How Do Bed Bugs Move From Place To Place

How to Move Without Bringing Bed Bugs With You

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

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

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

Launder your clothes, bedding, and pillows.

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

Use a portable bed bug heater.

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

Use new packing material and boxes.

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

Don’t buy used furniture.

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

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

How to Move Without Bringing Bed Bugs With You

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

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

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

Launder your clothes, bedding, and pillows.

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

Use a portable bed bug heater.

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

Use new packing material and boxes.

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

Don’t buy used furniture.

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

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

Prevention

Bed bugs are hard to prevent because of their small size, night habits, and ability to hitchhike. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Know your surroundings.If you return home from a place where bed bugs may have been, do not go or take possessions such as luggage or clothing directly to your bed. Instead, prevent any chance of bed bug reinfestation by laundering and quarantining potential hitchhiking bugs.
  • Inspect previously owned itemsthoroughly before bringing them home. Look for groups of small white eggs and red-brown bed bugs stuck in fabric, cushions, or small openings on furniture. Do not pick up items that were thrown out because you could bring someone else’s problem home.

How do they spread?

Bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers. They can easily move from an infested building to a new site as people move. The recent resurgence of bed bugs is due in large part to international travel. Bed bugs hitchhike on luggage or on personal items or clothing and can move from one country to another in a very short period of time. Within a community, bed bugs can spread when people move infested possessions into a new apartment or home. Purchasing infested, second-hand beds or other furniture has been shown to accelerate local outbreaks of bed bugs. Once inside a building bed bugs can move between rooms or apartments by walking or crawling via hallways, or by squeezing through tiny cracks in common walls, ceilings, or utility ports.

How can I prevent bed bugs from entering my home?

The most valuable form of home protection is becoming aware of the threat of bed bugs. Understand where and how they travel. Know what they look like and how to inspect for them. Be very careful about purchasing or bringing home second-hand upholstered furniture and clothing. Always closely inspect items for signs of infestation. Launder any items that can be laundered in hot soapy water and dry with hot air. Bed bugs will not survive this regime. Make vacuuming, cleaning, decluttering and inspecting a regular habit. Steam or heat treatments must be applied to anything that is suspect, before it enters the house.

How do I protect myself from bed bugs while traveling?

Be alert and aware when travelling. If you suspect bed bug infestations, use common sense and what you know about bed bugs to help avoid bringing them home with you. Inspect your hotel room for signs of an infestation BEFORE you move your belongings in. Some travelers will place their luggage in the bathtub or on a wooden chair or desk rather than on a bed while they perform this inspection. Carefully inspect the mattress seams, headboard, and furniture around the bed for fecal specks, cast skins, or live bed bugs. If bed bugs or signs of bed bugs are found, immediately report this to the registration desk and ask for a different room. When returning home, carefully check luggage seams and clothing for any signs of bed bugs before bringing it into your home. Clothing can be immediately washed and dried to ensure that no bed bugs will hitchhike on it. If other possessions and luggage are found to have bed bugs on it, do not take them into the home. Arrange for heat or other reliable treatment of the articles in question.

How do I inspect a hotel room for bed bugs?

Checking into hotel rooms:

Remember the old addage ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’ This has never been more true than in our battle with bed bugs. Avoiding them in the first place is the best prevention.

When checking into a hotel ask if bed bugs have been found there or if treatments for bed bugs have occurred.

Once at your room, do not put your luggage, coat or personal belongings on the bed. Rather use luggage racks, table tops, leave at front door/hall, or place in bathtub upon entry.

Thoroughly inspect the room before unpacking.

  • Use a flashlight.
  • Remove top comforter (this seldom receives the laundry regime that sheets do).
  • Pull back the hotel bed sheets and inspect the mattress seams, particularly the corners, for telltale brownish or reddish specks (fecal specks).
  • Look behind the head-board if possible, paying close attention to tight cracks and crevices.
  • Inspect folds, cracks and crevices of furniture near the bed.
  • Inspect the carpeting and base boards nearest to the bed.

If you suspect a bed bug infestation, contact the management – ask to be moved and not just next door.

Returning Home From a Bed Bug Infested Area?

Remember that providing an opportunity for a hitch-hiking bed bug to move from bed to bed, is the most likely route of re-infestation.

When you return home from an infested residence, thoroughly inspect and vacuum your suitcases, purses, hand bags and any other goods that have been with youbeforebringing them into the house.

Place all of your clothing in sealable plastic bags and take them directly to the laundry. Wash all your clothes (whether used during the trip or not ) in hot soapy water and dry in a clothes dryer set on high heat. This includes the clothes that you are wearing. Strip at the door and place your clothing in a plastic bag.

Use a large plastic bag to contain your luggage and store in an area not commonly used (garage or storage closet) – not under bed or even in your bedroom.

Shoes and other non-washable items can be placed in a box or bag and then moved to a freezer or ‘pack-tite’ for temperature treatments.

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 )

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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.

What NOT to Do When you Have Bed Bugs

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  • Do not Panic. You can control bed bugs with careful inspection and by using proper control methods.
  • Do not try to kill bed bugs by using agricultural or garden pesticides. Using outdoor pesticides to control bed bugs can make you or your family very sick.
  • Do no t use products that appear to be “homemade” or “custom formulated.” Homemade products could be dangerous and they might make the problem worse.
  • Do no t use products that have labels in a non-English language
  • Do not apply pesticides directly to your body. This could make you very sick.
  • Do no t use rubbing alcohol, kerosene or gasoline. These chemicals may cause fires
  • Do not throw away your furniture. Beds and other furniture can be treated for bed bugs. Throwing away your furniture can spread the bugs and you have to buy new furniture.
  • Do not store things under the bed. Storing stuff under the bed gives bed bugs many new places to hide. This makes it more difficult to get rid of bed bugs.
  • Do not move things from room to room. Moving your things from the room with bed bugs to another room in your house may spread the bed bugs.
  • Do not wrap items in black plastic and place in the sun. It will not get hot enough to kill all the bugs.

How Do You Get Bed Bugs in The First Place?

How do you get bed bugs in the first place? In this post, I am going to show you how exactly bed bugs get into your house based on the scientific studies from the experts.

Here, you will find the list of places that have great probability as the source of bed bugs infestation in your house. In fact, the list of bed bugs places below are suggested by experts based on their studies.

Now it is time to show you where exactly the first places of bed bugs that get into your house.

Many people do believe that bed bugs come from a very dirty place. It is true some insects love to live there, but not for bed bugs. It is clearly a misunderstanding. They can live anywhere as long as they can get blood as a food source. So, they are not interested in rot.

As same as mosquitoes and ticks, bed bugs look for blood as meals. Unfortunately, the problem is that bed bugs cannot fly like mosquitoes in searching for food sources. Also, bed bugs are not the ticks that can live in their host. So, they do need a very safe place to hide and near the food sources. That is why you can easily find bed bugs in bedroom.

In relation with the bed bugs’ places, Rahlenbeck et al. in 2016 states that bed bugs have conquered quite diverse locations, ranging from hospitals, hotels and homes, to trains, cruise ships, and even airplanes. Most commonly, bed bugs travel in comfort as stowaways in luggage, although they can be transferred via furnishing and other belongings, as well by spreading to adjoining properties.

Therefore, it can be concluded that beg bugs can actually come from any place as long as their host is near and reachable. It means that bed bugs can live anywhere even you can find bed bugs in electronics. Here, Doggett et al. 2011 states that in addition to homes and hotels, infestations are appearing in the office and retail environment, in the health and transport sectors, and in cinemas; in fact, they can be found in almost any location where people sleep or sit.

Hotel

In relation with bed bugs infestation in hotel, Potter et al. in 2015 find out that while infestations are most common in homes and apartments, three fourths (74%) of pest management professionals in the United States also report finding bed bugs in hotels and motels.

It sounds a bit strange but hotel and any other rented rooms are the perfect places to check when you are curious about how do bed bugs get into your house. Here, hotel as a rented room is a place where people from different background come and stay. Thus, any pests can possibly follow them and stay there.

So, it is the reality that the bed bugs infestation in hotel does exist. But, there is a main problem toward this. It is hard to find out the hotel that will tell the truth about bed bugs infestation. Thus, you do really need to consider and even find out some reviews before booking a hotel. If you are lucky enough, you will find a cheap hotel with high quality.

Then, to prevent bed bugs in hotel, Bernardeschi et al. in 2013 suggests at least two things you need to do: 1.) When sleeping in a hotel, even an upmarket establishment, lift mattresses to look for bed bugs or black spots, and 2.) Do not leave luggage in dark places, near furniture, or close to your bed. Before going to bed, close suitcases and put them in the bathroom—in the bathtub or shower stall.

Therefore, it is important to always check your bed before sleeping and keep your stuffs far away from bed. Here, bathroom is the perfect place because bed bugs do not live there and also the bathtub is slippery for them to crawl.

Hospital

The existence of bed bugs in hospital is quite surprising because this place must be very clean. Hospital is not likely the place where bed bugs stay and live. But, if you ask pest-management companies about this situation, you will find that this problem is true.

Here, bed bugs infestations in hospital do not come from the inside of hospital but from the outside. In relation with this problem, Don McCarthy as cited by Jasmine Williams in 2013 says that the bugs get into hospitals three ways: emergency situations where people are picked up from their homes, from patients’ clothing and personal articles, and from people visiting patients.

In this case, those reasons are logical and seem to be true. It is because hospital needs to be clean and hygiene. Therefore, it there is an infestation, it must be from the outside.

As it is well-known that bed bugs can travel with belongings, emergency situation will not make people realize what actually living inside the things they carry while they are picked up the patients. The patients’ health is the most urgent thing to be considered.

Here, patients’ clothing and personal stuffs that might have been infested usually included while people picked up patients from their home. So, it will be wise to check any stuff or things to avoid the infestation.

At the last, bed bugs can be carried away by visitors in hospital. They can hide in their bags, clothes, stuffs, or wherever they want to. Once they come and have enough time, bed bugs can spread in the hospital anytime.

Therefore, it is necessary to check patients and visitors stuffs when they come into the hospital. Make sure that all the things they have are clean and free from bed bugs and other pests. In this case, you can observe that some hospital would change the patients clothes once they come to the hospital.

Train

Unlike bus or taxi, people can spend their night or day in a train while it comes to a long trip. Also, it can come across the countries. So, the existence of bed bugs in train seems logical and possible. In this case, Alalawi in 2014 states that people can transport bed bugs when they travel by trains.

Now, let us think about it. For those who travel at night, usually the blanket is available and can be used by passengers. But, unfortunately, we have no idea whether the blanket is completely clean or not. Also, we have no idea who had used it before us, or where the blanket does restore.

Then, for some types of trains, the passengers can keep their stuffs in the one single and long cabin together with others’ stuffs. So, it can make bed bugs move easier from stuff to the other stuff. It is because all the passengers’ stuffs are placed in one location.

So, train can be the best vehicle for bed bugs to travel from one city to the other city, or even from one country to the other country. As same as virus, bed bugs can spread while the subject who carries them travels.

Therefore, checking your stuffs before and after the travelling is necessary. It is not only to make sure your stuffs are still fine, but also to avoid the spread bed bugs. Also, it will be wise to not use blanket from the train, but you can use your own jacket.

Cruise Ship

It is quite strange for people at first to realize that bed bugs can live in cruise ship. In this case, it is true that bed bugs are not from sea, so it is impossible that cruise ship has bed bugs in it. But, considering that cruise ship is the boat that loads people from anywhere, it becomes possible.

Cruise ship has so many facilities including some beds or room for people to sleep. Here, we have no idea if the passengers’ bag or clothes are actually infested by bed bugs. So, when these people stay there for a while or even a few days, it is possible for bed bugs to spread in the cruise ship.

Also, it is well known that bed bugs can survive without any nourishment. Therefore, they can stay there for weeks, months, or even a year. This ability makes them can wait new passengers for months after the last bite.

Then, to avoid bed bugs in cruise ship, you need to seal your stuffs in plastic when you left them near the bed. It may sound weird or even funny, but it is good as preventive steps. Or, if you don’t want to do that, you can inspect your stuffs before you enter your house from the trip.

In addition, checking the bed is also important thing to do. You may not expect bed bugs under the bed, but it will be safe to check it first. No one will know what will come when he falls asleep. It can be bed bugs or anything else.

Airplane

So far, the existence of bed bugs in airplane is quite rare. It is because airplane seems quite pricy, so the prime cleanliness is a must. But, if you look for the news about it, you will find some cases related to this problem.

Well, here comes the question:

  • Do the bed bugs come from the airplane?
  • Do the bed bugs come from the last room you stay before?
  • Do the bed bugs come from other people?

Well, it is important to consider these questions before you starting to complaint the airline if that situation happens.

In this case, bed bugs can come from the last hotel you stay that hide in your stuffs. Then, you will carry them into a plane before they arrive in your house. That is how bed bugs do come in your house.

In other case, bed bugs can come from the other passengers. Here, bed bugs can move from them to anywhere, including to the seat, pillow, or even blanket. So, there are lot of possibilities about how bed bugs come in an airplane.

However, the point here is that bed bugs do exist in airplane. So, to avoid them, you need to cover yourself, bring your own blanket and pillow, and cover your stuffs. It may sound weird, but that is the effective way to avoid bed bugs joining your trip.

Luggage

You may wonder about how bed bugs get into your house from hotels or any other places. Well, it seems impossible for bed bugs to track and follow your scent to go to your house, right? It will take so much time for them to crawl into your house. In fact, the road is full of their predators.

So, what if they don’t crawl? What if they hide in your stuff and follow you wherever you are going to? Here is the fact. Your stuff like luggage and backpack can be a perfect place for them to hide while you are sleeping. It is a very safe place because there are so many empty spaces they can use to hide. That is how bed bugs get into your house from the hotel or any places you temporarily stayed.

Thus, here are the tips for you. If it is possible, keep your stuff in the bathtub or at least in the bathroom. Well, this is quite unfamiliar thing to do. But, if you think clearly, you will find that bed bugs will not stay there. So, your stuff is safe. In fact, bed bugs will only live near their host. That is why the bedroom is their most favorite place for living, not bathroom. So, how do you get bed bugs in the first place? Please share your opinion below.

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