How Do Bed Bugs Go From House To House

Here’s what to do when you find out you have bedbugs

  • First: breathe. Then figure out if you’re calling a pest management professional or dealing with the problem yourself.
  • If you live in an apartment or condominium, call your landlord or property manager immediately — bedbugs elsewhere in the complex need to be handled, too.
  • Depending on where you live, your landlord may be legally obligated to deal with this problem.
  • Properly handling a bedbug infestation is an ongoing process — you won’t get rid of them overnight, even if you do call professionals.

As far as bad news goes, finding out you have any kind of vermin living in your house is never cause for celebration. Bedbugs feel more personal, somehow — I mean, these creatures are living in your bed and drinking your blood at night like tiny six-legged vampires.

However, that unsettling mental image doesn’t mean that you should panic.

Instead, here are some decisive steps you can take to end their reign of terror and get past this infestation to live your best, bedbug-free life.

There’s good and bad news about your bedbugs

First, the good news: Although these little bloodsuckers literally drink your blood as you sleep at night, they aren’t known to spread disease among humans . That’s especially helpful to know since Zika virus in mosquitoes is still a concern.

But now for the bad news: They’re stinky. Also, they poop everywhere. If you notice a weird moldy smell in your bedclothes — and there’s no reasonable explanation for it — you should check for little brownish or reddish spots that you also can’t otherwise explain. Those are poop, and while they’re definitely gross — at least now you have a reasonable clue about what’s happening.

First things first: You need an inspection

Bedbug bites usually look and feel a lot like mosquito bites . Since they bite you at night — while you’re presumably sleeping — you’re more likely to smell them or see the fecal presents they leave behind on your sheets than you are to actually see the bugs themselves.

That’s why it’s important to correctly identify the pest responsible for those itchy bites before you go any further. Treatment and follow-ups for a bedbug infestation differ significantly from those for other pests that may also be biting you.

Failure to treat any type of pest infestation correctly just means you’re going to have to start over from square one in the future — wasting your time, your money, and your patience in the process.

Once you’ve confirmed that it’s bedbugs, it’s time to identify, remove, and treat affected materials

Although bedbugs have that name for a very obvious reason, they don’t confine themselves to your bed. However, they do like to stay within about eight feet of wherever you sleep.

Places you need to check for evidence of bedbugs include your mattress, box spring, all your bedding, your bed frame, in any cracks and crevices around your bed — including in furniture, behind wallpaper, and under carpeting. Electrical outlets and switch plates are also prime places they might be hiding , according to the University of Minnesota.

If you live in an apartment, you need to talk to your landlord right away

Your landlord needs in on the bedbug action for two reasons.

First, your neighbors need to check for infestations of their own and contain them — just like you’re doing.

Second, the laws in your area may require your landlord’s involvement in treating — and necessary follow-up — with any bedbug infestations.

Seek professional pest management help if you can

Individual bedbugs are easy to squish — if you see them. Unfortunately, there are almost always more than just the ones you see.

Not only that, but they reproduce by laying eggs. So even if you kill off a bunch of bugs that are out living their bloodthirsty little lives, when those eggs hatch, the problem cycle starts all over again.

Some steps you can do yourself — including a lot of deep cleaning

Once you’ve identified the items in your home that are infested, you’ll need to securely put that stuff into sealed plastic bags. At this point, anything that you can launder should be laundered — on the highest heat setting you can. That includes all your bedding, sheets, and pillows.

Since bedbugs can travel very easily, it’s also important to sleep in the same place you’ve been sleeping to avoid accidentally transferring bugs elsewhere in your home, according to TODAY.

Vacuuming everything in sight can be helpful, as long as you empty the vacuum frequently and keep what comes out of your vacuum contained. Steam cleaners can also be effective , according to the University of California Integrated Pest Management Program.

Why home pesticide treatments often don’t completely solve the problem

Antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria are all over the news all the time in recent years.

While bedbugs aren’t bacteria, they’ve also quietly been evolving to defeat the chemical compounds that were successful at controlling them in the past.

Add this to the fact that bedbugs can stay dormant — not feeding on human or animal hosts for several months at a time — and you can see why this is a tough problem to face on your own.

Things to know if you do decide to face your bedbug infestation on your own

The Environmental Protection Agency regulates pesticides for use in human habitation — these are different from the ones approved for agricultural use. Make sure you’re using the correct item for your application to protect humans of all ages in your house — as well as any pets.

