No, it is unlikely for a person to confine bed bugs to a single room. Bed bugs will go where they need to in order to feed. So, if you quarantine a room by not allowing people to stay in it, bed bugs will soon realize this and hitch a ride on a person’s clothes or make their way to the nearest room to search for a human host. Bed bugs can also survive up to a year without feeding, so it is not logical to block off an entire room of your house for such a long time.
The best thing to do when you have a room with bed bugs is to deal with it and take the necessary steps to complete bed bug eradication, because the infestation will simply spread across your house.
How can I tell if a room has bed bugs?
The first thing a person usually notices are the bites on their body. Bed bug bites are red welts on the face, neck, arms, legs, and ankles. These bites are itchy and if you scratch them too much can become a wound and possibly infected, so refrain from scratching your bites.
Another thing you will notice is a moldy, musty odor in the room. This smell is caused by the pheromones from a bed bug’s scent glands.
You may also note fecal matter stains on your sheets and mattress. These are dark, almost black spots that resemble ink stains.
Blood stains may also be present because a couple bed bugs may get squished as you move around in your sleep in the middle of the night. A bed bug that has not yet fed is flat, but a full bed bug is round and full of blood, making them quite easy to squish.
In the bottom of your mattress, as well as the piping and seams, you might find some discarded shed skin by the bed bug nymph. Eggs can also be observed in nooks and crannies on the mattress or the furniture near the bed.
If you have friends or neighbors over to your house regularly, there is a bigger chance for you to be the house with the next infestation. The same can be said if your work needs you to travel and stay in hotels.
If you have recently bought used clothes, furniture, or mattress, you should accept that there is going to be a possibility that the thrift shops you bought them from do not check or clean their items for bed bugs. These are some of the most infested items in a person’s home, so if you plan on thrifting, think hard and long about whether it is worth it to risk getting bed bugs.
Can bed bugs be confined to one room?
You may think that you can simply isolate the bed bugs in one room, unfortunately that is an ineffective way of keeping bed bugs away from other parts of your house.
Bed bugs can move from one room to another by crawling through cracks in walls as well as pipes traveling through the house. Bed bugs are motivated mainly by hunger, so if there is no longer a food source in the room you isolated, the bed bugs will migrate to where the people are.
Even if you tell the people in your home to avoid entering the infested room, your cat or dog may saunter their way in and a bed bug or two might hitch a ride on your pet’s fur. The pet may end up bringing them to a different bedroom, allowing the infestation to spread.
Simply taking a seemingly harmless item out of the room and placing it in a different room can help the bed bugs move around.
It is close to pointless isolating one room in the house, and you are better off hiring a professional exterminator or a DIY bed bug treatment.
How do bed bugs travel from one room to another?
Even though bed bugs can crawl quite fast at a speed of three feet per minute, they prefer hitching a ride on people and animals to get from one place to another. Sure, they can crawl from one end of a room to another and use up all their energy, or they can hang on to Fido for a few seconds and be in the living room in no time.
Bed bugs can infest articles of clothing, especially if they have been left unattended for days and weeks. If a person picks the shirt and brings it to another room, that was an invitation to start a new infestation in the new room. Guests that come into your home and make the mistake of placing their things on your bed could leave your house with a few bed bug stowaways that are going to start their own colonies in your guest’s home.
Bed bugs love using furniture to hide out while they are digesting their latest blood meal or when looking for the best place to lay their eggs.
Bed bugs purposely search out places, such as the bottom of wooden furniture, to become their harborage. These areas are usually dark, hardly moved or disturbed, and away from people and animals most of the time.
If bed bugs have infested a piece of furniture without you knowing, simply moving the piece of furniture to a different room can take multiple bed bugs along with you.
Luggage and bags
Bed bugs like staying in places with a lot of human traffic, such as hotels, dormitories, and even public transportation. When either of these places are infested, placing your luggage or bag on the bed or on a seat can be enough to gather hitchhiking bed bugs to bring back home to your house. So, always be careful of the surfaces you place your bags on.
No, it is difficult, and frankly, not effective to try and confine bed bugs into one room in your home. These insects will search out every small space they can squeeze through to get to another room. They will also hitchhike on people or animals. Nothing is more motivated to seek food than a hungry bed bug.
You are better off doing a DIY bed bug treatment method or hiring a professional pest control service to handle the bed bug eradication for you, rather than quarantining an entire room for a year waiting for the bed bugs to starve and die.
Image: istockphoto.com / KatarzynaBialasiewicz