If you are wondering how do bed bugs get into your house and bedroom, read on to find out more about how they are spread and how to prevent infestations.
Bed bugs, scientifically known as cimex lectularius, are small parasitic insects that are usually brown or black in color, in the size of an apple-seed. They usually only come out at night and they primarily feed on the blood of humans when they are asleep.
Where Do Bed Bugs Live and Hide?
Typically, as the name suggests, bed bugs live in mattresses, box springs or sometimes under the linens. During the day, they hide in cracks and crevices of beds, walls, headboards, bed frames and wooden floorboards. However, they can also be found in books, carpets and even phones – basically anywhere that provides them with easy access to you while sleeping.
How Do Bed Bugs Spread and How Did They Infest My Home?
In the recent years, surge in the spread of bedbugs has been attributed to the increase in international travel as well as a decrease in the use of potent pesticides such as DDT (that helped mostly eradicated these pests from developed nations before it was banned in the 1970s to 1980s for environmental and health concerns.)
Bed bugs are efficient hitchhikers and often spread by hitching rides on people’s clothing, luggage, beds and other furniture.
They also spread through mattresses. Reconditioned mattresses, which are refurbished old mattresses, often spread bedbugs into stores and homes, resulting in an infestation. In addition, bedbugs can spread when old and new mattresses are transported together. Bedbugs are able to spread through rooms and even apartments.
How Do I Know If My House and Bed Is Infested With Bed Bugs? Signs and Symptoms
Bedbugs are small, cryptic and agile and because of their minute size, they are rarely seen in action by humans. The first signs of a bedbug infestation are usually from the bites on your body by the bugs. Bedbug bites are generally painless, although they can be itchy and cause a bed bug rash. The bites tend to start as swollen wheals, then gradually disappearing after a few days.
Besides the bites, there are other signs and symptoms that may indicated an infestation:
- Small bloodstains from crushed bedbugs on bed sheets or other bed linen
- Detection of dark spots of the bug’s excrement on bed or walls
- An offensive musty odor in the room or house when infestations are severe
If you suspect that there is an infestation, you should have a look at the crevices in walls and bed frames to be sure.
Tips to Prevent and Keep Bed Bugs Out From My House and Bed?
Prevention is better than cure. It is less messy to take precautions against bedbugs than to get rid of them after an infestation.
You may take the following steps to prevent them from spreading in your homes and bedrooms:
- Use a mattress cover – a plastic or tightly woven one, to prevent bedbugs from crawling in and out
- Seal and repair any cracks on your home’s exterior to prevent any insects from entering
- Clean your house regularly – reduce any unnecessary clutter and vacuum your mattresses
- If possible, do not buy or pick up any secondhand furniture