Posing a serious threat to households worldwide , bed bugs tend to live in cozy and temperature specific surroundings. This is why bed bugs are majorly found in houses or hotel rooms. In addition, you can even find bed bugs hidden in a tiny crack in the wall, breeding and multiplying their number and the probability of threat to you.
This article will guide you about the possible causes, the signs, and the prevention methods if you face such a problem.
What Causes You to Get Bed Bugs?
There is often a false notion that if there is a bed bug issue, the area is dirty/not clean. However, you would be surprised to know that bed bugs can come into your home even if it is perfectly tidy. You might think if your space is clean, then what causes bed bugs. The answer to this is simple; bed bugs look for their food, that is, blood. That's why the bugs hide in corners and cracks and then come at night in your bed to get their food (your blood).
How do bed bugs enter a household
Now that you know why let us now tell you how bed bugs reach your place. A bed bug can enter your home by coming in contact with another one. Be it a bug that was in the hotel room's mattress or the one that came with your luggage because you left it on the floor. Therefore, be sure to keep your luggage carefully on the luggage rack and not on the floor. On the other hand, bed bugs can even find their way into your home with someone who comes to visit you or stay at your place. When these bugs find their way into your home, they tend to hide in the small spaces and only come out at night.
Interestingly, since you are on your bed during those hours, these bugs come right in your bed to have their meal. They might find their way through bedsheets touching the floor, the bed legs and also hide in your mattress covers. You cannot observe them with naked eyes or catch them. Sometimes you may find yourself covered with bed bug bites and then only realize you have a bed bug infestation in your home.
So, if you arrive home from a vacation or a meeting that happened outside the city, be sure you did not catch any bed bugs on your way home. They can come from the hotel room you checked in, the airport, or even public transport. Also, remember to immediately wash all your clothes,disinfect your suitcase, and anything you took with you.
Since hotel rooms are the most common reason you carry the bed bugs along, here is an article to ensure you don't return home with bugs.
Signs of bed bug infestation
Bed bugs are not easy to spot. They hide in tiny places and come out at night while people sleep. However, no problem comes without signs. So the moment you suspect bed bugs in your living space, you might notice some of these signs around you.
Itchiness is the first and foremost sign of bed bug infestation. If you wake up and feel itchy on your body, you should know that it is because a bug was on your mattress and bit you while you were asleep. Read this article to know what to do if the bug has bitten you.
Other than that, you can also find blood on your sheets and pillow if you were bitten by a bug last night. Also, there would be a terrible odor. You might not be able to understand the reason behind this smell in your home. However, if you think there is something weird, check for other signs to make sure it is not bed bugs. Lastly, you might also find some fecal marks, shedded skin, and eggshells in the hideouts.
Yes, having the idea of a bed bug infestation in your house can be dreadful and even more the idea of having the bed bug bite on your body. However, there are ways to deal with this problem; let us see how.
7 Ways to Prevent Bed Bugs
Though the list can go long, we have the most effective 7 ways to prevent bed bugs:
1) Wash clothes and bedsheets in hot water
When you realize that your home has become a host of this menace, you need to collect all the clothes, including the bed sheets, put them in a plastic bag, and keep them aside from all other things. Then, it would be best if you washed them in a temperature above 120 degrees (highest heat setting if possible).
This use of high heat will kill bed bugs if there are any in the luggage you carried to a hotel room. If you are out on field trips often, then remember to regularly wash your clothes to curb this issue at a smaller scale. Finally, you can come home with your stuff covered in plastic bags to avoid spreading bugs in your home.
2) Look for any cracks or holes and fill
These reddish-brown bugs can easily hide in the most unreachable places like floor cracks, tiny holes in the walls, and furniture cracks. For disease control, you would have to carefully inspect and adequately identify the cause of this problem in your living space. Check all the walls, smooth surfaces, roof, and furniture for any holes and cracks. Especially if you have recently bought any secondhand furniture, these pests might be laying bed bug eggs there due to your ignorance. Seal any such opening in every nook and corner of your house. With this, you can prevent bed bug infestation from spreading any further.
3) Set traps for bed bugs
If you suspect bed bug infestations in your house, it is better to catch them before the bed bugs bite you. Unfortunately, they can crawl on your bed and enter your mattress and box springs too. If you want to eliminate this bed bug problem, you would want to create some traps for them while you sleep at night. You can choose between active or inactive traps. As the name suggests, the active ones would go all out and treat those tiny insects with chemicals. They help you in catching them and remove them from entering the mattress and box spring.
With the help of inactive ones, you can trap them when they try to reach the bed frames or the box springs. All you have to do is to place a trap under the legs of your bed, and then, the reddish-brown creatures would come into the trap and never reach you.
Here is a short video to teach you how to use a trap.
4) Say no to clutter
It is not necessary that a bed bug will come if you do not have a clean space. But the clutters can be good hiding places for them to live in. So, keeping your space clean and not encouraging bed bug infestations can be a suitable prevention method. Keep vacuuming the surface, the upholstered furniture, and the bedding to curb further infestation. Do not forget to dump the vacuum bag outside, as it contains all the bugs now.
5) Active guard mattresses
There might be a possibility that bugs have already found their way to the box springs; regularly inspect your bed and see if there is any sign of this issue there. To help you in this process and make your life easy, you can get an active guard mattress for your mattresses and let it catch and kill bugs while you sleep peacefully.
This method can help you sleep without worrying about bed bug bites and will also kill any bed bugs trying to crawl onto the mattresses. Also, these covers would help you repel bed bugs from coming back to the bed. Besides, do not worry about your comfort; the cover will give a smooth surface to sleep on and is odorless.
6) Dump bed bug-infested things
As we mentioned earlier, bed bugs are generally found in the used furniture or secondhand items. Therefore, you need to be very cautious that such a bug host is not lying in your home. It can be the bed, sofa, even your bedding, or the If you happen to find a piece of furniture that is already infested with bugs, it is suggested to pack that furniture piece into plastic and put it outside your apartment.
Using plastic is essential so that you do not leave the bed bugs open to crawl into someone else's home or come back to your place again. Also, do not forget to put a warning mentioning the threat of bed bugs in that package.
7) Contact a pest control company
To ensure that you have adequately gotten rid of this issue, you need this last and effective measure, pest control. With pest control, you would be ensuring that you are safe from any bed bug, their eggs, and bites. If you own the space, you can contact a pest control service on your own. Otherwise, you can contact your landlord to get pest control. This way, you would be able to control any bug infestation in your living space.
This is a more critical problem than it seems. So, if you come across any signs of bed bugs in your living space or even in the apartment building where you live, you have to take measures to prevent them from spreading.