Just because your house is free of bed bugs now doesn’t mean it will stay that way. You only need a few of those tiny bloodsuckers to enter your home uninvited for an infestation to start.
There are many ways through which bed bugs can set up camp in your bed or elsewhere, heralding the start of your blood serving as the primary source of sustenance of tiny nocturnal creatures.
And now you may be wondering if something as fun and seemingly harmless as dropping by a house with bed bugs can spark an infestation at home.
Do you know that you can get bed bugs from visiting someone’s house?
Bed bugs need not crawl a lot to move from one house to the other. All they need is to end up on clothes or in suitcases and, from there, they can get practically anywhere. Since female bed bugs can lay up to five eggs a day, they can easily multiply in a different house, causing an infestation.
Refrain from assuming, however, that you will certainly end up with a bed bug problem for visiting an infested house. It is just a possibility, especially if the conditions are right.
Needless to say, there is no need to cut a family member or friend out of your life just because he or she is sharing the bed with bed bugs and you don’t want to suffer a similar fate. For the most part, to avoid facing the same domestic crisis, all you have to do is arm yourself with the right information.
Pro-tip: Exposing bed bugs to high temperatures (over 120°F) kills them in a matter of minutes. If you want to get rid of bed bugs without calling an exterminator check the best steam cleaners that produce over 300°F on Amazon now.
Their Short Legs (All Six of Them) Do Not Stop Them From Going Places
Cockroaches can go from room to room or house to house without any trouble. That’s because they have wings that help them go around, usually causing people to panic and scramble to get out of the way!
Bed bugs, on the other hand, cannot fly. And, unlike ticks and fleas, they cannot jump high.
Despite not having wings or the knack for leaping, bed bugs can still travel to establish their clans in different places. Such is by means of their legs.
Their six limbs may not be as long as the legs of some of the tallest fashion models or NBA players out there. However, they are still very good at doing their job.
According to experts, on most surfaces, bed bugs can crawl up to four feet per minute. It may not seem noteworthy but, in human terms, that is equivalent to an adult running.
The average size of bedrooms in the US is 11 feet by 12 feet. Given the speed stats above, it will only take a bed bug to move from one end of a standard bedroom to the other as little as three minutes!
Especially if you live in a small apartment, bed bugs in one bedroom will not have a challenging time going to another bedroom.
Fortunately, bed bugs do not find it necessary to look for another bedroom to wreak havoc on. For as long as they have a steady supply of blood in their current territory, they will stay put.
However, it is a completely different story if they feel like food comes aplenty elsewhere.
Scarcity of Food is a Reason Why Bed Bugs Tend to Migrate
Bed bugs spend a great deal of their time sleeping and mating. They are not really as bloodthirsty as they may seem. As a matter of fact, bed bugs go out of hiding to look for food only once every five to ten days.
If there are lots of bed bugs in a bed or in the neighboring furnishings, a person may wake up each morning with itchy red bumps on exposed areas of the body.
It doesn’t mean that the bed bugs around are hungrier than the rest of the species. It’s just that different bed bugs have different feeding times.
Again, bed bugs are happy with feasting on blood approximately once a week only.
Here’s another diet-related fact about bed bugs: They can survive without food anywhere from 20 to 400 days! It may take a long time before they die of starvation. But when they do feel hungry, they will certainly hunt for food.
If you think that abandoning your bed bug-infested bedroom is an effective way to get rid of the problem, think again.
Sleeping in another bedroom (or anywhere else) in your house is a bad idea. That’s because it is one of the reasons why a bed bug infestation can go from one area of the home to the other!
Bed bugs can locate you, their leading choice of fresh blood source, in different ways. One of them is by sensing your body heat. Another is by detecting your skin’s moisture content.
Then there is also their ability to pick up the carbon dioxide that you exhale. For as long as you are breathing, those bed bugs can find you!
When you sleep in another room, bed bugs will track you down by following the trail of carbon dioxide in the air. When they get to you, not only will they feed on your blood all over again but also begin an infestation there.
Due to this, experts strongly advise anyone against hopping into a different bed in an attempt to avoid bed bug bites.
Crawling Several Feet is Sometimes Unnecessary to Move Around
Other than being excellent crawlers for their diminutive size, bed bugs are also fantastic hitchhikers. They can easily move from one place to the other by traveling on clothes and in suitcases.
As a matter of fact, it is through this why bed bugs can go from continent to continent trouble-free!
Because those pesky vampire-like insects can easily go on a voyage simply by finding a vehicle, such as your clothes or suitcase, it is for certain that it is effortless for them to get from one room in your house to the other by hitchhiking and getting a ride from you without you knowing about it!
In some instances, all it takes for a bed bug infestation to occur in another bedroom is sleeping there with some bed bugs unwittingly on your clothes that you picked up from the other bedroom — the one with the infestation.
Although bed bugs do not normally live on clothes, in some instances, they can take cover there when it is not yet time for them to nourish themselves with your blood.
This is especially true for garments with lots of pockets and design elements that provide bed bugs with plenty of seams, crevices, and corners to hide in.
Bed bugs don’t have to find their way to your closet or cabinet to camp out on your clothes. Sometimes, all it takes is placing your clothes on the bed or anywhere else with bed bugs.
It is possible for items other than your clothes to also serve as conduits for bed bugs to get to a different bedroom.
While waiting for sleepiness to make its presence known at night, is it your habit to use your smartphone, tablet, or laptop? Then chances are that you simply leave them on the bed or nightstand when it is time for you to have some Z’s.
This gives bed bugs around the opportunity to sneak in the various ports, grilles, and screw holes.
