Bed bugs are creepy, sneaky, blood-sucking pests that can enter your home in a number of ways, only to spread with astonishing speed. Knowing how these pesky insects enter and spread can arm you with the info you need to keep them out of your space.
How Bed Bugs Enter Houston Homes
Bed bugs are known for their amazing travel skills, and they can quickly hop from one item to another to hitch a ride right back to your home. A quick rundown provides some of the most common ways these creepy critters can sneak their way in.
Hotels and travel lodgings: Whether they’re hiding in a hostel mattress or hanging out on a hotel’s luggage stand strap, bed bugs can quickly and easily hop into your luggage for a ride back home. They can likewise arrive on your houseguests who have recently stayed at hotels, motels or hostels.
Work and school: Picking up bed bugs at school is not uncommon, as schools are notorious locations other spreading insects and disease. Bed bugs can hitch a ride to your place on your kid’s backpack or clothing. Workplaces are another prime bed bug pickup joint, especially if you work in a communal environment or have frequent contact with other people’s personal items.
Neighbors: If you live an apartment building where one tenant has bed bugs, all tenants may soon have bed bugs. The slick critters can slip through electrical boxes, outlet covers and wall cavities, or hang out in shared areas, like the lobby or laundry room.
Furniture: Used furniture can come infested with bed bugs, and so can new stuff if it was transported in a truck that’s also used to haul away old furnishings. Inspect furniture before you bring it into your home to make sure it’s not packed with uninvited guests.
Clothing: Used or new clothing can be another carrier for bed bugs if it comes from an infested shop or location. Washing items in hot water that’s at least 122 degrees Fahrenheit can kill off the bed bugs before they have a party in your closet.
Other items: Although bed bugs generally prefer fabrics, they can also survive for months without a meal in just about anything. Used books are not safe, nor are electronics like alarm clocks, coffee makers or other devices with dark crevices that make ideal bed bug hiding places.
How Bed Bugs Spread
Once bed bugs get into your home, they can quickly make themselves known by quickly spreading all over the place. Although bed bugs tend to stay in one place once they’ve secured a new location, you can inadvertently cause an entire home infestation if you make the wrong moves.
The wrong moves that make bed bugs likely to spread include:
- Disturbing them. Bed bugs like their peace and quiet. If you’re poking around checking for signs of bed bugs, they’re likely to move to a new location. If you do intend to poke around, just be sure you’re ready to immediately enact bed bug control as soon as you find any so they don’t simply move on to a new room or furniture item.
- Moving infested furniture items. Moving an infested couch from the living room to the family room moves the bed bugs right along with it. When you’re getting rid of infested furniture, seal it in plastic before you move it through the house so bugs and eggs don’t fall off in trail.
- Using the same vacuum for the entire house. If you vacuum up a room full of bed bugs, then use that same vacuum in another room, you again risk moving the bed bugs right along with it. Invest in a specific vacuum you use only for bed bug vacuuming, ensuring the other vacuum remains bed-bug free.
- Letting them go wild and multiply. When a prime bed bug area gets too crowded, some of the bugs are likely to migrate to new locations. This underscores the importance of eliminating bed bugs as soon as possible, before they have the chance to wildly multiply.
- Using foggers or bug bombs. Not only are these devices ineffective for killing off bed bugs, but they can cause the bed bugs to scramble, hide out and, once again, spread.
Now that you have a solid idea of how bed bugs get into your home and spread, you should have a lineup of equally solid strategies for keeping them out.