Realizing you have a bed bug infestation is baffling, but it is becoming more common. While many people associate them with unclean conditions, bed bugs are highly mobile and can infest even the cleanest homes. Identifying the source may help you prevent re-infestation and alert others to a potential problem.
Whether you picked up a “perfectly good-looking” couch from the curb or purchased a new outfit from a thrift store, second-hand goods are a notorious source of bed bugs. Mattresses are one of the most common culprits, but any upholstered furniture can be a carrier.
Bed bug eggs can be impossible to see with the naked eye. Not seeing any telltale splotches does not mean your goods are clean. Avoid second-hand furniture unless you are positive it came from a clean home. Second-hand clothing should always be washed in hot water and dried immediately after it is brought home.
Hotels, children’s summer camps, and college dorms can all harbor bed bugs. Many destinations are vigilant about checking for infestations, but recent populations can go unnoticed.
If anyone in your family has traveled recently, consider contacting where they stayed and asking that the room be checked for bed bugs. You can help prevent spreading infestations by vacuuming out luggage and taking care of laundry immediately when you arrive home.
Neighbors and Visitors
Bed bugs can easily hitch a ride on clothing, inside backpacks and on any other fabric and end up in your home. If you had recent overnight guests, be sure to alert them to the problem. Try to avoid hosting guests that you know are struggling with a bed bug problem.
Bed bugs can also spread throughout apartment complexes, duplexes, townhouses and other attached home with ease. If your apartment develops an infestation, it is likely your neighboring units have or could have one soon. Alert your neighborhoods as soon as possible.
They Were Already There
If you moved into your home recently, it is possible that bed bugs had already taken up residence. Bed bugs can hide in carpets, curtains, baseboards and a number of other spots in your new home and remain invisible until there are warm bodies to feed on.
If you have a landlord, contact them immediately. If you purchased a home, contact a local, non-emergency information hotline and ask what the local laws are regarding previous bed bug infestations.