How Did Bed Bug Get In My House

How did bed bug get in my house

A look at how do you get bed bugs, how they spread in your home, where do the bugs live and hide as well as how to check for the symptoms of bed bugs.

Most people heard this little ditty growing up:

"Good night, sleep tight;
don’t let the bed bugs bite!"

As kids, most of us found that amusing. Bed bugs are no laughing matter, however; they are repulsive blood-sucking parasites. Their scientific name is Cimex lectularius. Like mosquitoes and ticks, bed bugs are insects that feed on blood. They are small (an adult is about a quarter-inch long), flat and oval-shaped.

Where Do Bed Bugs Live And Hide?

Bed bugs are particularly well-adapted to live parasitically on humans. So where do bed bugs live and hide? No bigger than apple seeds, they typically hide in tiny cracks in headboards, on bed frames, deep in mattresses, inside electrical outlets, as well as in furnitures. Bedding and mattresses provide the ideal breeding ground for these pests; the warmth and moisture – plus the warm bodies of hapless sleepers to feed on nightly – make the bed a perfect hiding place and home for them.

How Are Bed Bugs Spread And How Did They Get In My Home?

Bed bugs spread when an individual comes into contact with them in an infested room or apartment. Contrary to common belief, bed bugs are not attracted to dirt or filth and do not discriminate when it comes to infesting homes of both the rich and poor.

They have been reported to be found from the dingiest budget motels to the swankiest five-star resort – and these tiny pests spread by hitching a ride back to the victim’s home through the luggage or clothing.

Bed bugs can also sometimes spread through secondhand clothing bought at yard sales, from used furniture picked up off the curb or from refurbished items sold in stores.

Once the bugs are in your home, they will crawl their way into bedding or furniture upholstery where they stay dormant during the day but come out at night to feed on their victims.

How To Check For Bed Bugs: Signs And Symptoms

Like mosquitoes, ticks and vampire bats, bed bugs have evolved the remarkable ability to generate a natural anesthetic; as a result, people rarely actually feel the bites when bed bugs are feeding. Once bitten, however, the result is fairly noticeable. Like a mosquito bite, the bitten spot tends produce a reddish welt that itches a great deal.

One of the specific markers for bed bug bites is the presence of welts in rows; three or four welts that often appear on the skin very close together. This is because the insect responds to small movements as people sleep. It pulls out of the skin and continues with another bite right next to the first. In addition, several of the critters may be feeding side-by-side.

Another way of detecting the presence of bed bugs is to inspect your mattress and bedding. Are there any unusual small, reddish-brown stains on the bed sheets? These could be indicative of bed bugs which fed and were subsequently crushed, spilling their blood meal on the mattress or mattress cover.

To sum up, if you suspect you have been bitten by a bed bug, look for the following:

  • Rows of red, itchy welts on the skin that appear in a linear or clustered pattern
  • Consistent new bite marks or bumps that appear on your body every day
  • Reddish or brownish (dried blood) stains on mattresses or bedding

Tips To Prevent And Keep Bed Bugs Out Of Your Home And Bed

With rising reports of bed bugs infestation across various cities in the United States and around the world, the following are some simple prevention steps one can take to protect oneself:

    Do not pick up second-hand furniture off the street even if it look great. If you bought or rent a used furniture, have it inspected before bringing it back home.

  • If you travel, first check out Bed Bug Registry for any reports of bed bugs in the hotel you intend to stay. Once in the hotel rooms, always inspect the hotel mattress, sheets and headboards for any signs of bed bug activities.
  • When returning home from your travels, immediately have your luggage inspected in the bathroom tub and dump all the clothing to be washed in hot water (minimum 120В°F) for at least 20 minutes.

    Reducing clutter around the house and regular vacuuming to limit areas where bugs can hide.

    Invest in a bed bug proof mattress encasement to protect against an infestation inside the mattress as well as guard against bed bug bites.

  • Apply pesticides like bed bug spray and powders to defend your perimeters around the apartment, house or bed.
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    Department of Health

    Bed Bugs – What They Are and How to Control Them

    Bed bugs have been around for thousands of years. They feed on blood, but are not known to spread any diseases to humans. Some people can be allergic to their bites. Getting rid of a bed bug infestation is not easy, but there are steps you can take to control the problem. There are also steps you can take to avoid bringing bed bugs home.