It’s impossible for anyone — professional or otherwise — to get rid of a bedbug infestation in a single day. Instead, the EPA recommends taking the time to develop and stick to a strategy . You’re more likely to have success if you do this.

Always look for the EPA label and a specific mention of bedbugs on any pesticide that you decide to bring into your home. Also, the EPA warns everyone to stay both safe and legal when trying to combat bedbug infestations in our homes.

Plan to follow up and do several thorough bedbug checks in the future. Be prepared to repeat the entire process to rid yourself of bedbugs again if necessary — they’re both persistent and resilient.

Unfortunately, bedbugs can be picked up from just about anywhere — from a five-star hotel to a movie theater seat to your Uber.

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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.

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs (picture on the left) likely get their name from their habit of feeding on humans while they sleep in their beds. They are found in virtually every place people tend to gather, including residences, hotels, schools, offices, retail stores and even public transportation.

If you do identify bed bugs in your home, contact a pest professional promptly. They will be able to inspect your home, confirm the species and recommend a course of bed bug treatment.

Pest Stats

Color

Unfed adults are mahogany; engorged bed bugs are red-brown. Nymphs are nearly colorless.

Shape

Flat, broad oval when unfed; swollen and elongated when fed.

Adults are 1/4 inch long. Nymphs range from 1.3 mm to 4-5 mm.

Antennae

Region

Found throughout U.S.

Bed Bug Photos

Photo of an unfed adult bed bug on the skin

Photo of a male and female bed bugs with eggs

Photo of a bed bug to scale on a penny

Close-up photo of the head and thorax of a bed bug

Photo of a bed bug on human skin

Photo of an adult bed bug on a piece of velcro

Photo of bed bug skins – a telltale sign of a bed bug infestation

Photo of a baby bed bug and fecal spots

Snapshot of the appearance and distribution of bed bugs

Videos View All Videos

This video will take you on an educational trip through the history of bed bugs, teach you how to be vigilant to minimize your risk of encountering them and how to effectively deal with this resilient pest if you have an infestation.

Watch this demonstration on the proper way to inspect for bed bugs.

Here are some tips to avoid bringing bed bugs inside your home after traveling.

Bed bugs feed on the blood of humans and other warm-blooded hosts. If you are bitten by a bed bug, the most common threat is from the bite-mark itself, which can turn into a large, raised, itchy welt. For more on this blood-sucking pest, check out the bed bug pest guide.

Bed bugs are NOT known to transmit disease to humans. They also do not transmit MRSA, or methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus. For more information on bed bugs, visitAll Things Bed Bugs.

Concerned about bed bugs and disease? Dr. Parada assures us there is no evidence that bed bugs transmit disease to humans. Learn more about bed bugs here.

Think you may have bed bug bites? Dr. Parada explains the signs and symptoms of bed bug bites, which can be difficult to tell. Learn more about bed bug bites here.

How do I know if I have bed bugs? Dr. Jim Fredericks, chief entomologist for the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), shares some advice. Visit All Things Bed Bugs for more information about this elusive pest.

Why are bed bugs so hard to control? Dr. Jim Fredericks, chief entomologist with the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), has the answer! Learn more about bed bugs in the All Things Bed Bugs hub.

This public service announcement highlights the dangers of bed bug infestations. It features close up footage of bed bugs feedings on human skin.

Bed bugs (picture on the left) likely get their name from their habit of feeding on humans while they sleep in their beds. They are found in virtually every place people tend to gather, including residences, hotels, schools, offices, retail stores and even public transportation.

If you do identify bed bugs in your home, contact a pest professional promptly. They will be able to inspect your home, confirm the species and recommend a course of bed bug treatment.

Pest Stats

Color

Unfed adults are mahogany; engorged bed bugs are red-brown. Nymphs are nearly colorless.

Shape

Flat, broad oval when unfed; swollen and elongated when fed.

Adults are 1/4 inch long. Nymphs range from 1.3 mm to 4-5 mm.

Antennae

Region

Found throughout U.S.

Videos View All Videos

This video will take you on an educational trip through the history of bed bugs, teach you how to be vigilant to minimize your risk of encountering them and how to effectively deal with this resilient pest if you have an infestation.

Watch this demonstration on the proper way to inspect for bed bugs.

Here are some tips to avoid bringing bed bugs inside your home after traveling.

Bed bugs feed on the blood of humans and other warm-blooded hosts. If you are bitten by a bed bug, the most common threat is from the bite-mark itself, which can turn into a large, raised, itchy welt. For more on this blood-sucking pest, check out the bed bug pest guide.

