How Do Bed Bugs Spread?

Bed bugs usually like to reside in areas that humans spend a lot of time, such as beds, chairs, and other warm places. Basically, anywhere they can feed off blood! A low level infestation can easily turn into a big infestation if it isn’t dealt with quickly, and it’s so easy for bed bugs to spread from place to place. They can spread to other items of furniture, and even objects like lamps and frames. They can spread from room to room, and you can even bring them home with you from trips away. You can also take them away with you! Bed bugs are notoriously great hitchhikers. Let’s take a more detailed look at how bed bugs are spread:

Poor Hygiene?

Some people believe that bed bugs are spread through poor hygiene or attracted to it, when this isn’t the case at all. The fact is, bed bugs don’t care whether your home is clean or dirty. They’ll hang around because they get unlimited free drinks at the bar (that’s you, by the way). It doesn’t matter whether you live in a slum or a mansion, bed bugs will hitchhike their way into your home if they can. Their goal is world domination!

When Bed Bugs Fly

Some people seem to believe bed bugs fly, but this is one pesky bug that doesn’t have wings. The only way they can spread is if they hitchhike somehow, or crawl. They crawl about 1 metre a minute.

Bed Bugs are Professional Hitchhikers

This is how bed bugs are spread every time. They will hitch a ride in your suitcase, on your clothes, and any other way they can travel. They are professionals when it comes to scoring free trips on airplanes, buses, and trains too. They don’t even care where they are going! You can find bed bugs in places like theatres and taxis, so it isn’t uncommon to pick them up in there with your purse/bag, and then take them somewhere new. They like to be anywhere you’ll find a large number of people. This includes hotels, motels, dorms, apartments, etc. This is why homeowners of single family homes have less chance of getting bed bugs than those who have many people coming and going. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t get them.

One thing you can feel slightly happier about, is that bed bugs prefer not to travel on human bodies. They prefer to be further removed from hair and skin, so at least you’re not the one has the infestation. You’re far more likely to find them on a backpack, on your shoes, or your suitcase.

Bed bugs don’t just feed off humans. They can also feed off animals. This is why you may also find them in bird’s nests and bat’s nests, gardens, and sheds.

Staying in Hostels and Hotels

A common reason bed bugs spread is because people don’t check their hotels and hostels for bed bugs before staying in there or unpacking their things. You should always check to make sure there are no signs of bed bugs before you stay in a hostel or hotel. Leave your luggage out of the way to start with, as this is how many bugs will travel with you. Then use a credit card and a torch if you can to help you check the mattress. Check in every small space, such as seams and even in headboard patterns. They can also reside on bedside tables and underneath the bed, so be thorough with your search. Don’t just look out for the bugs, but for stains that indicate their presence, shed skin, and eggs. If you do find signs, then make sure you tell management immediately. You definitely don’t want to end up sharing a room with them!

Even when you’re finished checking for bugs, it’s a good idea to store your luggage away from the bed and other pieces of furniture, if you can. Some people even like to take the extra precaution of sealing things such as their shoes in plastic bags. It might seem extreme, but you wouldn’t think so if you’ve ever had an infestation before.

Buying Used Clothing

Buying used clothing is brilliant for the environment, not to mention our budgets! Usually, clothes are in perfect condition and we get a bargain deal. However, bringing it home and wearing it or hanging it without washing it first is a huge mistake. You don’t know where it’s been, and whether bugs have taken a fancy to it like you. Always thoroughly wash things before you wear them if second hand.

Second Hand Books

Another great way to save money and be good to the environment, but also another great way to spread bugs, is through used books. They love to hide, and the bindings make the perfect hide and seek spot. Check over second hand books before purchasing them.

Bringing Second-Hand Furniture Home

Whether you buy the furniture second hand, have been given it, or find it lurking by a bin somewhere is irrelevant. It’s more than possible to bring bed bugs home with second-hand furniture. Mattresses, chairs, and all kinds of other items can carry bed bugs. Knowing what to look for and checking things over before you bring a piece of furniture home is really important. In some cases, the bed bugs might not be so obvious, which is why you must be careful if taking used items home with you.

Other Ways of Spreading

There are a few other ways bed bugs can spread to place to place. They may sometimes go through cracks in walls, doorframes, ceilings, and anywhere else they can fit their blood-swollen bodies. If they lay eggs in furniture and you move your furniture to another location, you’ll help them to infest even more rooms in your home. If a room hasn’t had anybody in it for a while, they may even migrate to another room in search of blood to suck on. Bed bugs can even spread through use of commercial laundry machines, and vacuums used for multiple rooms.

Cluttered Spaces

Bed bugs may be indifferent about hygiene, but they love clutter. Your home doesn’t need to be dirty for them to stick around and spread like wildfire, just cluttered. The more clutter you have, the more places they have to hide. This makes it even harder for you to get rid of them. They’ll hide inside switchplates, under baseboards, in clothing piles, laundry rooms, and just about anywhere else you can think of.

Dealing with bed bugs as quickly as possible is crucial to prevent them from spreading. While they don’t reproduce all that quickly compared to other bugs (the common housefly lays up to 500 eggs over 3 days, while bed bugs produce 1 per day), it’s still important to get the problem dealt with as soon as you can. In cold climates, bed bugs can live up to a year without feeding. This means it doesn’t even matter if your property is uninhabited for a while. They won’t just die out!

You can’t expect to get rid of bed bugs by simply getting rid of your furniture. You could inadvertently end up spreading the bugs to somebody else’s home, if you’re not careful. Using homemade bed bug treatments and chemicals yourself isn’t recommended either, as it could be dangerous. Getting a professional to come and check out your problem, before recommending the best treatment for your situation is the best way to do it.

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