What Causes Bed Bugs? Some Common Facts.

Bed bugs are a growing pest problem all across the US and many other countries in the world. These little guys were actually wiped out pretty well in the mid-1900s in the US but as any insect does, they’ve repopulated slowly but surely and have come back in force. We used to use very harsh insecticides on them and those have long since been banned so these particular bugs have decided they really want to be our unwanted roommates once again.

The actual origin of bed bugs is simple. They feed on us and have evolved to do so over hundreds of thousands of years just like other human specific parasites. We’re their food source and they need us to survive and breed. Hundreds of years ago, bed bugs could spread among towns and would become a nuisance quickly but this was a slow process and many areas remained free of these pests. Today we have very fast travel between cities and other countries and all it takes is a couple sneaky bugs in our luggage that slipped in during our last trip. Next thing you know, you and maybe even your entire apartment building is the main course.

Bed Bugs and Travel

Obviously, if you live in a bed bug free home and don’t travel much, you won’t get them this way. For the person on the go, maybe choosing that discounted motel by the freeway wasn’t the best idea during your last trip. Hotels and motels are pretty thorough about checking mattresses and bedding but sometimes you won’t notice something as small as this pest. Someone checks in with some in their favorite pillow they bring, leave a couple and the next person takes them home and so on. They can spread extremely fast this way and you can even hear reports of busses having small outbreaks now and then.

When traveling, take a moment to inspect your mattress and linens before you lay down for the night. Look for bugs and droppings. If it’s all clear, you should be just fine. If you wake up with a line of bites or little red bumps that weren’t there before, it’s time to be very suspicious and you might ask a housekeeper or manager to help you check things out. It’s in their best interest to be aware of this as well.

Used Furniture

Probably the most common way to spread bed bugs in a single area is used furniture. Couches, chairs, mattresses, box springs, clothing, linens and pillows are the prime suspects here. It’s often not even a cleanliness issue; it’s a simple issue of not knowing they were even there. Sometimes people can live with these pests for months without even realizing it blaming red bumps on spiders or a change in detergent and things like this.

Garage and yard sales are hard for many of us to resist but the sunlight is a great place to check that mattress out. Flip it around, look in all the nooks and crannies. Take couch cushions off and look around thoroughly. Shake those sheets out. If there’s something there, you should be able to spot it. Use discretion and if you really have to have that flowered couch from 1978, quarantine it in your garage for a couple days and give it a good inspection at different times of day, especially at night when these little guys are most active.

Bed bugs can spread from person to person in rare cases but this doesn’t happen much at all. Keep track of noteworthy news items in your area and if you see a sudden rise in cases, be on alert when buying used goods or traveling. Utilize some at home remedies or call a professional when things get out of hand or you don’t want to deal with this nuisance yourself.

What Causes Bed Bugs? 6 Ways They Find A Way Into Your Home

The first step in knowing how to get rid of bed bugs is to figure out what causes bed bugs. By knowing the ways in which bed bugs come into your home and lay eggs, you can take steps to prevent a bed bug infestation in your home.

Contrary to popular belief bed bugs are not caused by filth or poverty. Bed bugs do not care that you’re rich or poor, clean or messy. They are concerned with blood of humans and animals and nothing more. Every home is susceptible to bed bugs so your best bet is knowing what caused them so you can prevent and treat them.

Pets

Bed bugs can be brought into your home by household pets like cats and dogs. They are warm and have blood, making them the ideal ride into your home. Since bed bugs are not necessarily ‘inside’ creatures, they often hop on animals to feed and simply end up in a new location as the animal moves around.

Pets are just one cause of bed bugs, but regular bathing can minimize a bed bug infestation.

Cramped Living

Cramped living quarters such as hotels, college dorms, hostels and apartment buildings are a big cause of bed bug infestations. While it is not the fact that much of the world lives in apartments or other forms of cramped living, living close to your neighbors provides a good way for bed bugs to spread.

For example, living in an apartment building or dormitory where one unit has bed bugs can quickly cause others to have bed bugs as well. They travel on the carpet from one unit to the next, in the air ducts and power outlets. When one person gets bed bugs in cramped living quarters—particularly without alerting their neighbors—they cause others to get bed bugs.

If you notice bed bugs in your apartment, quickly alert your neighbors so they may prevent or treat their own infestation.

Traveling

International travel has certainly increased our awareness of bed bugs because placed like hotels that have a high turnover rate of human activity. Even a five star hotel can cause bed bugs in your home if that is where the bed bugs latched onto your luggage or clothing.

Places like hotels and airplanes where there thousands of people sharing the same small spaces are a breeding ground for bed bugs. Any place where people are sitting or sleeping for long periods of time is a place that can cause bed bugs to hitch a ride home with you.

Used Furniture

City dwellers often rely on city services to dispose of used furniture, generally by placing old furniture on the curb for a pick-up service. Many times the furniture is picked up to be used by someone else before the pick-up service arrives, and this is one of the causes of bed bugs in your home.

Even if the previous owner had no signs of bed bugs in their home, they can be transferred to the used furniture just from a few minutes on the street.


If you love free furniture, be sure to clean it thoroughly or risk a bed bug infestation.

 

It isn’t just used furniture found on the street. Used furniture found at flea markets, outdoor sales or second hand furniture shops can also bring bed bugs into your home.

Cracks & Crevices

If you have noticeable cracks or crevices on the walls, floors or ceilings in your home, this is a simple way for bed bugs to crawl into your home. Since bed bugs are quite small they can enter through even the smallest crack in a wall.

They seek warmth and those cracks and crevices provide them an easy way into the warmth.

Your best bet is to seal these cracks as soon as you spot them. Don’t wait until you need to do one big job to buy caulk. The sooner you seal those cracks the greater your chances of avoiding a bed bug infestation.

Clothes

The clothes on your body can easily answer the question, what causes bed bugs? Anywhere you go that has bed bugs—knowingly or unknowingly—is a place where you can bring them home with you.

If you suspect that you may have come in contact with bed bugs immediately run your clothes through a wash cycle on hot water. This will kill the bed bugs before they can lay eggs and infest your home.

Keep in mind that these are just a few of the causes of bed bugs. Regularly check your clothes, pets and furniture for signs of bed bugs. Seal up the cracks and crevices you notice and keep the bed bugs at bay.