    What are bed bugs?

    How can bed bugs get into my home?

    • They can come from other infested areas or from used furniture. They can hitch a ride in luggage, purses, backpacks, or other items placed on soft or upholstered surfaces.
    • They can travel between rooms in multi-unit buildings, such as apartment complexes and hotels.

    How can I avoid bringing bed bugs into my home?

    • When staying in a hotel, place your bag on a suitcase stand rather than on the bed or floor. Keep the rack away from walls or furniture. When returning home, wash the clothes from your trip and put them in a hot dryer.
    • Inspect new and used furniture before bringing it inside. Look in seams, tufts and under cushions.

    How do I know if I have a bed bug problem?

    • You can see the bed bugs themselves, their shed skins, or their droppings in mattress seams and other items in the bedroom.
    • There may also be blood stains on sheets.

    How do I control a bed bug problem in my home?

    It can be done, but it usually requires what is called an "integrated pest management" (IPM) approach. This combines techniques that pose the lowest risk to your health and the environment. Try these strategies:

    • Clean and get rid of clutter, especially in your bedroom.
    • Move your bed away from walls or furniture.
    • Vacuum molding, windows and floors every day. Vacuum sides and seams of mattresses, box springs and furniture. Empty the vacuum or the bag immediately and dispose of outside in a sealed container or bag.
    • Wash sheets, pillow cases, blankets and bed skirts and put them in a hot dryer for at least 30 minutes. Consider using mattress and box spring covers –the kind used for dust mite control–and put duct tape over the zippers.
    • Seal cracks and crevices and any openings where pipes or wires come into the home.

    Should I also try pesticides?

    Pesticides may not be effective and can be dangerous if used improperly. If you decide to use pesticides, follow these rules:

    • Only use pesticides that are registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (look for the U.S. EPA Registration Number on the label) and make sure they are labeled to control bed bugs.
    • Do not apply pesticides directly to your body (there are no repellents registered to control bed bugs that can be used on the human body).
    • Do not use outdoor pesticides indoors.
    • If you decide to hire a pest control company, make sure they have experience with bed bugs. They should follow the steps of IPM, along with any pesticide application. Use a company that is registered and employs licensed applicators. The Department of Environmental Conservation has a list of registered companies.

    It takes time and persistence to get rid of bed bugs, and in some cases, the cooperation of landlords, neighbors and others. It can be physically and emotionally exhausting. It can also be expensive when pest control companies are called in. Just remember – bed bugs are more of a nuisance than a health concern and, with vigilance, you can avoid or deal with infestations.

    See the following for more information on bed bug biology and control measures:

    Photo courtesy of Dr. Harold Harlan, Armed Forces Pest Management Board Image Library

    Learn About Bed Bug Infestations So You Will Be Better Equipped to Fight Yours!

    A bed bug infestation is a big deal. It can disrupt your sleep/life, and you may have no idea what is happening to you or how to stop it. Bed bugs are different from most other household insect pests and are much more difficult to live with and to get rid of.

    Bed bugs are keen to find a way into your house, and you have to be aware of their “migration tactics” in order to thwart them. You need to know how they move from house to house and room to room, how fast they can spread, where they are likely to hide, and what options you have for killing them.

    Make no mistake. A bed bug infested home means your home has just become a war zone. You can’t let the enemy sneak by unnoticed under your radar, and knowing the facts about bed bugs is winning half the battle.

    Table of Contents

    Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?

    Bed bugs are quite willing to enter your premises uninvited, take up permanent residence, and help themselves to a blood feast. But where do they come from to begin with?

    The fact is, bed bugs live primarily in human habitations all over the world, be it in mattresses, box springs, carpeting, picture frames, cracks in floor, furniture, or a host of other locales.

    Of course, bed bugs ultimately hail from the great outdoors, and you may find some still living there in tall grasses, but they are overwhelmingly an “indoor insect.”

    Transferred from Person to Person

    Unlike fleas and lice, bed bugs do not tend to live permanently on human beings or animals. Instead, they will generally hide is some hard to reach nook or cranny and come out at night to feed. That’s why they like to live in or near beds and other places people sleep or sit for long periods.

