Bed bugs are one parasite that is dreaded by everyone. This fear has people always wondering “How Do You Get Bed Bugs?” Bed bugs are nocturnal creatures and get their name from the fact that they take refuge in the confines of the bed, and only comes out at night to feed on your blood. Mentioning bed bugs gives many people chills, but there’s a good reason for that.
These blood-sucking parasites can double in number in a very short time period if they get the right quota of blood. Additionally, the creatures are not easy to get rid of, especially when they’ve become a full-blown infestation. The bugging question is, how come bed bugs are found all over the world? And how do you get them or what causes them? Here are some common misconceptions and places that lead to bed bug infestations.
Does Being Dirty Cause Bed Bugs?
A notion spews around, indicating that bed bugs are caused by dirt or filth. However, this is a complete misconception as filthiness only helps them hide better. Bugs are not attracted to untidiness, decay, or filthiness. The creatures can survive in any environment as long as they are near their food source. There have been reports of bed bugs living in some of the cleanest spots.
Bed bugs exist by feeding on blood. However, these parasites don’t have the luxury of living on their hosts, such as fleas and ticks. So, they have to develop a creative way of ensuring that they stay close to their food source. They hide in crevices and cracks near the bed and attack the host in the dead of night.
It doesn’t matter whether your place is a clean as a whistle or as filthy as a dustbin. Any place is susceptible to infestation as long as the bed bugs are guaranteed of getting their ration of blood. So, if dirt and dust don’t bring these parasites, how do you get bed bugs?
How Do Bed Bugs Get into Your Home?
Since bed bugs are excellent in hiding, they are often ferried into your house through a vast array of items. Their fast reproduction plays a critical role in ensuring that they spread in the new environment within the shortest time possible. Here is how you can get bed bugs:
Buying Secondhand Furniture Or Home Goods
If you are fond of buying secondhand items, they could pose a bed bug risk. Don’t bring home secondhand furniture before checking whether they have bed bugs. Furniture poses a significant risk of bed bug infestation to your home. It boasts several places where these parasites can hide, including between the cushions, in the cushion covers, in the seam, and inside the seat cloth. EPA recommends that you seek professional fumigation to get rid of parasites before you get a secondhand furniture into your house.
Secondhand Clothing Can Carry Bed Bug Infestations
Whether passed down, Goodwill, or garage sales, secondhand clothing is also a significant bed bug risk. Before you wear any secondhand garment or put it in your wardrobe:
- Make sure you put it in a dryer for a complete cycle.
- Avoid bringing home other used items such as mattresses, bed frames, or even rugs.
- If you have to do so, make sure they have been checked and fumigated by a professional.
Visiting Motels, Hotels, Hostels or Hospitals
Places that we often use, such as motels, hotels, hostels, and hospitals, are likely to have bed bugs. The visitors who frequent these places might bring bed bugs, and you may pick them unknowingly and carry them home. Since it is not easy to know whether a hotel or hospital is infested with bed bugs, you must take the necessary precautions when leaving. To ensure that bed bugs don’t hitch a ride with you when you are going home, you should take the clothes you’re wearing to your local dry cleaner before you go home.
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Besides losing your luggage or food poisoning, you should also be concerned about bed bugs when using public transport. Increased global travels have also been identified as a leading cause of bed bug infestation in many homes and businesses. Since the transport mediums such as commuter trains, planes, taxis, and buses see high human activity, people can carry bed bugs from their homes and leave them in the medium of transport.
If you use public means of transport, you may pick up the bed bugs unknowingly and bring them to your place. And since these parasites spread like a bush fire, within a few months, you could be dealing with full-blown bed bugs infestation.
Schools and Workplaces Are Bed Bug Hubs
Since schools and workplaces bring together people from different locations, they may also act as the drop and pick-up point for bed bugs. Someone in the office may carry a bed bug from their house and drop it in the office. You could pick it up and take it to your home. Conversely, schools are also known to be a bed bug infestation hotbed. Your kids may pick up the parasites from there and bring them to your house.
Other Public Places That Can Be Havens for Bed Bugs
Although not as common and schools and work, there are other places you can get bed bugs. Even during the day you can also get bed bugs from these places:
- Movie theaters
- Shared laundry facilities
- Public vacuum cleaner services
Therefore, if you frequent such places, you must take precautionary measures to ensure that you don’t bring the nocturnal parasites to your home.
Tips to Help You Avoid Bed Bugs
- Conduct a thorough inspection of your luggage and clothes after spending a night in a hotel, resort, motel, or hostel, no matter how clean it is.
- When kids return from school or a friend’s house, make sure you inspect their clothes and bags for bed bugs.
- Make sure you examine any used furniture before bringing it into your house.
- Check for signs of bed bugs when using public transport. If you detect any infestation signs, make sure you don’t use that taxi, bus, or plane anymore.
- Look out for any signs of bed bugs when you’re in a public place.
In this piece, we’ve highlighted some of the places where you can pick up bed bugs and carry them to your home. However, these are not the only places that answer the dreaded question, How Do You Get Bed Bugs? The correct assumption is that they can be found anywhere. So, the best defense against bed bugs is awareness. Being aware of your surrounding and taking the necessary precautions can help you avoid bed bugs in your home.