Prevention 101: How To Stop Bed Bugs From Spreading
Remember the simple childhood rhyme, “Sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite,”—this saying features the very truth and trouble people going through a bed bug infestation experience. Bed bugs are a major problem for thousands of households across the US. These tiny vermin have a taste for human blood, which makes them seek your household as the perfect place to take up residence. Contrary to what you might believe is the cause of an infestation, bed bugs don’t differentiate between an immaculately clean and a filth-filled environment. As long as these infesting pests can get their required food source, they can be found in both the dirtiest and cleanest of places. However, debris and clutter do make it easier for these pests to remain out of sight. A warm environment and availability of warm human blood form the ideal living environment of these pests.
Regardless of where you are, bed bugs can be a severe nuisance, ruining your good-night sleep, forcing you to get out of bed, and leaving red and swollen marks all over your body. Bed bugs are brownish insects of ovular shape and can grow up to the size of an apple seed. Since these bugs don’t fly, they are incredibly fast and move swiftly across the furniture, ceilings, floors, and walls. Thick carpets, bedding, mattresses, headboards, box springs and dark corners are the perfect hiding place for these pests. A single generation of these pests can accomplish full maturity in less than a year and can produce hundreds of offspring throughout their life.
One of the most frustrating aspects of bed bugs is that there is a high likelihood that they will remain unseen until the first sign of invasion: the bite. After remaining hidden in the mattress, box spring or carpet, they will come out during the night to feed. Bed bugs will pierce the skin and feed for an average of 10 minutes before returning to their hiding place. The bitten spot becomes swollen, reddish, itchy, and inflamed over time and is usually mistaken for the mosquito bite. If in doubt, make sure to give your bedding and mattress a check. Some of the often-overlooked symptoms of bed bug presence include:
- Blood stains on pillow covers and sheets.
- The presence of bug on the mattress
- The presence of bed bug excrement on walls, bedding, sheet, and mattress.
- The presence of discarded bed bug skin and eggs in hiding spots
- The presence of the moldy odor of bed bug’ scent glands in bed.
- The presence of carcasses in sheets and bed.
Unfortunately, bed bug infestations are hard to control and can spread from one room to another if not taken care off. Bed bugs can make their way to your living space via the ceiling, walls, cable wires, doorways, and common pipes. Therefore, if your neighbor has bed bugs there is a chance you may also have an infestation. Although bed bugs do not fly, they are great hitchhikers. These pests can easily hide in your clothing, shoes, and other garments can be transported to another location. Therefore, here are some preventive measures and suggestions that you can implement to evade, prevent or halt a bed bug infestation:
- Carefully inspect your suitcase and bags after travel. Using a bright flashlight or magnifying glass can help detect if bed bugs are present. If you do find bed bugs in your suitcase or other bags, immediately put them in a garbage bag.
- Heat-treat your clothing, personal belongings, shoes, and other stuff before using it for travel purposes. Place these items in a large zip-lock plastic bag, seal it tightly, and heat-treat it thoroughly.
- If you think your vehicle has bed bugs, make sure to contact the pest management professionals for a comprehensive vehicle checkup and inspection. Additionally, certified K-9 bed bug detection dogs are skilled in finding out the live bed bugs and pinpointing the breeding grounds. If your vehicle is infested, make sure to treat it chemically via professional infestation cleaning services. Additionally, to prevent recurrence, keep a bed bug prevention kit in your car, including wet wipes, a solution of isopropyl alcohol, spray, airtight plastic bags, and a flashlight.
- Carry only the necessary items while leaving your house and visiting someone else’s place. To optimize the protection against bedbug infestation, make sure to store the personal belongings in your vehicle.
- Conduct a quick self-inspection while entering a hotel room, Air BnB, VRBO, or other place you may be visiting.