    But, it is still possible for bed bugs to be transferred from person to person.

    Here’s why:

    • They can get into your clothes, purse, laptop bag, jacket, or anything else you wear or carry about.
    • From there, they can get onto clothes of others you are in close contact with.

    Their eggs can also be found on clothes sometimes, and if egg-infested clothes of yours touched someone else’s clothes, even the eggs could get transferred.

    So, while it’s not very likely, it is possible for bed bugs to move from person to person.

    Spread From House to House

    Bed bugs, as clever as they are, do not generally walk long distances between buildings. They have other ways of getting into your house.

    These stealthy home-invasion strategies include (but are not limited to) the following:

    • Hitch a ride on your laundry, luggage, or other possessions that you bring back from a bed-bug-infested hotel room.
    • Your pet might pick up a bed bug while visiting another house (or even outdoors) and then bring it back to your place.
    • Bed bugs may be hiding in furniture in one house, but the owner may sell it at a garage sale or put it on the curb to dispose of it. Then, you take that old bed-bug-ridden piece of furniture into your house, thinking it’s a great find.
    • You sleep over at a friend’s house where bed bugs live. Bed bugs get into your stuff or on your person, and you unknowingly transport them home with you.
    • If you live in a multi-unit home or apartment complex, these bugs can crawl down the hall, through vents, and through cracks in the walls to get into your living quarters.

    Spread from Room to Room

    You may, perhaps, imagine that bed bugs can’t get around too fast. It’s true they have small legs and can’t hop or skip, but they can walk up to 100 feet in a single night. They just “keep going till they get there.”

    Bed Bug Hiding Spots

    And bed bugs are known to move through the inside of walls, which they will access via outlets if not through cracks. They can run inside of in-wall piping for a quicker move from room to room. It really doesn’t take more than a single night for them to migrate to a new room. And they can even get into your vacuum cleaner so that you are helping them spread quicker as you clean the carpet.

    It could be a matter of days before your entire house is infested, given you have enough of a bed bug population and your bed bugs are motivated to look for food/water/blood somewhere other than where they are at the moment.

    Infestation Map

    I found a bed bug, you say, so where should I look for more? Can I map out the infestation so I can map out an eradication plan?

    Unfortunately, there’s no way to be sure of all the nooks and crannies your unwelcome guests may be hiding in, and they may even move around from night to night. All you can do is know the likely spots and apply bed bug killer.

    I Have One Bed Bug. Does It Mean an Infestation?

    A single bed bug may or may not indicate you already have a true infestation.

    But if you do find a bed bug, here are some things to keep in mind:

    • A single impregnated female can produce a whole population. She will lay the eggs and then breed with her own offspring.
    • The odds are in favor of your not having found the only bed bug in your house. Where there’s one, there are probably more.
    • Bed bugs can go 6 months or more without a blood meal, and many individual bugs may not feed more than once a week on average. Thus, you won’t see them all out searching for food at the same time.
    • Is the bed bug red-bodied? Then it was feeding. If they’re feeding, chances are they’re breeding.

    My Bed

    Once in your bedroom, bed bugs will have no trouble finding your bed. They are attracted to carbon dioxide such as warm-blooded animals exhale and to your body heat. As soon as they sense CO2 and heat at night, they will go to your bed because you, their target, are lying on it.

    Bed bugs can get into your bedroom on your dirty clothes, on the clothes you are wearing, or by hiding in suitcases, hand bags, boxes, furniture, or anything else you bring into your room that offers them good cover.

    Walls

    Do bed bugs live in walls? The answer is: sometimes. Walls are not necessarily their number one or preferred hideout, as with cockroaches, but when no better shelter exists near their feeding zone, they’ll be quick to reside inside wall cavities.

    Of course, there has to be an entry point for them to get into the wall. So if your walls have cracks or small holes in them, caulking it up, painting over it, or otherwise sealing it off may deny your bed bugs a hideout.

    Wood Floors

    Yes, bed bugs can live inside wood flooring. They can even crawl along inside the seams between wood planks, even when those seams are rather tight.

    The pancake-flat bodies and small size of bed bugs allow the to get into and live in even the most inaccessible areas. There are few wood floors, if any, that are so tightly put together that bed bugs couldn’t get into them.

