Bed bug infestations are notoriously hard to catch in its early stages. Unfortunately, most people only suspect bed bug infestation when there is already a sizable population of bed bugs. The key to controlling the spread of bed bugs from room to room is to regularly inspect your room for signs of the pest. Making sure you do not take any infested items out of the infested room and take it to another room, because this is how bed bugs spread around the house. Making sure there is no clutter in your house, as to eliminate all possible hiding places for bed bugs.
How do I know if I have bed bugs?
The first step in preventing the spread of bed bugs is to be able to properly identify bed bugs when you see them. This can be tricky because they are so sneaky and tiny.
Adult bed bugs have reddish brown, apple seed shaped, flat bodies that have six legs and two antennae. They are around 4mm long.
Baby bed bugs, or nymphs, are smaller and are a more translucent or pearly-white color.
If you are unable to take a good look at the bug, there are other signs you can look out for such as blood stains on your sheets and mattress from bed bugs getting crushed. Bed bug feces also leave ink-like stains on your bed and linen.
Check your body as well as all your family members for any bed bug bites. They will look like red, itchy welts in a zigzag pattern or clusters.
What are bed bugs attracted to?
Bed bugs are primarily drawn towards places with dense human traffic such as hotels, apartments, and dormitories. They are also attracted to the warmth that emanates from human bodies, as well as the carbon dioxide we exhale. This is how bed bugs track their hosts down in order to take a blood meal.
Basically, where there are people, there is blood, and this is where a bed bug likes to be.
Bed bugs are called as such because inside a home, they are found on the bed. Bed bugs like to keep tabs on their human host, so they like to be as close as they can be while still keeping safe. Beds are where their hosts sleep. They will come out of their hiding spots in the bottom of the mattress, to crawl onto their host’s body so they can drink their blood.
Other common areas in your home that bed bugs like to hide in are cracks on the floor and walls, peeling wallpaper, electrical outlets, wooden furniture, carpets, curtains, and any fabric or upholstered furniture in your home.
Bed bugs prefer beds and being in close proximity to their host, but remember that bed bugs can live anywhere to survive as long as it is hidden. They can also feed on animals if there is no human nearby.
How do I prevent bed bugs from spreading?
One of the most important things you can do to prevent bed bugs from spreading is to make sure you are wearing clothes that are not infested with bed bugs.
Put the clothes you are planning to wear for the day in the dryer on the highest temperature setting for 30 minutes. Make sure you include your coat, socks, scarf, and mittens.
After the dryer cycle, shake all of the clothes to remove any dead bed bugs. Put the clothes in a plastic bag and seal it tightly.
Make sure you put the clothes on in an area that is least likely infested, like the bathroom or the bathtub. After changing into clean clothes, leave the house immediately, because the longer you stay in your home, the more chances the bed bugs get hitching a ride.
When you figure out which rooms in your home are infested, refrain from moving items from that room into other uninfested rooms. A single bed bug making its way into a new room is enough to start a colony of its own.
Check the walls of the infested rooms in case they have cracks, holes, and gaps that lead to other rooms of the house. Use sealant to close these cracks, and if you do not know how to remedy them, hire someone to do it for you.
Lastly, the most important step to take in preventing the spread of bed bugs from one room to another is to rid your house of all the bed bugs, and their eggs, completely.
If the infestation is quite new, you can use a vacuum to clear off the bed bugs. You can also use a steam cleaner to kill the bed bugs that are in your mattress and box spring. The heat from the steam cleaner is usually enough to kill bed bugs immediately. There are plenty of bed bug sprays in the market today, but be wary of using them excessively as some of them use strong chemicals and fumes to be effective.
If you do not want to use chemical pesticides in your home, and if you can afford to, hire a professional pest control service to do a heat treatment to your home. This is when industrial heaters are placed inside your house to raise the temperature to above 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature is kept stable for a couple of hours to make sure that even the hidden bed bugs and eggs will be killed.
Prevent the spread of bed bugs from room to room by making sure that the clothes you wear do not have bed bugs on them. Refrain from moving things from the infested room into other rooms in the house. Regularly inspect all the rooms in your house so you are more likely to catch a new infestation in its early stages. Check the infested room for any cracks or gaps on the walls that are big enough for bed bugs to crawl into. Seal the cracks.
The best thing to do to make sure no bed bugs spread further into the other rooms of your house, is to hire a professional pest control service to do a heat treatment. This will kill all the bed bugs and their eggs, completely eradicating the infestation.
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