How Can Bed Bugs Travel

Bed Bugs FAQs

What are bed bugs?

Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are small, flat, parasitic insects that feed solely on the blood of people and animals while they sleep. Bed bugs are reddish-brown in color, wingless, range from 1mm to 7mm (roughly the size of Lincoln’s head on a penny), and can live several months without a blood meal.

Where are bed bugs found?

Bed bugs are found across the globe from North and South America, to Africa, Asia and Europe. Although the presence of bed bugs has traditionally been seen as a problem in developing countries, it has recently been spreading rapidly in parts of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other parts of Europe. Bed bugs have been found in five-star hotels and resorts and their presence is not determined by the cleanliness of the living conditions where they are found.

Bed bug infestations usually occur around or near the areas where people sleep. These areas include apartments, shelters, rooming houses, hotels, cruise ships, buses, trains, and dorm rooms. They hide during the day in places such as seams of mattresses, box springs, bed frames, headboards, dresser tables, inside cracks or crevices, behind wallpaper, or any other clutter or objects around a bed. Bed bugs have been shown to be able to travel over 100 feet in a night but tend to live within 8 feet of where people sleep.

Do bed bugs spread disease?

Bed bugs are not known to spread disease. Bed bugs can be an annoyance because their presence may cause itching and loss of sleep. Sometimes the itching can lead to excessive scratching that can sometimes increase the chance of a secondary skin infection.

What health risks do bed bugs pose?

A bed bug bite affects each person differently. Bite responses can range from an absence of any physical signs of the bite, to a small bite mark, to a serious allergic reaction. Bed bugs are not considered to be dangerous; however, an allergic reaction to several bites may need medical attention.

What are the signs and symptoms of a bed bug infestation?

One of the easiest ways to identify a bed bug infestation is by the tell-tale bite marks on the face, neck, arms, hands, or any other body parts while sleeping. However, these bite marks may take as long as 14 days to develop in some people so it is important to look for other clues when determining if bed bugs have infested an area. These signs include:

  • the bed bugs’ exoskeletons after molting,
  • bed bugs in the fold of mattresses and sheets,
  • rusty–colored blood spots due to their blood-filled fecal material that they excrete on the mattress or nearby furniture, and
  • a sweet musty odor.

How do I know if I’ve been bitten by a bed bug?

It is hard to tell if you’ve been bitten by a bed bug unless you find bed bugs or signs of infestation. When bed bugs bite, they inject an anesthetic and an anticoagulant that prevents a person from realizing they are being bitten. Most people do not realize they have been bitten until bite marks appear anywhere from one to several days after the initial bite. The bite marks are similar to that of a mosquito or a flea — a slightly swollen and red area that may itch and be irritating. The bite marks may be random or appear in a straight line. Other symptoms of bed bug bites include insomnia, anxiety, and skin problems that arise from profuse scratching of the bites.

Because bed bug bites affect everyone differently, some people may have no reaction and will not develop bite marks or any other visible signs of being bitten. Other people may be allergic to the bed bugs and can react adversely to the bites. These allergic symptoms can include enlarged bite marks, painful swellings at the bite site, and, on rare occasions, anaphylaxis.

How did I get bed bugs?

Bed bugs are experts at hiding. Their slim flat bodies allow them to fit into the smallest of spaces and stay there for long periods of time, even without a blood meal. Bed bugs are usually transported from place to place as people travel. The bed bugs travel in the seams and folds of luggage, overnight bags, folded clothes, bedding, furniture, and anywhere else where they can hide. Most people do not realize they are transporting stow-away bed bugs as they travel from location to location, infecting areas as they travel.

Who is at risk for getting bed bugs?

Everyone is at risk for getting bed bugs when visiting an infected area. However, anyone who travels frequently and shares living and sleeping quarters where other people have previously slept has a higher risk of being bitten and or spreading a bed bug infestation.

How are bed bugs treated and prevented?

Bed bug bites usually do not pose a serious medical threat. The best way to treat a bite is to avoid scratching the area and apply antiseptic creams or lotions and take an antihistamine. Bed bug infestations are commonly treated by insecticide spraying. If you suspect that you have an infestation, contact your landlord or professional pest control company that is experienced with treating bed bugs. The best way to prevent bed bugs is regular inspection for the signs of an infestation.

