Bed bugs can be found anywhere people live, sleep, and travel. They are attracted to warmth, carbon dioxide, and blood, which means they are often found in or near sleeping areas, such as beds, couches, and recliners. Here are some ways bed bugs can be introduced into your home:
Travel: Bed bugs can hitchhike on luggage, clothing, and other personal belongings when you travel and stay in hotels, motels, or other accommodations. Bed bugs can also be found in public transportation, such as buses, trains, and airplanes.
Second-hand furniture and clothing: Bed bugs can hide in second-hand furniture, such as beds, sofas, and chairs, and clothing, such as jackets, sweaters, and bags. Always inspect second-hand items carefully before bringing them into your home.
Visitors: Bed bugs can be brought into your home by visitors, such as friends, family, or service providers, who may have a bed bug infestation in their home.
Apartment buildings: Bed bugs can spread between units in multi-family housing, such as apartments, condos, and townhouses. They can crawl through walls, floors, and electrical outlets, and travel on shared furniture and clothing.
Workplaces and public spaces: Bed bugs can be found in workplaces, such as offices, schools, and hospitals, and public spaces, such as movie theaters, libraries, and waiting rooms.
Moving to a new home: Bed bugs can be present in new or used homes, even if they are clean and well-maintained. Always inspect the home thoroughly before moving in.
It’s important to note that bed bugs do not discriminate based on cleanliness or socioeconomic status. Anyone can get bed bugs, and they can be difficult to detect and eliminate. It’s important to take preventive measures and inspect your home regularly to avoid a bed bug infestation.
Identify the infested areas: Bed bugs are small and can hide in cracks and crevices. Inspect your mattress, bed frame, headboard, and furniture, especially in areas where humans sleep or rest. Look for live bed bugs, blood stains, fecal spots, and shed skins, which are signs of a bed bug infestation.
Wash all bedding and clothing: Remove all bedding and clothing from the infested area and wash them in hot water (at least 120°F) for at least 30 minutes. Dry them on high heat for at least 30 minutes. If you can’t wash an item, put it in the dryer on high heat for 30 minutes.
Vacuum the infested areas: Use a vacuum cleaner with a crevice tool and brush attachment to vacuum all surfaces and cracks and crevices where bed bugs may be hiding. Pay special attention to seams, tufts, and folds of mattresses and box springs, bed frames, and furniture. Vacuum the baseboards, floors, and carpets around the infested area. After vacuuming, seal the vacuum bag or empty the canister into a plastic bag, seal it, and discard it outside.
Seal up cracks and crevices: Use caulk, sealant, or foam to seal up any cracks, crevices, or gaps in walls, floors, baseboards, and furniture where bed bugs may be hiding. This will reduce their hiding places and prevent them from spreading to other areas.
Use a bed bug spray or powder: Apply a bed bug spray or powder to infested areas, following the instructions on the label carefully. Choose a product that contains pyrethrins, pyrethroids, or neonicotinoids, which are effective against bed bugs. Some products require repeated applications, so read the label carefully. Avoid using outdoor pesticides indoors, which can be harmful to humans and pets.
Consider hiring a professional exterminator: If the bed bug infestation is severe or widespread, you may need to hire a professional exterminator who has experience in bed bug control. They may use heat treatment, fumigation, or chemical treatment in their bed bug fumigation service.
Prevent re-infestation: To prevent a re-infestation of bed bugs, take these preventive measures:
Regularly vacuum and clean your bedding, mattress, and furniture.
Use a bed bug mattress cover and pillow encasements to prevent bed bugs from getting into your bedding and mattress.
Inspect second-hand furniture, clothing, and luggage for bed bugs before bringing them into your home.
Seal up cracks and crevices in walls and floors, and repair or replace damaged wallpaper or plaster.
Avoid clutter and keep your home clean and tidy to reduce hiding places for bed bugs.
Remember that getting rid of bed bugs can be a long and difficult process, and it may require patience, persistence, and professional help. Don’t hesitate to seek help if needed.