How Do Bed Bugs Get Spread

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.

How do Bed Bugs Spread and How to Prevent it

People often wonder where bed bugs live, how they spread and the ways to prevent this. So, in this guide, we will mainly study how bed bugs spread from place to place and the important steps one can take to prevent this from happening.

Where are they commonly found?

Bed bugs are found throughout the world. The most common type of bed bug, the Cimex Lectularius, lives in cooler regions, and one can find it in many parts of North America, Europe as well as some parts of Asia. Similarly, the tropical bed bug (the Cimex Hemipterus) is found in tropical or warmer regions like Africa, Asia, South America and certain parts of North America.

How do bed bugs spread?

The answer to this question is very simple: bed bugs simply hitchhike their way into our homes through our luggage, on buses, trains and even airplanes. In most of the infestations, homeowners have either traveled to or stayed in infested motels or rental properties. Bed bugs also spread through discarded infested furniture, mattresses, shoes, books and other items that are innocently picked up by people.

The worst part is that bed bugs are difficult to spot. They hide in cracks and crevices in furniture, wall sockets and electrical outlets etc. The larvae and eggs of bed bugs measure less than 1/25” making it difficult to get rid of them easily.

How to prevent bed bugs from spreading?

People dealing with a bed bug infestation must feel a moral obligation in preventing bed bugs from spreading. It is often embarrassing to admit to an infestation in the first place, since most people feel that it is a sign of unhygienic conditions. While this is true to some extent; it is important to note that no matter how clean and spotless a home or a hotel is, bed bugs can still reside in it. And once they come into our homes, it is difficult to get rid of them.

However, there are ways of preventing the spreading of bed bugs.

  • When travelling, carry few trash/ plastic bags to store items in. Seal your shoes, clothing and other necessities in these bags to protect them from bed bugs.
  • Never place your luggage near furniture, walls and beds in motels and hotels as these are the areas that are frequented by the bugs. The best place to store your luggage and shoes in motels is the bathroom or your car, as bed bugs normally prefer inhabiting areas closer to the sleeping hosts.
  • If you see signs of bed bug activity on your hotel beds (such as rust colored fecal stains, discarded exoskeletons and other bed bug debris) do notify the hotel management staff. They might already be aware of the problem and even using an integrated pest management system. Most hotels will also offer to give you another room or it is best to change the hotel if possible.
  • If you have bed bugs in your home, inform potential guests beforehand so as to prevent bed bugs from spreading to their homes.

What to do if you see bed bug signs where you are staying?

  • The best thing to do is notify the owner or manager. Do not spray any pesticide as other people/guests (or house pets) could be allergic to these. Moreover, spraying ineffective pesticides can also be detrimental to the efforts of bed bug control programs that are already in place.
  • Seal all your items in trash bags or plastic bags and if possible, place your luggage in these bags. Store the luggage away from the infested room, preferably in the car or in the bathroom.
  • Inspect yourself and your clothes that you are wearing currently to see if bed bugs have crawled on them. Do not apply any insecticide on your person; rather brush or dust the clothing.
  • Once you are home, brush your clothes again. Open and unpack your luggage outdoors to contain the infestation.
  • Launder all clothing in hot water and on the highest heat setting to kill bed bugs, eggs and larvae. Keep all clothing sealed until it is ready to be washed. Do not leave infested items near beds, on the floor or near clean clothes.
  • Place the luggage (backpacks and duffel bags) in dryers for 30 minutes.
  • Never leave infested items that you wish to discard near trash cans as unsuspecting people might pick them up leading to the spread of bed bugs.

Call professional bed bug exterminators rather than dealing with large infestation on your own. This is the most important step for preventing the spread of bed bugs.

How do bed bugs get spread

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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    How do Bed Bugs Spread?

    Bed bugs are wingless insects that have been with us for a very long time. One of the earliest mentions of this pest has been found in ancient Greece around 400 BC. They were common in the United States before World War II but almost vanished during the 1950s because of improved hygiene and the widespread use of the pesticide DDT.

    Although Bed bugs were being neutralized in the United States, they remained prevalent in other regions of the world including Central/South America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, and Asia. With today’s globalization and the simplicity of domestic and international travel, it is very easy and common for bed bugs to hitchhike with the traveler to another location allowing them to spread and multiply throughout the world.

    Infestations are increasingly being encountered in homes, apartments, hotels, motels, dormitories, shelters and some modes of transport like cruise ships. The bad news is that in recent years, bed bugs have made a comeback in the United States.

    How do bed bugs spread?

    MOTIVATION

    In order to answer that we need to know what motivates them? The number 1 thing that makes bed bugs active is HUNGER! They exist to feed and will search for a host until one is found. A logical conclusion is that bed bugs will search out the easiest and most convenient host that can meet that need. How “clean” an environment has very little to do with bed bug infestations. Their primary method of identifying a suitable host is through heat recognition and CO2 emissions. The good news is that the bed bug cannot detect these two elements beyond 5 feet.