    Infestation Timeline

    You may be wondering what to do if you have bed bugs, and how long you have before they overrun you. You may be waking up at night, staring at the clock, and wondering, “How long do I have?”

    How Long Does It Take for Bed Bugs to Infest?

    Here are four facts you should know that will give you an idea as to how long it takes for a bed bug infestation to get started and to get into “full swing:”

    1. Female bed bugs can lay from one to five eggs per day and ultimately 200 or 250 eggs in a lifetime.
    2. Eggs will hatch in five to 10 days’ time, and the emergent nymphs will immediately begin looking for a blood meal.
    3. It takes around four or five weeks for a bed bug to reach maturity, going through five molts along the way.
    4. Bed bugs will live around four to 10 months, but life spans may vary quite a bit based on conditions (and on your extermination efforts!)

    The Life Cycle of a Bed Bug

    Conclusion: an infestation can get rolling in less than a week, become unbearable in one to two months, and reach peak population levels in six months to a year, given the right conditions and plenty of blood.

    What You Should Know

    You may be wondering, “Do bed bugs go away if I just leave them alone a while?” Wishful thinking may have its merits, perhaps, but no, they normally won’t just go away on their own.

    My Apartment Is Infested With Bed Bugs. Now What?

    If your apartment definitely has a bed bug infestation, what can you do about it? You’ll need to learn how to kill bed bugs and how to keep them from coming back.

    Here are Five Key Steps you can take to eradicate your blossoming bed bug population:

    1. Clear away all the clutter from your bedroom or other infested area. In fact, clean and organize your whole house like you were getting ready for white glove at college.
    2. Wash and dry all your clothes and linens that could possibly have gotten exposed to bed bugs or their eggs. Use the high-heat setting.
    3. Spray bed bug killer along the baseboards, into cracks and crevices, onto mattresses, box springs, upholstered furniture, and anywhere else it’s safe to spray it. Also apply diatomaceous earth under and around your bed, set up CO2 bed bug traps, and use rubbing alcohol to protect your exposed skin at night.
    4. Use a one-two punch bed bug fogger bomb approach. The first bombs will kill off adults mostly. Wait two weeks so the surviving eggs can hatch, and then bomb to wipe out the hatchlings before they mature and repopulate.
    5. You can repeat the four steps above several times, but if the problem persists, call in a professional who can safely heat your home to 118 degrees Fahrenheit to kill every bed bug.

    Three Steps to be Bed-Bug-Free

    Can They Come Back After Treatment?

    Bed bugs can return the same way they got into your home to begin with, even after you totally eradicate them.

    Thus, you need to think about how they may have gotten in. Stop bringing in garage sale or curbside furniture, routinely sprinkle diatomaceous earth along your door’s bottom if you live in an apartment complex, or change whatever else it takes to keep them out!

    Learn how bed bugs spread into and throughout houses and how their population explodes. Take measures accordingly without delay to kill them and prevent a return. Knowing the facts about your bed bug infestation will help you end it!

    You can find further details of Bed Bugs Control here.

    About Inga Cryton

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    Where Do Bed Bugs Come From – How Do You Get Bed Bugs

    How do you get bed bugs in your house? Anyone who has ever woken up with a chain of red blisters from the bites of night parasites would wonder where bed bugs come from. In most cases, bed bugs are not transferred to the apartments. The thing is that they live there for decades, not revealing their presence at once. Mostly these insects spread from one apartment to another, but where do bed bugs come from?

    It is impossible to answer this question because they just spread through the building being attracted by the presence of humans. How do bed bugs get in bed? After penetration into the premises, insects hide under the beds, in the wardrobes, under the carpets, behind the baseboards, in the cracks of furniture and in mattresses. These insects prefer to settle in places where they can bite people during night time.

    In suburban areas bed bugs find human dwelling using their sense of smell. Then insects move to the buildings from chicken coops and rabbitries, where they parasitize on the skin of medium-sized animals. However, bed bugs parasitism on other mammals and birds is more like an exception, because these insects usually feed on human blood.