Bed bugs are NOT known to transmit disease to humans. They also do not transmit MRSA, or methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus. For more information on bed bugs, visitAll Things Bed Bugs.

Concerned about bed bugs and disease? Dr. Parada assures us there is no evidence that bed bugs transmit disease to humans. Learn more about bed bugs here.

Think you may have bed bug bites? Dr. Parada explains the signs and symptoms of bed bug bites, which can be difficult to tell. Learn more about bed bug bites here.

How do I know if I have bed bugs? Dr. Jim Fredericks, chief entomologist for the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), shares some advice. Visit All Things Bed Bugs for more information about this elusive pest.

Why are bed bugs so hard to control? Dr. Jim Fredericks, chief entomologist with the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), has the answer! Learn more about bed bugs in the All Things Bed Bugs hub.

This public service announcement highlights the dangers of bed bug infestations. It features close up footage of bed bugs feedings on human skin.

Habits

Bed bugs like to travel and are good hitchhikers. They will hide in suitcases, boxes and shoes to be near a food supply. They are elusive, nocturnal creatures. They can hide behind baseboards and in cracks, crevices, and folded areas of beds, bedding and adjacent furniture, especially mattresses and box springs. Bed bugs can also hide in electrical switchplates, picture frames, wallpaper and nearly anywhere inside a home, car, bus, or other shelter. Bed bugs usually come out at night for a blood meal. However, they are opportunistic insects and can take a blood meal during the day, especially in heavily-infested areas. Bed bugs usually require 5-10 minutes to engorge with blood. After feeding, they move to secluded places and hide for 5-10 days. During this time in the bed bug life cycle, they do not feed but instead digest their meal, mate, and lay eggs.

Habitat

So where do bed bugs live? Bed Bugs like to hide in small cracks and crevices close to a human environment. They can be found behind baseboards, wallpaper, upholstery, and in furniture crevices. Bed bugs are also known to survive in temporary or alternative habitats, such as backpacks and under the seats in cars, busses and trains.

Threats

Although bed bugs can dine on any warm-blooded animal, they primarily dine on humans. Bed bugs do not transmit diseases, but their bites can become red, itchy welts.

How Do I Make My Bed Bugs Go Away and How Will I Know for Sure They Are Gone?

B ed bugs are, if anything, resilient little parasites that virtually never give up. If you are wondering, “Do bed bugs go away if I just wait long enough?, ” then the answer is, “Not likely.”

You have to understand the mentality of a bed bug. They are not going to leave as long as they have a perfectly good host sleeping nearby from whom they can get an occasional blood-meal. That just wouldn’t make any sense to them.

The fact is, bed bugs’ very lives depend on making your life miserable. They feed almost exclusively on human blood, though they also will feed on animals. That means, therefore, that bed bugs are not likely to “pack up and leave” unless you do.

Table of Contents

I Have Bed Bugs: Do They Go Away On Their Own?

Again, the short answer is, “No, bed bugs don’t just go away.” But, it is of course, possible that they might sometimes leave if they no longer are getting any blood meals. But that might take quite a long time, and you can’t afford to let yourself be feasted upon and profusely bug-bitten in the mean time. “Waiting them out” is not a viable option.

What, then, should you do? The answer is that you have to take concerted, consistent action to actively kill all the bed bugs in your house. If even a single impregnated female bed bug survives, the nightmare of bed bug infestation could start all over again!

How Long Can Bed Bugs Live In An Empty House?

How long can a bedbug, or a whole bed bug population, survive in an empty house? Now, that’s a difficult question, and even scientists who devote a lot of time, thought, and energy to studying bed bugs aren’t quite agreed.

But here are some bed bug facts that will give you an idea:

  • A bed bugs’ life span can be anywhere from a few months to a full year.
  • Most bed bugs don’t feed every day. Once a week is about average.
  • A bed bug can live 6 to 12 months without a blood meal, depending on the climate and other factors.
  • Bedbugs need blood-meals to reproduce and molt. And a young bed bug can’t reach maturity unless it passes through 5 molts.

What this all adds up to is that a bed bug infestation would eventually die out on its own if there were no people or animals around to feed on, for long enough. But, that process could easily take a year.

Thus, there are buildings that have been suffering from bed bug infestations for as long as 10 years straight, maybe sometimes even longer. And a house or apartment being empty between residents really doesn’t help much unless it was a very, very long interval.