    The second-bed bug motivator is something that we all need – a safe shelter (harborage) so they can breed and rest between blood feedings. Details on common bed bug harborages can be found in the Signs of bed bugs section of this website.

    DETECTION

    Because bed bugs and their eggs are so small and operate late at night, to early in the morning, when most people are asleep it is very easy for them to go undetected, giving the impression that they have just “magically” appeared from nowhere. Bed bugs easily escape detection by crawling into suitcases, boxes, and belongings. This is a major problem for hotels, motels, and apartments, where guests and occupant turnover is continuous or high and there is an abundance of warm-blooded meals.

    AGGREGATIONS

    Bed bugs live in aggregations (or communities) that offer them safe harborages, potential mates and help them resist desiccation. It is believed that they do this because the community provides benefits for the bed bugs involved that is not present when they are solitary.

    Some of the possible advantages of aggregation are that they provide safe harborages from other natural bed bug predators; it can assist the adults in mate-finding as well as allow for higher resistance to desiccation (dehydration) than a solitary bed bug.

    As with all good things aggregations will eventually reach a point where they are no longer beneficial to the individual bed bugs. The disadvantages are that now they become more attractive and visible to their natural predators due to larger numbers, competition becomes fiercer for food because of the overuse of resources and inbreeding becomes more prevalent. The general consensus is that when the individual bed bugs no longer benefit from the aggregation they will disperse or spread.

    MATING/BREEDING

    A common theory for bed bugs dispersing or spreading has to do with their unique mating behavior. Bed bugs copulate through traumatic insemination.

    This is a process where the male pierces the female’s abdomen (cuticle) with his genitalia (paramere) and injects sperm through the wound near the female’s reproductive tract. Because of the traumatic insemination, it is highly probable that females will leave an aggregation in order to avoid multiple inseminations.

    Bed bugs can breed all year and it is typical in the Northeast when they are inside and the conditions are ideal with an ample supply of food that they can reproduce up to three generations. If the female produces two to five eggs a day an infestation can grow to a very large number in a matter of months. If left unchecked a bed bugs population can grow to the thousands in a small period of time. That is why early detection is so critical in the control of bed bugs and their infestations.

    HITCHHIKING

    By far the most common way that bed bugs spread is by hitchhiking. It is their primary method of travel and they are extremely efficient at it. They will usually hide in or on luggage, clothing, second-hand beds & furniture where the eggs are almost impossible to see due to their small size.

    Bed bugs are quick movers. An adult can crawl about 4 feet per minute and the nymphs can crawl about 1 foot per minute. Their legs are adapted for crawling and the tarsal claw at the end is used for gripping rough surfaces or their host for feeding. They can easily climb any fabric wood or paper surface by hooking the claw in and around the fibers. This design is why some of the passive bed bug traps monitors used have smooth slick surfaces on the inside. Once the bed bug falls in they are trapped because they can’t climb out.

    When understandinghow do bed bugs spreadit is important to remember that in order for a new infestation to become established, they must first be introduced into a previously un-infested environment.

    How do bed bugs spread?

    The best way to prevent a bed bug infestation is through constant vigilance and early detection. If you suspect that you might have bed bugs see the articles on bed bug bites, what do bed bugs look like and how to get rid of bed bugs yourself.

    What Causes Bed Bugs, And How Do They Spread?

    What causes bed bugs? How might they spread? Learn more about how you might be able to stop a bed bug infestation before it starts.

    In recent years,bed bugs(Cimex lectularius) have gone from relative obscurity to center stage in America.

    WHERE DO BED BUGS COME FROM?

    As the name indicates, bed bugs are often found in close proximity to beds. They are attracted to and feed on warm-blooded animals to survive. This can be humans or animals, but little is known about what causes bed bugs to have a preference for humans.

    BED BUGS IN THE BEDROOM

    To feed on humans, bed bugs want close proximity to the host. Box springs, headboards and bed framing are favorite harborage sites for these pests. They may also settle into furniture and fixtures that are close to a bed.

    Bedrooms are not the only place where bed bugs can be a concern though.

    BED BUGS OUTSIDE THE BEDROOM

    Bed bugs are looking for human hosts who are inactive long enough to provide a meal. The feeding doesn’t have to be at night. They will feed opportunistically, even in the daytime.

    Where else might bed bugs find and feed on you?

    Sitting for two hours in a movie theater while being distracted by adventure and popcorn? You could become an extra large drink for a bed bug.

    Maybe the movie is enjoyed (or possibly slept through) in that favorite recliner in the living room. You could be a target.

    Have a long cab ride into the office?

    You get the idea. Any place that humans sit, rest or sleep can be a place that bed bugs are introduced or feed.

    HOW DO BED BUGS SPREAD?

    Bed bugs are consummate hitchhikers. In fact, they are primarily transported by humans and human belongings like suitcases.

    If bed bugs or evidence of bed bugs are discovered, leave the area and call a qualified pest management professional to assist.

    Bed bugs will move to other areas when they are disturbed. This may cause other areas to be infested that may be much more difficult to inspect or treat.

    If you spot signs of bed bugs,click hereto schedule your inspection.

    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?

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