Bed bugs are not something you ever want to find in your home or business. Although they don’t cause serious health problems, they are still unpleasant and unwelcome. They can occur in any type of building. However, hey are more likely in hotels, hostels, and other short-term rental accommodation. If you want to prevent bed bugs, knowing how an infestation begins is a good place to start. You should understand how they are spread so that you can do your best to avoid them. Read on to find out where bed bugs come from and how you can prevent them in your home or business.
What are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are small insects that like to live in and around beds, as well as other areas in the home. They are blood-sucking creatures that will bite people, but they aren’t dangerous. They don’t pass on human diseases and don’t even cause a skin reaction for some people. If they do cause a reaction, it is usually red and itchy bumps on the skin. Unlike some other bugs around your home or business, bed bugs can be spotted with the naked eye. They can be as long as 5mm ( a quarter of an inch) and can be brown, red or even yellow. If bed bugs are present, you may also be able to spot some other things. Eggs from bed bugs may appear as white spots, but they are very small and difficult to see. Another thing you might be able to see is the skin that bed bugs shed as they become adults. These casings appear as brown shells on beds.
What Causes Bed Bugs?
People often think of bed bugs as being associated with hygiene. However, they are not attracted to dirt or repelled by clean surfaces. Even a clean home or business can experience a bed bug infestation. For bed bugs to appear in your home or business, they need to be transported from elsewhere. They are common in short-term accommodation, such as hostels or motels. This is because there are many people going in and out. Tourists and travellers can spread them without realising. They may carry bugs in their clothing or luggage, either as live insects or eggs.
Unfortunately, bed bugs can also spread through a building. They can get into small cracks and holes so that they can move through walls and doors. This means that if one room is infested in a hotel, they could soon begin to move to the rest of the building. This could also occur in a block of apartments or other residential buildings. Bed bugs can begin to infect another room in as little as seven weeks. They could also be brought into a residential or commercial building in furniture or other infested items such as bedding.
How Can Bed Bugs Move?
Bed bugs don’t fly or jump, which is a relief to many people. However, just because they don’t move in those ways, it doesn’t mean they can only travel short distances. They are able to travel for a number of feet without assistance. They crawl quickly and because of their small size can easily get through tiny spaces. Of course, they can go even further if they have assistance from people. If they are able to hitch a ride on clothes, in luggage or in bedding or furniture, they can spread much further. Bed bugs like warmth and may occasionally crawl into other places too. For example, they have been found in laptops and other gadgets that people may carry around.
Preventing Bed Bugs
Unfortunately, there is no foolproof way of preventing bed bugs completely. It can be hard to avoid them as they spread easily and it may take several weeks to spot them. However, there are steps that people can take to prevent an infestation. Most people are unlikely to experience bed bugs in their home. But they may discover them in a rented home or accommodation. If you bring bed bugs into your home, you might pick them up from a hotel, hostel or even a hospital.
One of the steps people can take is to be on the lookout when staying in temporary accommodation. If you are travelling, you should be on the lookout for any possible infestations. Even clean beds can have bed bugs. However, the hygiene standards of accommodation can still be an indicator. If it’s not a particularly clean establishment, they may be less vigilant about checking for bed bugs. You should check around the bed and mattress. Pull back the sheets and look at the seams of the mattress. Don’t forget to look at the headboard and the bed itself. It’s also a good idea to look at upholstered furniture and other features in the room. If you notice any signs of bed bugs, you should change rooms or even find somewhere else to stay. While you inspect the room, put your luggage in the bathroom or somewhere safe so it can’t get infested.
Regular checks of mattresses and around bed frames are one thing you can do to prevent bed bug infestations. Business owners, renters and homeowners should inspect mattresses for signs of bed bugs. The sooner they are detected, the quicker they can be dealt with. This may not prevent bed bugs entirely, but it does help to stop them spreading. Businesses and landlords, in particular, need to be careful to check for bugs. If a lot of people go in and out of the building, there is a higher chance for infestations.
Another good idea is to avoid buying secondhand mattresses. You can be sure that there are no existing bed bugs if you only buy new mattresses. You might also want to be careful when buying upholstered furniture. You don’t need to avoid it completely, but make sure you are careful if you buy something that’s used. It will also help to keep bedrooms tidy. A messy bedroom won’t cause bed bugs, but it can give them more places to hide. It’s a good idea to keep the room free of clutter as much as possible.
Bed bugs may also get onto your clothes and spread that way. You can help to prevent them by handling your laundry in appropriate ways. For example, you can put your clothes in plastic bags while they are waiting to be washed. This helps to prevent any bugs getting out before you do your laundry. You can also wash your clothes in the hottest water that the fabric can withstand to help kill any bugs. Bed bugs can travel on your clothes, but you don’t have to worry about them being on your body. However, they could move from your clothes to other surfaces. If you think there may be bugs on your clothes, it’s best to undress on a hard floor, so they don’t end up in the carpet.
Of course, being educated about bed bugs will help you to prevent them. You can at least prevent them spreading. If you know what they look like and how to spot them, you can pick up on them more quickly. Have a look at some pictures of them, so you can recognise their different forms. You may think you may have bed bugs, but you’re not sure. You can send a sample to a pest controller or entomologist to check.
No one wants bed bugs in their home or business. Knowing how they occur and how to prevent them will help you to avoid infestations.