With a bed bug infestation often comes the stigma of dirtiness. In actuality, this may not be the case at all. Bed bugs do not discriminate. Even the cleanest of homes can fall victim to a bed bug infestation. These pests are not attracted to dirt and filth, but instead, the warmth and carbon dioxide signaling a delicious blood meal. Here, we explore the primary sources of bed bug infestations.
What causes bed bugs?
With bed bug infestations, there are four common sources:
- Secondhand furniture purchases
- Shared living spaces
- Lack of awareness
A bed bug infestation can happen to anyone. The key is to take the necessary preventative measures and to be aware of warning signs. In the event an infestation does find its way into your home or business, Ehrlich is here to help.
Like many of us, bed bugs love to travel. They can easily latch onto clothes or luggage, hitchhiking to a new destination.
The hospitality industry is at especially high risk for bed bug infestations. Hotels, motels, and other overnight facilities have hundreds of visitors passing through each day. With this much human traffic comes great potential for at least one person to bring along a bed bug or two, starting an infestation.
Vacation rental properties on websites such as Airbnb, HomeAway, or VRBO are also at risk. Visitors from all over the world come to stay, and if they bring along bed bugs, the next renter may just leave with more than they came with.
Secondhand furniture purchases
Much like luggage, used furniture provides bed bugs a direct ride into your home.
Despite their name, bed bugs don’t just live in beds. They prefer to be near humans, so they can also be found on other furniture like chairs, sofas, and dressers. If a piece of furniture is infested with bed bugs, the item’s new owner can quickly develop a bed bug infestation. This is especially true if pregnant bed bug females or their eggs are present.
Before you bring secondhand furniture into your home, be sure to inspect it for signs of bed bugs. Detection can be difficult for the untrained eye, so you may even consider having a pest management professional inspect the items, especially mattresses.
Shared living spaces
Another common source of bed bug infestations is a shared living space such as a college dormitory or multi-family housing facility such as an apartment complex.
In the case of dormitories, the inhabitants come from different places, often all over the country or even the world. There is no way to be sure where students’ belongings have been and what potential pest problems could be hitching a ride. With many individuals living together in a shared space, it is incredibly easy for a bed bug infestation to spread.
Even though the living quarters are not usually as cramped in an apartment building as they are in a dorm, the threat of a bed bug infestation is omnipresent. If one unit gets bed bugs, these blood-sucking pests only have a short distance to travel to find new, unsuspecting victims in a nearby unit.
Lack of awareness
Lastly and most fundamentally, many people just don’t know much about bed bugs. They don’t know the symptoms of bed bug bites, how to prevent bed bugs, or even how to identify bed bugs. Luckily, our bed bug experts have compiled the answers to all of the most common bed bug questions in our Essential Guide to Bed Bugs.
How to tell if you have bed bugs
Unfortunately, without the help of a pest professional, it can be difficult to spot bed bugs in your home. They like to stay hidden, coming out only when their victims are asleep. It is imperative that bed bugs during all life stages are eliminated in order to get rid of the infestation. Bed bug eggs, in particular, can be nigh impossible to spot. Your best bet is to enlist the help of the bed bug experts at Ehrlich.
You may discover that you have bed bugs after finding bites on your body. However, everyone reacts differently to bed bug bites, so they can easily be confused with bites from other pests. If you do suspect a bed bug problem, act quickly. Our bed bug specialists are trained to detect bed bugs anywhere they might be hiding and identify even the most subtle signs. Rest assured that Ehrlich Pest Control can protect you and your family, returning you to pest-free living.
Signs of a bed bug infestation
Aside from actual bed bug bites, there are some other signs of bed bugs that you should look out for. They are as follows:
- Shed skins – bed bugs leave these behind when they move onto a new life stage
- Dark red/black stains – these are fecal deposits left behind after bed bugs consume a blood meal
- An unpleasant odor often described as being similar to coriander
- Blood spots on your bedding
- The live bed bugs themselves (though they prefer to come out at night)
To control bed bugs in your home or business, you can count on the bed bug control experts of Ehrlich Pest Control. Contact us to have a specialist come out to your property.