Do Bed Bugs Go Away After Treatment?

You may be wondering about how to treat a bedbug infestation. Will fumigation for bed bugs be effective? If there are a few survivors, will they figure, “This place is no good to live in anymore: let’s get out of here!”

The answer is that bedbugs have nerves of steel. They do not flinch in the face of danger. They just hang around waiting to get revenge on you for your extermination efforts next time you fall asleep.

Sure, you want to persistently keep at them and use every kind of extermination method you can find, whether store-bought bed bug killers, household products put to a new use, or all-natural bed bug remedies.

But you have to kill all of them because survivors will not be scared away by the carnage all around them. As long as a warm-blooded mammal sleeps in the room, they just won’t get the message.

How Will I Know If A Treatment Has Been Successful?

After you have applied all of your anti bedbug wisdom to its fullest extend, and possibly, have called in the pros for assistance, how do you even know if they’re really gone?

5 Signs
That You May Have Bed Bugs

5 Signs of a successful bout with the bedbugs include:

  1. Dead bedbugs lying around your home here and there.
  2. You go for days or weeks without seeing any bed bugs, bedbug eggs, or tell-tale signs like bed bug feces or molt sheddings.
  3. You aren’t getting any new bites, that you notice anyway. And you don’t itch horribly like before.
  4. You set up one or more CO2 bed bug traps and are not catching any bugs in them.
  5. When you do a quick check in “the usual places” like under the mattress, in the mattress seams, in the box springs, along the base boards, and the like, you can’t spot a one of them.

However, none of this actually proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the bed bugs are gone. It only shows you that you killed most of them and their population must surely be very low. Only time will tell if Operation Bed Bug has truly been a success or not.

However, there is one exception to this rule: if a professional exterminator, using specialized equipment, heats your home’s interior to 118°F or higher for even an hour or so straight, you can be sure all bedbugs (and their eggs) died. They simply aren’t built to withstand that level of heat for that long.

But even a heat treatment that kills every last bug can’t prevent a reinfestation, so you need to take steps to learn how to prevent bed bugs from getting back into your house after the war is over.

And that means you have to get your prevention measures in order before you even finalize the eradication. Otherwise, you could have new bed bugs getting into your house almost immediately after just killing off the old ones, which would be (of course) an exercise in futility.

The conclusion of it all is this:

  • Bedbugs are one of the most stubborn and obnoxious species of insects on the planet.
  • They don’t go away easily.
  • You can’t count on starving them out or waiting them out. All you can do is patiently work on killing them all and then doing everything you can to make sure they never get into your house again!

But don’t give up, on the other hand, because there are many bed bug killing success stories out there. And there’s not reason why your bed bug story can’t end the same way!

You can find further details of Bed Bugs Control here.

About Inga Cryton

One Comment

I found 8 bed bugs in my bed in the morning is that a lot usually to find in one sitting?
And what’s the action to take?

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Can Bed Bugs Live in Wood?

If you have wooden furniture or a wooden bedpost, you may be concerned about bed bugs using these items as a hiding spot in your home. You may be especially concerned if you are looking into buying used furniture, since bed bugs often enter homes this way. But can bed bugs live in wood?

Do bed bugs live in wood?

Bed bugs are flat, reddish-brown insects that are about as small as a grain of rice. Their size and shape enables them to hide in many cracks and crevices, allowing them to stay near their host during the day and find quick blood meals at night. While certain wood pieces might make it easier for bed bugs to hide, eliminating wooden furniture from your room or house will not prevent bed bugs.

How can you avoid bed bugs in furniture?

Bed bugs don’t chew through wood in search of a good hiding place. Instead, they depend on cracks, corners and other small spaces. For this reason, when picking out new furniture – especially used furniture – choosing pieces with hard flat surfaces can be helpful. Items that are cracked, or have intricate details, will make it harder to spot bed bugs.

Knowing how to properly identify bed bugs can help you search for them. There are a few bugs that look like bed bugs, and you will want to be wary of those.

When buying a new piece of furniture, or if you are concerned about bed bugs in furniture you already have, conduct a thorough search. Take out drawers and break down any pieces that can be disassembled, cleaning each piece individually. Signs of bed bugs include black spotting and molted skins. Be sure to inspect and clean items before you bring them into your home.

Can bed bugs live in wood furniture pieces? Absolutely. And, any other hiding place that they can squeeze themselves into. If you are concerned about bed bugs in your home, consider contacting a pest management professional.

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