How did or how do bed bugs get into my home? The answer to this occurrence is that they hitchhike. Bed bugs are usually introduced in our homes from areas where we travel, how we travel, what and where we buy items for our homes, where we visit and where we recreate. Please keep in mind not every place or event mentioned in this article has bed bugs. Your chances of bringing bed bugs home is difficult to predict or determine. You can avoid bed bug introductions into your home by following some sound practices when traveling. If at any time you feel the need to make sure, give Viking® a call and we will visit and inspect your home.
The following 5 ways are how bed bugs can get into your home. They are not listed in order, but we will start off with probably the Number 1 way they are brought home.
Most experts would agree that vacationing away from home is the most likely way to bring bed bugs home. Vacations outside of the U.S., especially to countries that “tolerate” insects more than we do here in the U.S., are areas where bed bugs hitchhike home with you. We also need to point out that certain cities in the U.S. have higher reports and incidents of bed bugs than other cities. This is probably due to the sheer numbers of visitors to those popular cities. This is constantly changing so we are not going to mention any countries or cities here in this article. It is more important to focus on how to avoid bringing them back with you.
Especially when you vacation outside the U.S. Various modes of transportation could easily be where you might pick up bed bugs. Bed bugs are nighttime feeders and typically hide in dark cracks and crevices during the day. If they are hungry and haven’t fed for a while and you ride a bus or grab a taxi cab, you could pick up a bed bug. Please understand not every cab or bus has active bed bugs. It is impossible to predict when or how this happens, but it does.
Purchases For Home
It is highly unlikely that you would bring bed bugs home from purchasing items such as furniture, bedding and other household items from the stores where you typically shop. Bed bugs would be more likely be brought home if you purchase items from garage sales, thrift shops, used furniture and other types of venues. This again would be more likely where there is a high volume or lots of items accepted and sold. Just like activity in large cities where there are a lot of visitors, high volume just lends itself to more potential for the spread of bed bugs. It is not recommended to take furniture or used items left at curbs of homes, especially furniture.
Visiting / Overnights / Visitors / Camps etc.
Summer time camps such as sports camps where people from all over the U.S. come in for a few weeks of summer sports camps. A lot of personal items are brought in and again depending on the number of people visiting camps and temporary living just increases the odds of potentially picking up bed bugs and bringing them home. College move in days are approaching. Warn your college student to NEVER pick up a piece of furniture taken out of a college dormitory and left curbside.
Hotels / Motels / Hostels etc.
Last but not least are visits to areas of hospitality. Keep in mind that if a hospitality location has bed bugs, they were brought in by a visitor. It is not the fault of the hospitality management. The daily cleaning, vacuuming, laundering of bedding is enough to keep most bed bugs from becoming established and infesting a hotel room. Housekeeping staff for most all hotel chains are trained on how to detect bed bugs in guest rooms. The hospitality industry especially in the U.S. is diligent and pro-active when it comes to bed bugs in their establishments. You are more vulnerable when you travel overseas where bed bugs are prolific and tolerated.
Bed Bug Prevention Tips
Be aware and be diligent. When traveling and staying overnight, check for bed bugs. Pull the sheets back and look in the seams of the mattress. Open drawers to night stands and dressers and look for bed bugs. If infested, you’ll see them in the corners of the furniture or underneath. Ask the hotel if there have been any bed bugs reported. (They are obligated to tell you!)
When you come home, leave your luggage outside or in your garage. Put your clothes in plastic bags and seal them. Vacuum your luggage and other items you took with you. Throw the vacuum bag away when finished. Laundering your clothes with hot water and detergent and drying for at least 20 minutes in the dryer will kill all stages of bed bugs. You can take disinfectant sprays and spray your luggage and other items. Keep these items wrapped in plastic bags in your garage or storage area. Check for signs of bed bugs and if you need Peace of Mind, call Viking and we will inspect your home. In addition to our highly trained staff of Pest Management Professionals, we have a K-9 Team for Bed bug detection. You can schedule service online at www.vikingpest.com or by calling our toll free number 800-618-BUGS (2847).
Legal Disclaimer: The information in this article is taken from research on bed bug biology, habits, distribution and control. References to industries, events, and scenarios mentioned in this article are not specific to any brand, product, industry or company. Following the information presented in this article does not guarantee or imply relief from exposure to bed bugs. Bed bug information as well as monitoring, inspection and control is constantly evolving and changes will occur over time. Viking does not assume any liability from information presented in this article. Viking® is a trademark of Viking® Termite and Pest Control Inc. You can contact us at email@example.com