How Bed Bug Move

How to Move Without Bringing Bed Bugs With You

Moving is stressful enough already. Dealing with moving companies, boxing up everything you own, and figuring out how you’re going to fit your grandmother’s armoire into a Prius is all more than enough to induce a migraine or two. You shouldn’t have to worry about bringing bed bugs with you while you’re moving.

Unfortunately, if you have bed bugs in your current residence (whether or not you even know that they’re there), there’s a good chance that they will follow your family to their next nesting ground. To top it off, addendums in the fine print pinning bed bug extermination costs on the tenant is an increasingly popular tactic among landlords.

Whether or not you’ve been waking up to bed bug bites, it would be smart to take a few simple precautions to insure that your new home isn’t exposed to an infestation. Here are a few things you can do to make the big move without bringing bed bugs along for a ride:

Launder your clothes, bedding, and pillows.

Before you pack away the clothes in your closet, throw them in the washer and dryer. Whether they’ve been worn recently or not, clothing is a very common hiding place for bed bugs. They’re easy to treat; the high heat setting on any dryer will kill bed bugs and their eggs in a short cycle. Do the same for your beds’ sheets, covers, pillowcases, and pillows. Just make sure to check the labels on each item so nothing gets damaged.

Use a portable bed bug heater.

Since your shoes and books won’t make it out of the dryer in the best shape, you’ll need another treatment method for them. Portable bed bug heaters, like the new ZappBug Oven, are perfect for heat-treating your belongings. A ZappBug can safely heat up your shoes, books, luggage, chairs, rugs, papers, bedding and more. It can be set up in minutes, and starts heating with a push of a button; within six hours, any bed bugs or eggs inside will be toast.

Use new packing material and boxes.

Asking neighbors, family members, and local stores for their empty boxes has always been a smart way to move on a budget. However, this does carry a risk of inviting bed bugs to join you on the ride to your new home. To avoid this, consider purchasing new, sealed boxes and packing materials. You can find everything you need at your local post office, office supply store, or business shipping center. Don’t open the packages until you’re ready to start packing, to prevent bed bugs from hiding in them.

Don’t buy used furniture.

In the same vein of avoiding used boxes and packing peanuts, you should definitely steer clear of used furniture. Couches and mattresses on the street are one of the most common ways that bed bug infestations spread. The previous owners may or may not have known that they even had bed bugs, but either way it’s simply not worth the risk. If you do come across a pre-owned sofa or loveseat that you can’t resist, treat it with a vacuum and steamer as soon as you bring it home – when done properly, this will kill any bed bugs or eggs hiding inside the upholstery.

Do you have any advice for staying bed bug-free on the move? Don’t keep it to yourself; throw us a tip in the comments or on our Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ page.

How to Move Without Bringing Bed Bugs With You

Moving is stressful enough already. Dealing with moving companies, boxing up everything you own, and figuring out how you’re going to fit your grandmother’s armoire into a Prius is all more than enough to induce a migraine or two. You shouldn’t have to worry about bringing bed bugs with you while you’re moving.

Unfortunately, if you have bed bugs in your current residence (whether or not you even know that they’re there), there’s a good chance that they will follow your family to their next nesting ground. To top it off, addendums in the fine print pinning bed bug extermination costs on the tenant is an increasingly popular tactic among landlords.

Whether or not you’ve been waking up to bed bug bites, it would be smart to take a few simple precautions to insure that your new home isn’t exposed to an infestation. Here are a few things you can do to make the big move without bringing bed bugs along for a ride:

Launder your clothes, bedding, and pillows.

Before you pack away the clothes in your closet, throw them in the washer and dryer. Whether they’ve been worn recently or not, clothing is a very common hiding place for bed bugs. They’re easy to treat; the high heat setting on any dryer will kill bed bugs and their eggs in a short cycle. Do the same for your beds’ sheets, covers, pillowcases, and pillows. Just make sure to check the labels on each item so nothing gets damaged.

Use a portable bed bug heater.

