be? ANYWHERE! Bedbugs have been found in department stores, theaters, libraries, offices, public utility companies, hotels and motels.
Although their favorite mode of transportation is hitchhiking, their favorite place to live and breed is near their food source, humans. And the best place to find a human that’s not going to run away is a sleeping human. So their favorite place to live is on or around a bed, or sofa where people sleep.
Tips to avoid a bed bug infestation
When traveling, always place your luggage on the luggage racks, not on the floor (read more traveling tips here).
Do a visual check of the mattress. Remove linens and look for any bugs, dark blood spots or small black dots, especially in the tufts and creases of the mattress and behind the headboard. If bed bugs are present you should be able to find some form of evidence with a visual inspection. Do this wherever you are staying, with family or friends, mountain cabins, boats, campers, anywhere humans sleep can be infested with bed bugs.
When returning home, unpack all of your clothing in the garage or outside the house. Launder clothing on the hottest settings for both the washer and the dryer. Heat kills bed bugs, eggs and larva.
Leave your luggage in the garage, outside or anywhere away from your bedroom for as long as possible, but at least for 2 weeks. Placing luggage in a large garbage bag will ensure bugs will not travel inside your home.
If you have children it’s always a good idea to follow the same process when returning from a sleepover. Launder pillows, blankets, stuffed animals or anything your child may sleep with when away from home. If carrying a backpack, follow the same process as luggage.
Again, there are ways to avoid a bed bug infestation, being diligent when you travel will keep you safe and possibly save you thousands of dollars in treatment cost.
If you find bed bugs in your home, your best defense is to hire a professional pest control service to eradicate them.