Bed Begs Don’t Discriminate, They Like All Humans
Insects, especially the blood-sucking ones, don’t care if your home is 200 or 2,000 square feet. The only thing they need to live happily and heartily is a warm body. In fact, bed bugs don’t tend to stray farther than eight feet from their human host’s bed.
Bed bugs make their way into homes a number of different ways and they will stay there, unless you are aware of the situation and take action.
Bed bugs have been common throughout history, but the U.S. saw a considerable drop in populations during the mid-20th century. They are back again, an epidemic plaguing Americans. In a 2013 survey conducted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), 99.6 percent of pest management professionals interviewed have encountered bed bug infestations.
The small, flat, brownish insects don’t discriminate when choosing their homes, and they love to travel. Pest professionals say they treat bed bugs 98 percent of the time in apartments/condos, 96 percent in single-family homes, 75 percent in hotels/motels, 47 percent in college dorms, 41 percent in schools and daycare centers, 33 percent in hospitals and 21 percent in transportation.
Being small and covert, bed bugs can slip undetected into the smallest space and stay there for extended periods of time. They hide in the seams of luggage and depths of overnight bags. They camp out in furniture and live in bedding. They are transported from place to place when people travel. In a small home, they can hide anywhere—in cracks and crevices, in the folds of clothes, between a mattress tag and its crease & mdash; because your blood is always close by.
Clutter, according to the professionals in the survey, accounts for two-thirds of the biggest customer-oriented challenges in treating bed bugs. Once they get in, it’s difficult to get rid of them. Keep your place neat and tidy and look for signs of these pests.
Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite
Fortunately, they are not known to carry disease, but they can give sleepers nice-sized welts across their body. They survive on blood.
Detection is possible, as there are tell-tale signs of infestation. Red, itchy bites, like mosquito bites, will appear on your face, neck and body and can take as much as 14 days to develop.
Other clues include: exoskeletons in the seams of your mattress; live bugs in the the folds of the sheets; cracks of the headboard, corners of the bedside table; a sweet, musty odor; small blood spots on mattress or nearby furniture (blood-filled fecal matter).
To prevent infestation, take a good look around your home. Seal cracks and crevices critters might hide in and keep clutter to a minimum. When traveling, check hotels for signs of bed bugs before you put your luggage down in the room. Leave bags in the bathroom until the room looks clear of bugs. Even 5-star hotels can have bed bugs lurking. When home, check luggage thoroughly and launder clothes in hot temperatures.
If bed bugs get in, contact a pest control professional to treat with insecticide.
Guest Post for Cozy Home Plans
Marriane is a mom and health and wellness writer originally from North Dakota.