Bed bugs are considered a public health menace as they are often found in public places like hotels and motels where once exposed, they can hitch a ride back with you into your home. Generally it takes at least seven weeks for a bed bug to grow from an egg to an adult but if even one pregnant female adult bed bug hitches a ride into your home, an infestation can manifest in just a couple of months! One of the best ways to prevent bed bugs from entering your personal space is to learn what they look like, where they come from, and how easy it is for them to multiple and become a nuisance.
What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?
Small in size, bedbugs are wingless insects with six legs that feed on blood from humans. They typically range in color from a pale cream to brown, but turn a rusty red color after a blood meal. Although bed bugs are small, they can be seen with the naked eye. They are most commonly found hiding in bedding, mattresses and other soft and hard furnishings. Bedbugs are typically most active in the early hours of the morning, just before dawn where they can feed in approximately 3 minutes after which they drop off and return to a hiding place to digest their blood meal.
Signs & Symptoms of Bed Bug Bites
Bedbugs can feed on you and you won’t even know it because bedbugs inject a numbing agent and an anticoagulant to keep the blood flowing as they feed. The first sign of a bedbug bite includes small red itchy bites that typically appear in a line. Most bed bug bites occur on uncovered parts of the body typically arms and legs.
How Do Bed Bugs Spread from Person to Person or House to House?
Bed Bugs Travel on Clothes – Bed bugs do not fly; instead they attach themselves to your clothing and other personal items. Some of the most common places for bedbugs to hide include airplanes, movie theaters, public transport, and just about any other place that large numbers of people gather. In fact, bed bugs will literally crawl from one person to the next attaching themselves indiscriminately.
Bed Bugs in Luggage – Your clothing isn’t the only way for bedbugs to get into your home; bed bugs also have a knack for finding their way into your luggage. Never put your luggage on the bed when you enter your hotel room. You should also avoid unpacking your clothes and draping them across the furniture. Instead, place your luggage on a hard surface before unpacking.
Check Used Furniture for Bed Bugs – Bed bugs, just like the name implies are most commonly found on beds, they being said they can infest a number of other items such as couches and other soft furnishings. Be very careful when bringing second hand furniture into your home. If you decide to buy a piece of used furniture examine it carefully for signs of bedbugs