Bed bugs have become the boogieman of traveling.
These small, bloodsucking insects thrive in cool, dark areas, often making their nests where people spend most of their hours at home—in bed. Consequently, places like hotels and hostels are especially prone to becoming hotspots for these creepy crawlies to spread to new areas.
However, that’s not the only way bed bugs can find a way into our living spaces. In this blog, we’ll break down 3 of the most common ways bed bugs get into homes, how to prevent them from making the journey back with you, and what to do if they end up in your home.
Three Common Hiding Spots for Bed Bugs
Though we think of bed bugs only residing in mattresses because of their namesake, these pests can easily make their home in any type of furniture and clothing. Because of this, buying any items secondhand can be risky.
Before bringing any used furniture home, it’s important to closely inspect the pieces. Bed bugs are tiny and dark-colored, which can allow them to hide in the many folds and crevices of cloth. Be sure to check underneath any cushions, dust covers, and pockets carefully.
Secondhand clothing should be immediately washed on hot after being purchased. While cleaning furniture may help you find bed bugs, it may not kill any—bed bugs are resistant to many chemicals and water. Oftentimes, the only certain way to rid a piece of furniture of bed bugs is professional help.
Public Areas and Transportation
Bed bugs often travel from place to place on people, so it’s possible someone utilizing public resources could unknowingly bring bed bugs to that area if the pest latched onto their baggage or clothing. Seating on public transportation, libraries, or coffee shops can become a site for infestation and contamination.
While it’s nearly impossible to avoid these areas, there are ways to reduce your risk of bringing home unwanted visitors. If you’ve spent prolonged periods in public seating, consider changing clothes and showering when returning home. Keep dirty clothes separate from clean clothes and then wash them with hot water.
It’s not uncommon to be unaware of a bed bug infestation until its later stages, when bite marks on your body and visible stains on your mattress begin to appear. Because of this, house guests may be unaware they are carrying bed bugs to a new location. However, there are ways to mitigate the risk while having guests over.
Have guests remove their shoes and leave them at the front door. If they have a coat, hang it in a location that doesn’t touch any other clothing or linen items, like a cleared part of a closet or an available hook on the back of a door. If a guest is staying overnight, be sure to wash any bedding with hot water after they leave, and do a thorough check of the mattress for any bed bugs that might have hopped onto it.
Got Bed Bugs? Give McCall a Call.
Despite our best efforts, bed bug infestations happen. And when they do, McCall Service is here to help. With our proven extermination techniques for both residential and commercial areas, we’ll give you back your peace of mind.