No one likes finding out their home has bed bugs. But in recent years, cases have been on the rise.
In the United States, bed bugs used to be fairly common until about World War II, when most were eradicated. The past few decades have seen a significant increase, and unfortunately, bed bugs’ habits make them hard to get rid of. As they can live without food for up to a year and they can get into narrow surfaces, starving them out and using cleaning products frequently have no effect.
As a result, the best way to not get bed bugs is to be aware and avoid them completely. The following factors tend to increase your chances:
If you’re in a crowded area
In places where people stay overnight or congregate in large numbers, it’s easy for bed bugs to get into your belongings or latch onto your clothes. Be mindful if you live in or stay the night at:
- An apartment complex
- A dorm
- Homeless shelters
- Hotels and motels
- Cruise ships
- Trains and buses
If you travel frequently
In line with the point above, if you’re someone who’s on the road a large portion of the year, your chances of picking up bed bugs increase greatly. Take particular precautions when you travel to international locations.
If your home has many crevices
Beyond the usual mattresses and drapes, bed bugs also tend to hide in:
- Peeling paint
- Loose wallpaper
- Under carpeting
- In upholstery seams
- Under light switch plates and outlets
If your home has clutter
Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs aren’t attracted to unsanitary environments. What they do like, however, are places to hide. Clutter, as a result, becomes a welcomed home.
If you purchase second-hand furniture
No matter if you go to the consignment store or pick up a sofa left on the curb, taking furniture that was once in someone else’s home could mean you’re picking up someone else’s bedbug problem.
For certain demographics
Certain people tend to get bedbug infestations at a greater rate:
- Younger people in urban areas who rent.
- If you live in the Midwest or South
- If you work in social services or emergency services, as both occupations involve going into someone else’s home.
If you have a child who goes to school or daycare
Students or teachers may bring in, unwittingly, bed bugs from their own home. These pests then crawl into someone else’s belongings, and end up multiplying inside your house.
Always leave it to the professionals to get rid of bed bugs. When you suspect these pests are in your home, contact Eliminate ‘Em for 24-7, same-day bed bug extermination services.