With Christmas quickly approaching, many people have plans to travel to see dear friends and family. Traveling to others’ homes or hotels makes you more susceptible to introducing a bed bug into your own home when you return. As you travel for the season, it is important to be aware of how bed bugs travel and what attracts them.
Bed bugs are minuscule insects that feed on the blood of any sleeping animal or human. These bugs are about the size of an apple seed. They are ovular, flat, and brownish-red. Bed bugs may seem trivial due to their size, but these bugs can invade an entire home very quickly. Removing bed bugs from your home can be extremely difficult because they burrow into furniture and clothes. Obviously, it’s best not to bring them home at all! For tips to avoid introducing bed bugs into your home after traveling, check out our Traveling Bed Bug Blog.
What brings bed bugs to your home?
As people travel for the holiday season, they become more vulnerable to a hostile takeover. The easiest way to attract bed bugs is by bringing them back with you from the outside world. Bed bugs are often referred to as the ultimate hitchhiker. They can hitch a ride home in your luggage, clothing, and other belongings, making it difficult to enjoy the holidays and even more challenging to get rid of them once they’re in your home.
Bed bugs feed off of blood. Human homes are normally filled with blood-pumping mammals. Whether your house is filled with people or pets, a bed bug views it as a buffet. Sadly, there is no real way to end this attraction. Bed bugs will always be attracted to blood, meaning your home will always be interesting.
Where can a bed bug be found within the home?
Most misconceptions about this species lie in the shelter that these animals seek. Due to their name, most people assume that bed bugs are contained in your mattress. Though elements of this idea are true, bed bugs burrow in a myriad of different places, not just your bed.
Bed bugs do, in fact, burrow into your mattress. In most cases, if this little bug has invaded your bed, it lies in the seams beneath the fabric of your mattress. Furthermore, these pests could lie deep between your box spring and mattress themselves. In rarer cases, bed bugs have even been found in seams of headboards that have been wrapped in fabric. Basically, bed bugs will invade any portion of your mattress or bed that they can, so long as they remain invisible to the human eye.
However, piles of laundry are another great home for bed bugs. They can easily slip through and burrow into the fabrics and become invisible to the eye. As if piles of laundry were not a good enough home, bed bugs also like to burrow into furniture. If you have a fluffy couch, filled with plush feathers or stuffing, you could likely home bed bugs. These little insects will truly live anywhere that provides warmth and camouflage. So, any of your plush furniture is vulnerable to these critters. Overall, the main objective for bed bugs is to remain unseen, so it is important to inspect mattresses and other upholstered furniture frequently.
How can you check your home for bed bugs?
Once every month or so, you should lift your mattress and look between it and your box spring, as well as the frame itself. Additionally, check the seams of upholstered furniture for pin-like marks and dark brown or black fecal stains. You may see tiny white eggs loosely stuck to crevices between fabrics or wooden surfaces. Bed bugs shed their skins, so look for shells ranging in color from clear to brown. The easiest way for an invasion to go unnoticed is by simply not being aware of where you should look.
Furthermore, if you have left articles of clothing on the floor, it is best that you inspect them before moving them. Unattended clothes are an easy way for bed bugs to spread. Imagine you pick up a load of laundry infested with bed bugs. Now the critters are on you, as well as any new place you drop the clothes. So, if you put these clothes away in a dresser…everything in that dresser is now infested.
Finally, after traveling, it is imperative that you inspect yourself before entering your home. Who knows if the people you came into contact with have bed bugs themselves, and, if they do, then you could too! Overall, it is important that you be on high alert anytime you stay somewhere new. The smallest change in routine can easily cause an invasion. When you are out, be conscientious of your surroundings and check your family before re-entering your home.
What can you do to prevent a bed bug infestation?
With the holiday season upon us, it is important to avoid any unwanted house guests, and 855Bugs would love to help you with that endeavor! If you believe that your home has been infested with bed bugs, reach out to us to schedule a free inspection of your property today!