How Can Bed Bugs Get Into Your Home?
If You Find One Bed Bug
The mere sight of a single bed bug can be alarming, but spotting one does not necessarily mean there is more than one bed bug. However, sighting a single bed bug in your home could mean an infestation. Pest infestation does happen, but not many people are aware of it until they are attacked.
For instant termites, if one is spotted, it could be a sign that more are present in your home. Bed bugs are one of the hardest household pests to rid of, and they are quite easy to bring home. The sooner you know you did, the sooner you can avoid a full-scale infestation.
What are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are small wingless parasites that survive on human blood. They only get as big as an apple seed with a round and flat body. Since they cannot fly, they only move from one place to another by crawling or hitchhiking on your bags, clothes, and all over the body.
Though some aggressive bedbugs feed during the day, these parasites are mostly nocturnal, remaining active only during the night. They are very good at hiding, and you can hardly spot one. They love staying close to the host, so we mostly find them in the bedroom.
You can also find bed bugs under any furniture, on or inside your pillowcase, mattress seams, and box springs.
How Can Bed Bugs Get Into Your Home?
The bedbug population has spiraled up every year since 2004, officially reaching an epidemic status according to the University of Arkansas. There is a big possibility that either you or someone close to you has had to deal with them at one point.
Bed bugs are great hitchhikers, and getting them into your home is not as hard as you may think. They move from human to human through second-hand furniture, bags, suitcases or language, clothing, and any item you hardly move around in your home like your bed or couch.
They love any place humans spend most of their time. Some of the most common areas you can find bed bug infestation includes college dormitories, offices, schools, movie theaters, public transportation, nursing homes, hotels, motels, homeless shelters, and worse, in our homes.
However, it can be hard to tell where you picked up the parasite and how it got home. There is also a high possibility that other people visiting your home could have brought more than one bed bug into your home.
The downside is that it may take weeks after coming into your home to come across one. Wherever they come from does not matter. You now have a potential bed bug infestation that you have to deal with.
Could It Be Just One Bedbug?
It is impossible to say that it could be just one or more than one bed bug in your home. To be safe, go ahead and take the necessary precautions for an infestation to avoid a full-blown attack.
What Should You Do When You Spot a Bedbug?
The population of bed bugs multiplies very fast. As soon as you find one, do not wait. Follow these few steps to avoid an infestation. You may have seen a single one, but there could be more.
Clear all the clutter and mess from where you found it
Bed bugs thrive better in mess and clutter. There are many places to hide in such areas due to their tiny bodies. Thoroughly clean and tidy your home, especially the room where you found the bug.
Look to see if you find more bed bugs
With an infestation, it is possible that there could be bed bugs in the other rooms of your house aside from the bed bugs.
They could be hiding on your living room furniture or your bookshelf. A few more signs can help you tell if there are more bed bugs in your home. Here are some:
- Bed bugs leave behind a musty smell that they emit from their scent glands everywhere they have been. If you find no other cause for the smell, you may be having an infestation.
- Bite marks are the perfect sign bed bug has been feeding off your blood. They appear anywhere on the skin, including your arms, neck, shoulders and upper back.
- Bed bugs shed skin almost 5 times in their lifetime. Though they are good at hiding, they tend to leave behind their shed skin.
- When you have bite marks, you will find bloodstains on your bed. They are the best indication that the bugs have been biting you at night because you do not feel it when they do. This is because they have a numbing agent in their saliva.
- You can also find fecal stains that resemble small black dots on your sheets because they defecate as soon as they feed.
- Bed bugs also leave behind eggs and eggshells. Though very small, they appear in clutter and are not as hard to find, especially on furniture or cracks.
Hire an exterminator
Whether you are sure or not you have a bed bug infestation, you are safer calling in an exterminator for better advice. They can tell if you need extermination and can even clear more issues you did not know you had.
Protect your home from another attack
After the extermination, it is now up to you to protect your home and be cautious to avoid another infestation. Below are a few ways you can do that.
How to Avoid a Bedbug Infestation
- Vacuum your house often, especially under the bed and all furniture.
- Declutter you home
- Seal all crevices and cracks on the walls, ceiling, doors, windows and furniture
- Tighten loose electrical faucets and repair peeling wallpaper
- Check for bed bugs on any second-hand item you bring to your home
- Check your items after coming back from a trip or sleeping in a motel
- Wash your beddings and clothes often
- Steam and encase your mattress
- Purchase a bed bug killer from the store
Can You Confuse a Bedbug With Another Parasite?
In some cases, there are chances you may have spotted another critter and confused it with a bed bug. Some insects look like bed bugs, such as fleas, carpet beetles, cockroach nymphs and spider beetles.
Even in cases where you are not sure, call an exterminator to help. Any pest in your home means an impending infestation, and you need to get rid of them.