Bed Bugs


How They Spread So Quickly

Bed bugs are efficient hitchhikers and are usually transported in on luggage, clothing, beds, furniture, and other items. This is a particular problem for hotels, motels, and apartments, where turnover of occupants is constant. Bed bugs are small, making detection after crawling into suitcases, boxes, and belongings difficult. Acquiring secondhand beds, couches and furniture is another way that the bugs are transported into previously non-infested dwellings. Bed bugs can also be carried in on a person's clothing or shoes resulting in an infestation. The bugs can travel from room to room or floor to floor either by crawling or via a person. Unlike cockroaches that feed on filth, the level of cleanliness has little to do with most bed bugs infestations. Pristine homes, hotels, and apartments have plenty of hiding places and an abundance of warm-blooded hosts.

Controlling Infestations

Since they can hide in so many places, treatments must be thorough. In most cases, it will be prudent to enlist the services of a professional. Experienced pest control firms know where to look for bed bugs and have an assortment of management tools at their disposal. Owners and occupants have an important role and will need to assist the professional. Providing access for inspection and treatment is crucial, and excess clutter will have to be removed. Belongings strewn about rooms offer many places for bed bugs to hide, and impedes inspection and treatment. Since bed bugs can disperse throughout a building, it often will be necessary to inspect adjoining rooms and apartments. At times it may be necessary to throw out infested items, especially beds and upholstered furniture. Knowledgeable pest control firms are able to advise clients on what can stay and what should go. When infested items are discarded, bagging or wrapping them prevents dis-lodgement of the bugs en route to the dumpster.

Where They Hide

The most common place to find them is the bed. They can also hide within seams, tufts, and crevices of the mattress, box spring, bed frame, and headboard. Box springs offer many places for bed bugs to hide, especially underneath where the fabric is stapled to the wooden frame. Oftentimes the underlying gauze dust cover must be removed to gain access for inspection and possible treatment. Headboards secured to walls should also be removed and inspected. Bed bugs can also hide among items stored under beds. During the early stages of a bed bug problem, the pests tend to congregate mostly in beds and other sleeping areas. As infestations grow larger, they tend to move beyond beds into other locations making control more difficult. Upholstered chairs and sofas should be examined above and beneath, especially seams, tufts, skirts and crevices. Sofas can be major bed bug hot spots, especially when used for sleeping. Like beds, they can be difficult to treat and may need to be discarded. Nightstands and dressers should be emptied and examined inside and out, then tipped over to inspect the woodwork underneath. Other common places to find bed bugs include: along and under the edge of wall-to-wall carpeting, cracks in wood molding; behind wall-mounted picture frames, mirrors, switch plates and outlets, under loose wallpaper, clothing and clutter stored in closets, inside clocks, phones, televisions and smoke detectors.

Bed Bugs in a couch.

Bed Bugs along seams of mattress.

Blackish spots are excrement.

Bed Bugs hidden beside a screw under a nightstand.

Dark spots of Bed Bug excrement on a mattress.

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