And when you take the infested electronic device to another bedroom, it is not unlikely for some of the bed bugs to crawl out of hiding. From there, nothing can stop them from mating and laying eggs!
Bed Bugs Can Infest Many Areas in the Home Other Than a Bedroom
Despite what they are called, bed bugs can infest not just beds. They can also hide as well as multiply in various furniture pieces, ranging from an accent chair to a bureau.
Bed bugs can also take cover behind the wallpaper or a wall hanging, that place where the wall and ceiling meet, under the carpet, in between the flooring planks, near the folds or on the edges of curtains and drapes, in the spines of hardcover books, and, as mentioned above, in electronic devices.
So, in other words, bed bugs can hide practically anywhere in the bedroom!
Aside from infesting not just the bed, bed bugs can also infest not just the bedroom. Those bloodsuckers can overrun different areas in your home, provided that they have quick access to a human host there.
Needless to say, a bed bug infestation in your bedroom may spread not only to another bedroom but also to the living room, kitchen, and others where you tend to stay.
It is very much possible for the entire house to serve as a playground for bed bugs, especially if many people are living there as there is never a shortage of blood to suck on.
And if these people have bed bugs on their clothes and they pay the homes of their family and friends a visit, they may cause an infestation to start there!
Suitcases Help Bed Bugs Easily Take a Trip Other Than Clothes
Your clothes are not the only ones that can provide those bed bugs with a mode of transportation between someone’s infested house and your bed bug-free house.
There is another thing that can give those blood-loving insects a hand when going across great distances.
Here’s a clue: it is where you place your belongings when traveling.
Perhaps you have already read online all sorts of horror stories about people who experience a bed bug infestation in their respective homes after staying in infested hotel rooms.
Most likely, some of the bed bugs in the hotels they stayed in ended up in their suitcases. While unpacking at home, the bed bugs got unpacked, too.
Thanks to a suitcase, it is very much possible for bed bugs to migrate to a different country or continent without the need to buy plane tickets or present their passports at airport security!
Because of this, experts suggest that you keep your suitcase as far away as possible from the bed (or from any other item or object that could be safekeeping some bed bugs) while staying in a hotel whose credibility infestation-wise is not particularly stellar.
Otherwise, you may end up bringing home pesky bed bugs as souvenirs.
You should do the same if you are spending some time at the place of a family member or friend whose house is infested with bed bugs. The goal is to minimize the number of those creepy crawlers winding up inside your suitcase.
Worry not because there is something that you can do that can help considerably lower your risk of unknowingly introducing bed bugs into your home.
It’s none other than washing your clothes in hot water and drying them, too, using the hottest possible setting, according to the label. That’s because heat can kill bed bugs.
As for the rest of the items in your suitcase and the suitcase itself, you may steam clean or vacuum them — just make sure that you stash the dust bag in a garbage bag, seal, and then dispose of properly.
They Can Go Places Not Only by Air But by Road as Well
Did you know that a car can get infested by bed bugs, too?
However, this is not as common as a house getting infested by those nocturnal creatures. That’s because it is less likely for them to have quick access to blood inside a car when it is time for them to feed.
And when a car infestation happens, it rarely ends up as severe as a full-blown house infestation.
A bed bug infestation in a car can start when someone who has bed bugs on his or her clothes takes a ride in the said vehicle.
The same is also likely to occur if a bed bug-containing suitcase is placed and opened in the compartment or elsewhere inside the car.
There are many places in a car that can serve as mating and hiding zones for bed bugs. They range anywhere from the areas around the piping of the car seat covers to the undersides of the rugs.
If you allow someone who is carrying some bed bugs in the car, some of those teeny insects may crawl onto your clothes, which you may then welcome into your house the minute that you step foot inside it.
Luckily, the majority of home remedies for a bed bug infestation at home can also help with a bed bug infestation in a car.
Just Before You Go to the House of Someone With Bed Bug Infestation
Bed bugs, if given the opportunity, can easily spread from one bedroom to the other. They can also cause an infestation in many other areas in the home.
Similarly, they can travel from home to home by hitching a ride on clothes and in suitcases.
If someone is experiencing a bed bug infestation and you happen to pay his or her home a visit, there is a possibility that you will accidentally bring home some bed bugs with you.
And once they are already inside your home, nothing can stop them from mating and multiplying out of control. Nothing can keep them, too, from feasting on your blood early in the morning, which is their preferred feeding time, while you are fast asleep.
Fortunately, cutting out that person with a bed bug problem from your life is not necessary just to make sure that you are not going to suffer the same fate.
Instead, you can:
- Avoid going to the person’s infested house as much as you possibly can.
- Refrain from placing your coat, jacket, or bag on the bed or any other surface in the infested house.
- Head straight to the washing machine to wash your clothes in hot water after getting home.
- Say that you will have to take a rain check when he or she offers to visit you.
- Suggest meeting in a restaurant, coffee house, shopping mall, or park rather than in his or her home.
- Make excuses for why you cannot use your car to drive him or her around in the meantime.
There are many things that you can do to avoid having a bed bug infestation yourself after stepping foot inside someone’s house with a bed bug infestation.
Just in case an infestation strikes beyond your control, worry not because there are many home remedies for bed bugs that you may try. Seeking the help of professional exterminators is an option, too.
If you choose to leave the task to the pros, you can choose between chemical treatment and heat treatment, each one has its set of pros and cons.
Remember: The sooner you spring into action, the less likely it is for you to end up with a serious bed bug infestation.
Photo credit: ©canva.com/TeroVesalainen
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