Since your shoes and books won’t make it out of the dryer in the best shape, you’ll need another treatment method for them. Portable bed bug heaters, like the new ZappBug Oven, are perfect for heat-treating your belongings. A ZappBug can safely heat up your shoes, books, luggage, chairs, rugs, papers, bedding and more. It can be set up in minutes, and starts heating with a push of a button; within six hours, any bed bugs or eggs inside will be toast.

Use new packing material and boxes.

Asking neighbors, family members, and local stores for their empty boxes has always been a smart way to move on a budget. However, this does carry a risk of inviting bed bugs to join you on the ride to your new home. To avoid this, consider purchasing new, sealed boxes and packing materials. You can find everything you need at your local post office, office supply store, or business shipping center. Don’t open the packages until you’re ready to start packing, to prevent bed bugs from hiding in them.

Don’t buy used furniture.

In the same vein of avoiding used boxes and packing peanuts, you should definitely steer clear of used furniture. Couches and mattresses on the street are one of the most common ways that bed bug infestations spread. The previous owners may or may not have known that they even had bed bugs, but either way it’s simply not worth the risk. If you do come across a pre-owned sofa or loveseat that you can’t resist, treat it with a vacuum and steamer as soon as you bring it home – when done properly, this will kill any bed bugs or eggs hiding inside the upholstery.

Do you have any advice for staying bed bug-free on the move? Don’t keep it to yourself; throw us a tip in the comments or on our Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ page.

Do Bed Bugs Jump?

Bed bugs do not have wings and are not capable of flight. Unlike other wingless insects such as fleas, bed bugs also are not equipped to jump long distances. Bed bugs may move from host to host, although this is typically accomplished by crawling.

Bed bugs are insects that belong to the order Hemiptera, or true bugs. They are blood-feeding insects that have piercing sucking mouth parts. Bed bugs undergo gradual metamorphosis which includes eggs, nymphs and adults. Nymphs look very similar to the adults with the main difference being the adults can reproduce. Female bed bugs typically lay only a few eggs per day.

The common bed bug prefers to feed on human hosts and does not prefer pets or other furry animals. They are transported by people, most often in personal belongings like luggage, purses, gym bags or other items which are kept close to sleep areas. Bed bugs are not known to transmit diseases to humans. However, their bites can cause skin irritation which can be severe in certain individuals.

If you think you think you have bed bugs, it is best to contact a pest control professional. Homeowners are not likely to resolve a bed bug infestation on their own, due to the bug resistance to many over-the-counter products and the bugs’ ability to hide.

Bed Bug Control

Cimex lectularius L.

Learn what Bed Bugs look like, and how to detect if you have a Bed Bug Infestation.

Find out how Bed Bugs infiltrate your home and where they are attracted to.

Learn about Bed Bug bites. their feces and how they can impact your health.

Learn how Orkin handles Bed Bugs, homeopathic cures and the cost of Bed Bug extermination services.

Do Bed Bugs Jump?

ANSWERING COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW BED BUGS MOVE

One of the most common places humans interact with bed bugs is, no surprise, in the bed.

Because mattresses are often raised two to three feet above the floor, people often have a similar question. Do bed bugs jump onto the bed? How do they get up there?

Do bed bugs jump?

Bed bugs are insects with six legs, and they can get around quickly. Bed bugs cannot jump or fly though.

If bed bugs can’t jump or fly, how do they move from place to place?

Bed bugs primarily crawl and are often transported by humans and their belongings.

How fast are bed bugs able to move?

These irritating pests can crawl three to four feet per minute on most surfaces.

That may not seem fast, but when scaled to human terms, the speed would equal that of an average adult sprinting. It is comparable to many ant species, and it is certainly fast enough for them to find a crack or crevice to hide in on the bed or bed frame.

How do bed bugs get onto beds?

Bed bugs make their way to mattresses by crawling up the legs of bed frames and nearby items that touch the bed.