This information is not meant to be used for self-diagnosis or as a substitute for consultation with a health care provider. If you have any questions about the parasites described above or think that you may have a parasitic infection, consult a health care provider.

Do Bed Bugs Travel on People?

Travel Tips

Believe it or not, bed bugs can travel via human hosts. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images )

Related Articles

They’re creepy, they’re crawly and they’re often quite difficult to spot. Bed bugs – blood-sucking, tiny parasites that dine on human and animal hosts – have become a concern worldwide due to their stealthy ways of getting around. Unfortunately, the little critters are more mobile than we would like to think.

Bed Bug Bites and Basics

Bed bugs – named for one of their favorite hangouts – tend to be found in linens, between cracks in mattresses and even in cracks and crevices in the floor. They leech off their human or animal hosts, with bed bug bites leaving scabby trails of rashes and marks across the skin. Because they are mostly active at night, it can take awhile for a person to notice that his home or hotel room has bed bugs.

How Bed Bugs Spread

Not everyone is aware that bed bugs can be spread via humans: if a person goes to a hotel room that has bed bugs, and the bed bugs hide out on the person or on the person’s luggage, the bed bugs can be spread to a new location. Because of this, no house is safe from a bed bug infestation. Bed bugs can spread from house to house, living in even the cleanest conditions; bed bugs are not a sign that a person’s home is dirty or unkempt.

Looking for Bed Bug Evidence

If you suspect that your home has been hit by bed bugs, look for the following telltale signs: small scabs or rashes in a line-like pattern on your skin, small fecal droppings or small blood smears on your sheets. The bed-bug bites will most likely be across your face, arms, or legs – the areas that are not covered by your pajamas as you sleep. Remember, though, that not all people will develop a rash if being bitten. You’ll also want to check for bugs in your mattress and in your luggage by closely inspecting them.

Eradicating Bed Bugs for Good

Though a variety of sprays and ointments are out there marketed as beg-bug killers, the truth is that many of these products do not work. You can attempt to rid yourself of these pests by vacuuming every inch of your apartment and by putting your linens in a dryer set on the highest setting. While it’s rare to find bed bugs on the clothes you’re wearing – they tend to fall off once you start moving – you should still wash any potentially contaminated clothing as well. A severe infestation will require the attention of a licensed exterminator; it can often take more than one visit from the exterminator to ensure that the bed bugs are really gone.

Disclosure

Leaf Group is a USA TODAY content partner providing general travel information. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.

How Do Bed Bugs Travel?

Bags & Personal Belongings

Bed bugs are transported by people, most often in personal belongings such as the following:

  • Luggage & Suitcases
  • Purses
  • Gym bags
  • Items kept close to sleep areas

They can hide in your personal belongings, or even on you, and hitchhike a ride back to your home, condo, townhouse or apartment.

Many people ask if bed bugs can jump, but they can’t and dont travel that way.

Where do you pick them up?

It’s possible to pick up bed bugs almost any place – they’ve infested offices, stores, hotels, gyms and countless other places.

Prefer people over pets

The common bed bug prefers to feed on human hosts and does not prefer pets or other furry animals.

Bed bugs are easily transported into previously non-infested dwellings.

Once indoors, they can be extremely difficult to control without the help of an experienced pest specialist.

If you suspect you may have picked up some of these hitchhikers in your travels, call Orkin for a comprehensive bed bug inspection and assessment and implementation of a treatment solution.

How Fast do Bed Bugs Spread? 3 Ways They Move and Multiply

Contrary to what you may think, bed bugs don’t have a preference between a spotless space or a filthy environment. As long as they have access to a food source, they can live anywhere, so claims that bed bugs are attracted to dirt and debris are simply unfounded. That being said, clutter does make it easier for these insects to hide, which may fuel the misconceptions. Their ideal environment is warm and provides access to a blood meal. Given those conditions, you may be wondering how fast bed bugs spread? Let’s look at some of their travel habits and what you need to know about how quickly they can make themselves at home.

How Fast do Bed Bugs Spread From Room to Room?