    Bed bugs are not very mobile insects. They cannot fly and run much slower than cockroaches, but they can survive without food for quite a long time. Thus, bed bugs can travel for long distances. How do bed bugs spread? Despite the fact that these parasites cannot run fast, they spread through the apartment considerably quickly. They move freely through ventilation holes, electrical wiring channels and cracks in doors. Due to flat shape of their bodies these insects are able to crawl even where no cracks or holes are visible. It is impossible to isolate an apartment from bed bugs because they come through the outlets and by the outer walls through the windows. It is especially true for the apartments in old high-rise buildings and the houses built in the countryside.

    How Do You Get Bed Bugs in Your House

    First, people get bed bugs by bringing them home from journeys. For example, bed bugs can be in the luggage and the things brought from the trips, to the warm countries in particular. Tropical Egypt, Thailand, Indonesia and India seem to be a paradise for thermophilic bed bugs. Thus, travelers have to remember that the last place they traveled to before the bugs appearance is the most likely to be a historic homeland of the blood-sucking parasites. In this case, you can bring a single adult female that may lay eggs and give rise to a new population. You should be cautious because these insects can hide or accidentally fall into the pleats of the clothes, into the suitcases, bags and footwear, and travel through several time zones. This way of getting bed bugs is particularly relevant for backpackers, who often change hotels.

    One more common method of how bed bugs come to the new house is hiding in the furniture, especially in the new one. In furniture factories or stores bugs have nothing to eat; thus, new products are not infested. Pieces of furniture from infested houses and apartments are, on the contrary, the main breeding ground for these parasites.

    People can also get bed bugs on clothes. Although these insects prefer to bite open skin areas, they often hide in the clothes left in the apartment or taken off before going to bed. Thus, you can bring bugs into your house by visiting the infested house or taking guests from such a place. Moreover, there are known cases when bed bugs were found in expensive clothing shops in unworn clothes. The insects got there from people who lived in the infested apartments or from neighboring premises.

    Furthermore, bed bugs can get into the house with new appliances. These insects prefer to spend the daytime in warm places. Thus, they can stay in laptops, tablets, scanners, microwave ovens, and any other appliances, and be transferred to a new place from the store.

    Moreover, bed bugs can get into the apartment being carried by animals. It is a very rare way of transferring these insects, but it may happen too. Despite the fact that bed bugs do not feed on cats and dogs because they cannot bite their skin tissue, these pets can transfer the parasites. Moreover, bats and birds can be transmitters of these parasites as well.

    Thus, once appeared in the house, bed bugs can spread through the entire apartment. They can inhabit all the places where they can be caught only by the professional desinfectants. Moreover, bed bugs can fall into anabiosis because of the absence of food. Thus, the bugs can stay in uninhabited apartments for more than a few months. A flat can be perfectly clean at first glance, but insects and their larvae will crawl out of the cracks as soon as they smell a human body.

    "How Did Bed Bugs Get Into My Home"

    Bed bugs are secretive insects. They live in the dark in tight cracks, crevices, and holes near sleeping areas. New bed bug infestations are usually centered around the mattress and bed frame. In heavier infestations, bugs move out to occupy hiding places further from the bed as well.

    Bed bugs can hide in beds, furniture, piles of clothing, back packs, and similar everyday items. They can live for 6 or 7 months between feedings

    Common Ways for Bed Bugs to Infest Homes & Apartments

    The most common way for bed bugs to invade your home is for you, your family, or your friends to bring them in without realizing it.

    Bed bugs are excellent “hitch-hikers.”

    Here are some ways you could bring bed bugs into your home:

    • Picking up bed bug-infested beds, mattresses, or furniture that has been discarded and placed on the street or by a dumpster.
    • Visiting someone who has bed bugs and carrying them back with you on your clothing or possessions.
    • Children playing together in one home after another can be transferring bed bugs in their toys and backpacks.
    • Staying overnight in a bed bug-infested room in a hotel or home and bringing them home in your luggage.
    • Renting furniture infested with bed bugs from furniture rental companies.
    • Buying bed bug-infested second-hand furniture, carpets, blankets, luggage, pictures, and fixtures from stores, yard sales, auctions, and flea markets.
    • Bed bugs can also migrate from one apartment to the next through pipe and wiring runs, and through wall and ceiling voids, in the same way that cockroaches move between apartments.

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