One of the most unwelcome ‘guests’ in your home are bed bugs. And once you have an infestation or suspect an infestation, you want the problem removed asap. Some people choose the DIY approach, but it is rarely successful. This is because it is hard to find all the areas where bed bugs are infesting your home and then you are faced with treating these areas without spreading the infestation to other rooms – a massive challenge no matter how careful you are.
The purpose of this article is to explain where bed bugs live, where they hide, how an infestation can spread, and how they lay their eggs.
Where do bed bugs live?
Bed bugs will take up residence in your home in the many nooks and crannies beside your bed. For example, they love residing in the cracks and crevices in your walls and skirting boards.
Around the bed you will find them near the piping, seams and tags of the mattress and box spring. They are breeding in the cracks in the bed frame, and they love headboards especially padded ones.
In a heavily infested room, you can find them in all the soft furnishings. So, pay particular attention to skirting boards, bed frames, cushions, curtains and even sometimes items of clothing such as jumper and hats.
Where do bed bugs hide?
Bed bugs are nocturnal insects. They are mostly active at night, biting and drinking blood meal as we sleep. During the daylight hours they hide in the tiniest cracks and crevices because of their sensitivity to light. They can easily stick to any surface including your mattress, clothes and the walls. Bed bugs don’t nest and they hide from humans in your clothes, soft furnishings or any suitable dark place.
They are also attracted to the body heat of their hosts so pest control experts like Dyno-Pest use low-level heat to draw them from their hiding places so they can be exposed and tracked. We use active heat traps to coax the bed bugs into the open.
What can cause a bed bug infestation?
Here are the most common causes:
- Second-hand furniture. The bargain you bring into your home could also be home to thousands of bed bugs!
- Furniture or items dumped in the street where close contact is made with your pets or you have been a good citizen and attempted to clean up. It only takes a few bedbugs to jump on you or your pet and the infestation enters your home.
- Travel is widely recognized as the most common cause of bed bug infestations. You return from a holiday abroad or even within the UK and lurking in your clothing, luggage and personal belongings are bed bugs looking for their next home.
- They can hitch a ride in luggage, purses, backpacks, or other items placed on soft or upholstered surfaces.
- Unfortunately, bed bugs can travel between rooms and floors in multi-unit buildings, such as apartment complexes and hotels.
How an infestation can spread
Bed bugs are hardy, unpleasant bugs that can spread rapidly from bedding, pillows and mattresses to carpets, upholstery, and curtains, even the clothing in your wardrobes and drawers. They live and breed in the cracks in your skirting boards, the crevices in your bed, in your power sockets and underneath your carpets quite happily for several months whilst they breed.
They spread easily from room to room simply through normal every day activities including:
- Taking clothes to be washed. If there are bedbugs on these items they can spread to your laundry area and if you have a laundry basket in another room every time you add an item to it, you’re spreading the bedbug problem.
- Carrying books, toys, papers, crockery, and left-over food from the bedroom to other rooms. Again, any bedbugs on these items are then introduced to your other rooms.
- On people – if you have bedbugs on your clothes then every room you enter means you are unwittingly taking the bedbug problem into that room.
As you can see, any room with bedbugs is unlikely to remain the only room in the home that has the infestation. As time goes on the likelihood of all rooms being infested grows.
Where do bed bugs lay their eggs?
Because bed bugs primarily feed on the blood of humans you are most likely to find their eggs in your bed or close by. This means they are likely to be visible on the mattress seams and joints and around the headboard especially if it is upholstered and attached to the wall. These spaces offer bedbugs some degree of darkness and safety. It is reassuring to know that bed bugs can’t lay eggs on your skin or hair.
Their eggs are quite easy to spot because they are white and laid in clusters.
Spotting signs of bed bugs
If you think you have a infestation spotting the common signs of bed bugs early will be advantageous.
What you think are signs of bed bugs may well be correct, but it is worth bearing in mind that because other types of bug can resemble bed bugs it is worth taking a few photographs of the tell-tale signs and of the bugs themselves. Show them to a professional before going any further.
How Dyno-Pest can help
For most people upon realising they have a bed bug infestation, their first instinct is to call in the professional bed bug ‘exterminators’. This is because DIY treatments are unlikely to succeed for many reasons not least the fact that it is challenging to find all the bedbug infestation hot spots and to then apply a solution that will safely treat an entire home, room by room. Dyno-Pest have over 25 years’ experience successfully treating homes and businesses for bed bugs using heat treatments and environmentally responsible applications.