How Common Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bug infestation is more prevalent than you may think. One survey estimated that 1 in 5 people have had or know someone who has had bed bugs.
Bed bugs usually stay hidden and are not detected easily. As their name indicates, they are generally found near the bed. Therefore, a thorough inspection of the mattress seams, bed frames, box springs and headboards can reveal their presence. Tiny, dark-red fecal stains and skin shed by them may also indicate that there are bed bugs around. They possess stink glands, so if there is a strong musty odor, it may be a sign of a bed bug infestation.
Bed bugs feed on birds and rodents but they are also attracted to warm human bodies. They come out at night, puncture the human skin, and feed for about 5 – 10 minutes. Typically, their pinprick bite cannot be felt, however, the saliva of the bed bug causes itchy red welts. It can also cause severe allergic reactions.
How Do Bed Bugs Enter?
Bed bugs are great travelers. They hitchhike on things carried by people from one place to another. Some of the common ways in which they can arrive at a place are:
- Bed bugs can come to a place on the clothing and luggage of a person or even on pets.
- They can come with the items which were previously infested. For example, furniture which was infested earlier.
- They come from nearby homes and objects which were infested before. This usually happens in apartments where the ducts are connected.
- Wild animals may transport them from place to place.
- They can arrive with visitors who come from infested areas. They may be carried on their body, clothing or belongings.
Bed bugs can be transferred from one place to another. So if you go to a place for a vacation, you may unknowingly bring them home with your luggage. You can even get bed bugs from a movie theater, train or bus seats, and hotels. When you stay at a hotel, do not start unpacking immediately. Leave your bags near the door of the room. Check the bedding and the seams of the mattress and the surrounding nooks for any signs of bed bugs.
Have a Bed Bug Problem?
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