These days, bed bugs frequent the news as they attack people in hotel rooms and in their homes around the country. But where exactly do they come from? More importantly, how do you get rid of them? Having an understanding of where bed bugs come from can help you get a better idea of where to start eliminating them.
What are Bed Bugs?
Before trying to figure out where bed bugs come from, make sure you know how to identify them correctly.
Bed bugs are flat, reddish-brown, oval-shaped pests. They reach about a quarter of an inch in length and are semi-translucent. They are most often found in clusters between mattress creases and cloth-covered furniture, but they can also be spotted on decaying ceiling mold and cracked walls.
When they bite their victims, they can sometimes be mistaken for mosquitoes as they leave behind small red marks. The major difference between bed bug bites and mosquito bites is that bed bugs leave multiple bites in a line. They also attack mostly at night, so if you're waking up with new bites, it's probably a sign that bed bugs are nearby.
Recognizing the Signs
If you're not sure whether you have bed bugs or not, there are some telltale signs to look out for:
- Tiny blood stains on the bed sheets
- Bites along the arm, neck, and ankle
- Bed bug carcasses on or around the bed or furniture
- Small bites and itchiness after traveling
Where Do They Come From?
Bed bugs can enter homes a number of different ways:
- Luggage placed on hotel room floors
- Unwashed or unprotected clothing stored away for long periods of time
- Old furniture purchased at antique stores or yard sales
- Shoes or socks from walking in areas where bed bugs or their eggs are
- Unwashed bed sheets
The primary way people acquire bed bugs is through a lack of cleaning and washing linens and other fabric materials on a regular basis. Also, constant clutter around the home provides a regular hiding place for bed bugs to thrive in until they emerge to bite you at night.
Getting Rid of Bed Bugs
Once bed bugs are in the home, the best thing to do is begin taking the steps to eliminate them. Keep in mind that bed bugs live in mattresses, couch cushions, furniture and other places where they can quickly come out of hiding at night and feed on the sleeping host.
Cracks and crevices of nightstands, bed frames and other furniture provide the ideal hiding spot for bed bugs during the day so these are a good starting point to look for the pests.
- Vacuum regularly to prevent bed bugs from laying eggs in the carpet or rugs.
- Wash and dry at high heats for clothing, drapes, and other linens.
- Use diatomaceous earth or boric acid on cracks and crevices.
- Seal unused blankets, clothes, and pillows in plastic bags before storing away for the season.
If you continue to have problems with bed bugs even after taking these steps, you may need to contact a pest control company to help you with the situation. Bed bugs can be difficult to eradicate from the home, but with the help of a qualified pest control company, bed bugs can be eliminated and you can finally have a good night's sleep.