Bedding and linens that hang down far enough to touch the floor can also provide a means of access. When headboards or other parts of the bed touch the wall, bed bugs can make their way onto the bed.

Bed bugs prefer natural and textured surfaces to travel on because their feet don’t provide traction on slick surfaces.

What should I do if I see a bed bug?

If you see or suspect bed bugs crawling on your mattress or anywhere else, call the professionals at Terminix® to assist.

MSU Extension

You can’t run away from bed bugs. They will move with you unless you take these vital steps.

If you find that you have bed bugs in your home or apartment, it can be tempting to move out in the hopes of easily escaping the infestation. Unfortunately, unless you take the right safety measures, the bed bugs may move right along with you. If you find that you must move to a new place before your bed bug infestation has been eliminated, the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) fact sheet, How to Move and Leave Bed Bugs Behind includes several things you can do to avoid bringing the pests with you to your new home.

  • Before packing, wash and dry all fabric items on the hottest recommended setting and then seal them in clear plastic bags labeled “clean.”
  • When packing, place all of your items in clear plastic bags and seal the bags tightly. Sort the items by type. For example: Clothing, towels, blankets and sheets. Separate items that are known to be infested from clean items.
  • Items that can’t be sanitized in a washer and dryer, such as electronics, appliances, books, etc., may be treated with special heating units designed for eliminating bed bugs. Another option is to place the items in plastic bins with tight-fitting lids and treat with dichlorvos pest strips according to label instructions. A third option is to ask a pest management professional how these items should be treated.
  • Purchase mattress encasements for each mattress and box spring. Mattress encasements will trap any bed bugs that may be on the mattress and/or box spring and keep them from getting out. They will also keep other bed bugs from getting to the mattress.
  • If you decide to throw away any bed bug infested items, such as sofas or mattresses, wrap them in plastic and clearly paint or write “bed bugs” on them. This should prevent neighbors from bringing the items into their homes. You may want to go even further and destroy the items by slashing them in order to discourage others from picking them up and taking them home.
  • On moving day each person should shower and change into clean clothing and shoes. Any clothing that was worn prior to showering should be put in plastic bags and sealed until they can be laundered. If you have pets they should be given a bath to ensure they are bed bug free before taking them to your new home.
  • All furniture that is being moved to the new home should be cleaned and treated by a pest management professional before it is moved.

After moving, you must be sure that your belongings are bed bug free or your new home will become infested as well. Wash any items not labeled “clean” before you put them away or use them. If you acquire any new or used furniture, inspect it carefully before bringing it home to make sure it is bed bug free.

If you are renting, contact your building manager immediately if you notice any signs of bed bugs in your new home. The earlier a bed bug infestation is found and treated, the easier it will be to eliminate the bed bugs.

Michigan State University Extension has partnered with MDCH to address the bed bug issue. For information on how to prevent or treat bed bug infestations, visit the MDCH website at www.michigan.gov/bedbugs.

This article was published byMichigan State University Extension. For more information, visit https://extension.msu.edu. To have a digest of information delivered straight to your email inbox, visit https://extension.msu.edu/newsletters. To contact an expert in your area, visit https://extension.msu.edu/experts, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).

Did you find this article useful?

Bedbugs

In this Article

In this Article

In this Article

Bedbugs are small, oval, brownish insects that live on the blood of animals or humans. Adult bedbugs have flat bodies about the size of an apple seed. After feeding, however, their bodies swell and are a reddish color.

Bedbugs do not fly, but they can move quickly over floors, walls, and ceilings. Female bedbugs may lay hundreds of eggs, each of which is about the size of a speck of dust, over a lifetime.

Immature bedbugs, called nymphs, shed their skins five times before reaching maturity and require a meal of blood before each shedding. Under favorable conditions the bugs can develop fully in as little as a month and produce three or more generations per year.

Although they are a nuisance, they are not thought to transmit diseases.