Every day, bed bugs can lay between one and 12 eggs, and anywhere from200 and 500 eggs in a lifetime. Those numbers should speak for themselves if you’re wondering how long it takes to get an infestation of bed bugs. It doesn’t take long for a problem to grow out of control, so the sooner you contact a pest control professional for inspection and treatment, the better off you’ll be.

Bed bugs need to take blood meals from warm-blooded hosts — typically humans — to survive, and they’ll hide near their sources until ready to feed. How fast bed bugs spread from room to room depends partly on how long it takes to move an infested piece of furniture, clothing, luggage and/or other household item from one room to another. They can also move throughout the house in search of other hosts. If the conditions are favorable, they’ll continue breeding wherever the item (or items) is moved.

How do Bed Bugs Spread From House to House?

The rate of how bed bugs spread from house to house increases the more time you spend traveling. They’re great hitchhikers, and hotels, hostels, airplanes, cruise ships and public transportation are ideal places to pick up these uninvited guests.

  • Movement of items:Bed bugs can move from one site to the next by traveling on luggage, clothing, bedding, boxes and furniture. They’re prevalent anywhere that has ahigh rate of overnight guests, including universities and hospitals.
  • Crawling:Bed bugs don’t fly, but they can crawl at a pretty high speed with six legs.Traveling three to four feet per minute on most surfaces, it’s the equivalent of the average adult sprinting. This makes it easy for bed bugs to travel between floors and rooms, and quickly tuck into a new hiding spot before being seen.
  • Breeding:After feeding, bed bugs head back to their hidden locations to digest and mate. If the conditions are right, an egg can mature into an adult in as little as a month and a half, and each bed bug could live anywhere from four months to over a year. Bed bugs are focused on feeding and breeding and will invade and multiply at lightning speed as a result.

How do Bed Bugs Spread From Person to Person?

Bed bugs need blood meals to survive and blood to breed, but they don’t live on human hosts. In fact, how bed bugs spread from person to person really doesn’t have anything to do with people themselves but the movement of infested items. For example, houseguests could unknowingly bring them into your home from their travels, and kids could bring them back on their backpacks from school.

Bed bugs are opportunistic, hiding and waiting until it’s convenient to feed. And if their areas are disturbed, they’ll find a way to move to a neighboring location, which can make the situation much more difficult to inspect and treat. How fast bed bugs spread is really up to you.Contact a Terminix® pest control professionalto stop the spread of bed bugs.

Do Earwigs Bite?

If you shudder a little when you think about earwigs, you’re probably not alone. They’ve developed quite a nasty reputation, thanks to urban legends (mostly false) that have been circulating for years. But are they harmful?

The Lifespans of Insects With Short Lives

Many insects, such as butterflies, have a lifespan that occurs in four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Other insects, such as grasshoppers, do not have a pupal stage and instead go through three stages: egg, nymph, and adult. The length of each stage can vary based on many things, from the insect species to the temperature outside—but what some insects share in common is a very short adult stage. Keep reading to learn about five insects with some of the shortest adult stages in their lifespan.

The Return of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

The change of seasons from summer to fall means many things: leaves changing colors, dropping temperatures, and—depending on where you live—stink bugs sneaking into your home. Stink bugs were named for their distinct ability to emit an unpleasant odor when they are threatened or disturbed by predators like lizards or birds. This also means that if stink bugs enter your home and feel threatened, you’ll be faced with dealing with their strong smell in your house. As we head into fall, you might find yourself with more active stink bugs than usual, so it’s important to know the basics about these smelly insects.

What are Earwigs?

Most people have probably heard of earwigs at some point or another. These creepy-looking insects are associated with some urban myths. Learn the truth about earwigs, including what attracts them and how to help get rid of them.

ARE TICKS DANGEROUS?

The majority of ticks will deliver painless bites without any noticeable symptoms. However, some ticks can carry a variety of bacteria and pathogens for disease. Although not all ticks are dangerous, you don’t want to risk coming into contact with these blood-sucking insects.

ARE TICKS DANGEROUS?

