Once considered a pest of the past, bed bugs have made a resurgence around the world, and have made headlines as they infest apartments, hotels and homes. But what causes these pests to spread so quickly?
Where do they come from?
Bed bugs are great hitchhikers, and travel on the clothing or skin of their hosts to their new location. They are also known to crawl in to luggage and bags. They don’t stay on their human hosts long after feeding, and will try to establish a home in warm, dry areas, such as bedding, mattresses and furniture.
Bed bugs are found in places with high rates of human turnover, such as hotels, movie theaters, apartments, dormitories, motels and military barracks. With such high traffic, there is a large chance that someone will carry a couple of bugs in to the building.
Who is at risk?
Everyone has heard stories about bed bugs: how they’ve ruined homes and furniture, and caused a lot of distress for families. You may think that uncleanliness, shady motels, and poor areas are responsible for most bed bug infestations, but that’s far from the truth.
The truth is that anyone can get bed bugs, and even 5-star hotels are susceptible to infestation from time to time. There is no association between poor hygiene / untidiness and bed bug infestations. Cleanliness is always recommended, but that won’t stop these pests from jumping in to your suitcase or bag when you travel. If you are faced with an infestation in your home, know that you aren’t alone, and it’s more common than you’d think.
If you have found the sign of a bed bug infestation, such as eggs, nymphs, adult bed bugs, or exoskeletons, be sure to notify the appropriate person. If you’re in an apartment, this will be your landlord. If in a hotel, the manager. They will likely be able to help you (and most times, will be required to by law)!
Report the bed bugs online to help fellow travelers know the bed bug history of a location. This can help protect people in the future from spreading pests and causing outbreaks.
You can also take steps yourself to prevent an full outbreak in your home. Become familiar with the symptoms of bed bug bites, find home treatment options, and hire an exterminator immediately. The sooner you act, the more likely you are to have a positive outcome!