Where Bed Bugs Hide

Bedbugs may enter your home undetected through luggage, clothing, used beds and couches, and other items. Their flattened bodies make it possible for them to fit into tiny spaces, about the width of a credit card. Bedbugs do not have nests like ants or bees, but tend to live in groups in hiding places. Their initial hiding places are typically in mattresses, box springs, bed frames, and headboards where they have easy access to people to bite in the night.

Over time, however, they may scatter through the bedroom, moving into any crevice or protected location. They may also spread to nearby rooms or apartments.

Because bedbugs live solely on blood, having them in your home is not a sign of dirtiness. You are as likely to find them in immaculate homes and hotel rooms as in filthy ones.

When Bedbugs Bite

Bedbugs are active mainly at night and usually bite people while they are sleeping. They feed by piercing the skin and withdrawing blood through an elongated beak. The bugs feed from three to 10 minutes to become engorged and then crawl away unnoticed.

Most bedbug bites are painless at first, but later turn into itchy welts. Unlike flea bites that are mainly around the ankles, bedbug bites are on any area of skin exposed while sleeping. Also, the bites do not have a red spot in the center like flea bites do.

People who don’t realize they have a bedbug infestation may attribute the itching and welts to other causes, such as mosquitoes. To confirm bedbug bites, you must find and identify the bugs themselves.

Continued

Signs of Infestation

If you wake up with itchy areas you didn’t have when you went to sleep, you may have bedbugs, particularly if you got a used bed or other used furniture around the time the bites started. Other signs that you have bedbugs include:

  • Blood stains on your sheets or pillowcases
  • Dark or rusty spots of bedbug excrement on sheets and mattresses, bed clothes, and walls
  • Bedbug fecal spots, egg shells, or shed skins in areas where bedbugs hide
  • An offensive, musty odor from the bugs’ scent glands

If you suspect an infestation, remove all bedding and check it carefully for signs of the bugs or their excrement. Remove the dust cover over the bottom of the box springs and examine the seams in the wood framing. Peel back the fabric where it is stapled to the wood frame.

Also, check the area around the bed, including inside books, telephones or radios, the edge of the carpet, and even in electrical outlets. Check your closet, because bedbugs can attach to clothing. If you are uncertain about signs of bedbugs, call an exterminator, who will know what to look for.

If you find signs of infestation, begin steps to get rid of the bugs and prevent their return.

Bedbug Treatments

Getting rid of bedbugs begins with cleaning up the places where bedbugs live. This should include the following:

  • Clean bedding, linens, curtains, and clothing in hot water and dry them on the highest dryer setting. Place stuffed animals, shoes, and other items that can’t be washed in the dryer and run on high for 30 minutes.
  • Use a stiff brush to scrub mattress seams to remove bedbugs and their eggs before vacuuming.
  • Vacuum your bed and surrounding area frequently. After vacuuming, immediately place the vacuum cleaner bag in a plastic bag and place in garbage can outdoors.
  • Encase mattress and box springs with a tightly woven, zippered cover to keep bedbugs from entering or escaping. Bedbugs may live up to a year without feeding, so keep the cover on your mattress for at least a year to make sure all bugs in the mattress are dead.
  • Repair cracks in plaster and glue down peeling wallpaper to get rid of places bedbugs can hide.
  • Get rid of clutter around the bed.

If your mattress is infested, you may want to get rid of it and get a new one, but take care to rid the rest of your home of bedbugs or they will infest your new mattress.

Continued

Bedbug Extermination

While cleaning up infested areas will be helpful in controlling bedbugs, getting rid of them usually requires chemical treatments. Because treating your bed and bedroom with insecticides can be harmful, it is important to use products that can be used safely in bedrooms. Do not treat mattresses and bedding unless the label specifically says you can use them on bedding.

Generally it is safest and most effective to hire an experienced pest control professional for bedbug extermination.

Sources

University of Kentucky College of Agriculture: "Bed Bugs."

Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet: "Bed Bugs."

The New York City Department of Heath and Mental Hygiene: "Stop Bed Bugs Safely."

University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension Lancaster County: "Managing Bed Bugs."

Add Comments: