Sleep Tight? Yah Right. Bed Bugs

I know, I know we keep talking about bed bugs. Well, unfortunately the bed bugs are out in force this time of year and good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite is an all to familiar reality. If you have bed bugs, you know that having a good night and sleeping tight aren’t going to happen. Sneaky little suckers, bed bugs make their way into your homes in a number of ways and are the ultimate unwanted guests that don’t ever want to leave.

Bed Bugs collected from a hotel room

How Do You Get Bed Bugs?

So, how do they do it? Bed bugs are wingless so it’s not like they are up and flying from one place to another. And the last time I checked, their list of talents did not include long distance leaping, or any leaping for that matter. So, what’s their deal? Well, they crawl, and they hitchhike. And they are very good at both.

The crawling obviously needs no explanation but the hitchhiking, well, that is another story. Bed bugs like to make their move when their rides (meaning YOU) are very still. If you happen to be sitting where there is bed bug activity, there’s a good chance you could pick up a hitchhiker. Bed bugs can stowaway in and on your belongings where nothing is truly safe: not your clothes, luggage, backpacks, shoes, purses, or even pets. The human taxicab is their main source of transportation, but they are also known to hitch rides on furniture as well. So you will definitely want to be careful when shopping at yard sales and used furniture and clothing stores.

What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?

Given the fact that bed bugs have a habit of setting up shop in beds, this is likely how they got their name. Sleeping humans provide the necessary blood meal that bed bugs need to survive and develop. Since blood is the only thing on their menu, they will attack any warm-blooded animal. Evidence of their late-night snacking can be found in the red, itchy bite marks on your skin.

Bed Bug Bite Pattern

Contrary to their name though, bed bugs can be found in far more places than just beds. These hitchhiking insects can be picked up in a taxi cab, on a train or bus, in an airport or on an airplane, or from a friend’s house. New clothes and furniture are not immune to bed bugs either. Hotels are commonly associated with the spread of bed bugs given the number of guests that cycle through. Hotel guests unknowingly pick up these little hitchhikers and transport them to their homes, their cars, their couches. Wherever their human cab takes them, which includes basically every place where people gather, they can be found and can spread.

One more thing, if you think bed bug infestations only affect those who fail to keep their homes clean, think again. Bed bugs don’t discriminate, they can get comfy and cozy in any home environment, messy or pristine.

How To Get Rid of Bed Bugs?

Obviously preventing bed bug infestations is ideal and familiarizing yourself with signs of bed bugs is probably the first step in keeping bed bugs at bay. If you are traveling and are staying in a hotel where you find evidence of bed bugs, high-tailing it out of there is definitely in your best interest. Treating used furniture with a bed bug insecticide spray (HowToPest.com can help you with this!) before you move it into your home will help prevent these unwanted guests. Washing all your clothes after a vacation (even the ones you didn’t wear) and vacuuming out your luggage are precautions that should be taken. Checking your pets and their beds for potential bed bugs is a great idea, as well as doing the Marie Kondo and de-cluttering your home. Now, I know I said that bed bugs don’t discriminate and will get cozy in all environments, messy or pristine, and that is absolutely true. Cluttered homes just give bed bugs more places to hide and can be more costly to treat.

So, if you are having one of those times when you think you are alone because there doesn’t seem to be anyone around, well, that might not truly be the case. They might not be standing on the freeway onramp holding their thumbs up, but these hitchhikers will accept any ride available and the damage they can do once they reach their destination is a nightmare.

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