Seasoned travelers know that you have to always be on the lookout for bed bugs whenever you are sleeping away from home. Unfortunately, bed bugs are common in hotels, dorms, and homes all over the world, so avoiding them can be difficult.
If you’re going on vacation, moving your college student onto campus, or renting an apartment this summer, knowing how to check it for bedbugs ahead of time can help save you a huge headache later.
Keep reading to learn more about these pesky little insects and how to avoid them wherever you stay.
Bed bugs are small parasitic insects that feed on the blood of humans and other mammals. They’re about the size of an apple seed and have flat, oval-shaped bodies. They are typically brown in color but look reddish-brown once they are engorged with blood.
Bed bugs prefer to feed on people while they sleep. This is why they are most often found in sleeping quarters such as bedrooms, hotels, and cruise ship cabins.
However they can also be found all throughout homes, offices and other settings. They prefer warm, dark, undisturbed places and can hide in various types of furniture. This includes hiding inside wall cracks, underneath wallpaper, even inside electrical outlets.
Female bed bugs typically lay 5-7 eggs per week, which can add up to a whopping 250 eggs in their lifetime. They can live for months without feeding, which makes infestations hard to treat.
Bed bugs can’t fly or jump, but they can move quickly and hide easily in tiny crevices. This allows them to remain undetected as they hitch a ride on our clothing, furniture or other belongings. Once they reach their new destination, they set up camp, start laying eggs and quickly grow into a huge infestation.
Some common ways bed bugs are spread from place to place include:
As you can see, it’s easy to pick up bed bugs and bring them into your home without ever realizing it, but how do you know if it has happened to you?
Bed bugs are tiny and skilled at hiding so it may be tough to spot the bugs themselves. Luckily there are other signs that may indicate that you have a bed bug infestation.
Bed bugs don’t carry any diseases or parasites, so you won’t get sick if you’re bitten. However, the bites are usually very itchy and may cause painful swelling, especially if you have sensitive skin. Most people can treat the bites themselves with over-the-counter creams and ointments. However, occasionally the bites can become infected or trigger an allergic reaction.
The real problem with bed bugs is that they’re very difficult to get rid of since they can reproduce easily. They can also go long periods or time without eating and travel from place to place undetected. It can be hard to eliminate all of the bed bugs in your home completely so they simply repopulate.
Since bed bugs can be found in so many different places, it can be hard to avoid bringing them home. That said, there are a few things that you can do to help minimize the risk.
Get in the habit of checking for bed bugs anytime you sleep away from home. Remember, bed bugs are not a reflection of cleanliness. They can be present even in expensive hotels or luxury homes.
To check for bed bugs:
Even if you take all the precautions when traveling, you could still find yourself with a bed bug infestation at home. If you find signs of bed bugs in your home it’s important to work quickly to try to contain the problem.
You can drive yourself crazy trying to launder every item in your home, but unfortunately, the only sure-fire way to get rid of a bed bug infestation is to call a professional exterminator. They use non-chemical treatments such as high heat or very cold liquid nitrogen to rid your home of bed bugs safely and permanently.
If you suspect you could have bed bugs in your home don’t waste time trying to hunt them down yourself- call Drive-Bye Exterminators. Our experts are trained to spot the signs of bed bug infestations and get rid of them fast.