Bed Bug Behavior
Bed Bugs are both flat and thin, which makes it easy for them to hide in hard to reach places like cracks in the floor, window frames, outlets, and in the seams of bed sheets. This makes them hard to find without thorough search and investigation.
Bed Bugs are great survivors. Even though they are active feeders in a host environment, a Bed Bug can survive up to 300 days without eating.
One of the most common causes for the spread of bedbugs is travel. Bed Bugs can move from place to place by attaching themselves to luggage, clothing, bedding and furniture. With domestic and international travel on the rise, the concern over Bed Bugs in the Pacific Northwest and greater United States continues to increase. One common myth is that Bed Bugs only come from shabby hotels, and dirty environments. To the contrary, Bed Bugs can be spread themselves just as easily from high-end resorts, wherever there are people and their belongings to attach themselves.
The most obvious ways to know that you have a bed bug problem are:
- Bites – Bites are the most obvious indication that you have Bed Bugs. That said, there are many types of biting insects (mosquitos, spiders and more) so it cannot be immediately be assumed that your bites come from Bed Bugs. Bed Bug bites tend to be itchier and longer lasting than mosquito bites and can last up to 9 days. Bed Bugs also have a tendency to bite in linear patterns of three.
- Stains and Trails – If you have lighter color bedding, you will occasionally find small dark spots which are dried blood smears left behind by Bed Bugs after they are done feeding. They will appear as small magic marker dots.
- Molted Skin, Shedding – Bed Bugs shed their skin as they grow, leaving their small transparent casings behind.
Bed Bug Prevention
Here are some tips for keeping bed bugs out of your home.
Travel is one of the leading causes of Bed Bug infestations. Being mindful while traveling and following some of these steps will help keep your home or property bug free:
- Inspect your accommodations and hotel rooms upon arrival. Check the bed sheets, mattresses, seams and bed skirts for small dark spots.
- Check the other common spots that bedbugs hide like bed frames, headboards, furniture (especially upholstered) and curtains. Most often bed bugs are hiding within a 1.5 foot radius of the bed.
- Keep your luggage off the floor and away from walls, headboards, picture frames, and outlet panels. Instead of putting your luggage on the bed, use the luggage racks that are provided.
- Keep your clothes and other belongings off the bed during your stay.
- Examine everything carefully before you return, including clothes, luggage and all your other belongings.
- When you arrive home, place everything in the dryer for at least 15 minutes on the highest heat setting.
In the House
Here are some prevention tips for the home.
- Use hottest settings available when washing bed linens.
- Carefully inspect any second-hand purchase that comes into your home, especially furniture and/or anything upholstered.
- Frequently inspect your home or property specifically whenever someone moves in or out, after an overnight visitor or when you have people in your home.