The majority of ticks will deliver painless bites without any noticeable symptoms. However, some ticks can carry a variety of bacteria and pathogens for disease. Although not all ticks are dangerous, you don’t want to risk coming into contact with these blood-sucking insects.

Are Bed Bugs Contagious?

Bed bugs are not too picky about where and when they catch a ride and don’t necessarily have a preferred mode of transportation, so it’s no surprise how many people wonder, are bed bugs contagious?

Related Articles

Do Earwigs Bite?

If you shudder a little when you think about earwigs, you’re probably not alone. They’ve developed quite a nasty reputation, thanks to urban legends (mostly false) that have been circulating for years. But are they harmful?

Cluster Flies In Your Home

If you’re like many homeowners, you’ve dealt with annoying flies ruining your summer barbecues and outdoor dinner parties. You may have even become accustomed to whipping out the flypaper and heavy-duty bug zappers the minute you hear the familiar buzz of a fly. These annoying pests are likely house flies, which can pose significant health risks to you and your family. But have you ever seen large, sluggish flies loitering inside your home in the autumn and winter? They may be cluster flies.

Tips to Get Rid of Stink Bugs in Your House

Now that it’s fall, it’s officially indoor stink bug season. Before it becomes winter, brown marmorated stink bugs are looking for comfortable overwintering sites to spend the cold months—and that can often mean that they may find a way to sneak into your house. While the odor that a stink bug releases is not dangerous, they are definitely a nuisance. Luckily, there are steps you can take to get rid of stink bugs in your house—without having to deal with the unpleasant smell.

What are Sand Fleas?

Many people love going to the beach to spend time in the sun, sand, and water. But they might not love some of the nuisances that live at the beach or in the ocean, such as gnats or jellyfish. But, what about the sand flea, a small critter that can be found in moist areas such as under rocks or debris. Keep reading to learn exactly what sand fleas are and if you need to worry about them.

The Lifespans of Insects With Short Lives

Many insects, such as butterflies, have a lifespan that occurs in four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Other insects, such as grasshoppers, do not have a pupal stage and instead go through three stages: egg, nymph, and adult. The length of each stage can vary based on many things, from the insect species to the temperature outside—but what some insects share in common is a very short adult stage. Keep reading to learn about five insects with some of the shortest adult stages in their lifespan.

The Return of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

The change of seasons from summer to fall means many things: leaves changing colors, dropping temperatures, and—depending on where you live—stink bugs sneaking into your home. Stink bugs were named for their distinct ability to emit an unpleasant odor when they are threatened or disturbed by predators like lizards or birds. This also means that if stink bugs enter your home and feel threatened, you’ll be faced with dealing with their strong smell in your house. As we head into fall, you might find yourself with more active stink bugs than usual, so it’s important to know the basics about these smelly insects.

Can bed bugs travel in a car?

Generally, you’ll find bed bugs hiding in or near your bed. Since bed bugs like to stay close to their host, they’re typically found in the room that you sleep in. However, bed bugs are born to travel, and can be found just about anywhere that people frequent. This includes hotels, airports, and yes, your car.

While bed bugs can be found in your car, it’s not particularly likely. Bed bugs would usually use a car just to move from host to host, and probably won’t stick around for long. The odds of you finding bed bugs nesting or mating in your car are very slim.

The best chance you have of encountering bed bugs while driving is to bring them on your person or in their luggage – they may then choose to move to another hiding place in the vehicle, though they are most likely going to stay put until after the trip.

If you suspect that there are bed bugs in luggage or other belongings that you are going to bring on the road, you should try and treat the items first. A portable heater like a PackTite would be your best option; a bed bug heater can safely heat its contents to over 120 degrees, which will kill bed bugs in minutes.

You could also spray the outside of an empty suitcase with JT Eaton’s Bed Bug Control, a contact spray for luggage and mattresses. Allow the luggage to thoroughly dry before putting its contents back in.

If you believe that there may already be bed bugs in your vehicle, you’ll want to confirm an infestation first. Start by cleaning out the interior of your car by removing clutter and debris between your seats, around the floors, and in the center console. Next, lay down some pheremone bed bug traps, like Bird-X’s Bed Bug Alert. These will attract and trap any bed bugs in your car within 24 hours.

Add Comments: