Understanding Where Bed Bugs Really Like To Live

Bed bugs have been all over the news in recent years, and rightfully so. Bed bug infestations have increased substantially. Scientists believe that an uptick in airline travel and the fact that more people are now living in densely populated cities have a lot to do with this increase. Also, since more people are now concerned about the negative environmental effects of pesticides and insecticides, these chemicals are utilized less often than they were. If you travel a great deal, then you may be extremely concerned about bringing bed bugs home with you. In your attempt to protect yourself, you may believe some common myths about where bed bugs are likely to live. Understanding the truth behind these myths will help you to avoid an infestation in your home.

Myth: Bed Bugs Are Located In Dirty Places

Some people will spend two or three times as much money as they normally would to stay in fancy and high-class hotels so they can protect themselves from bed bugs. You may do this yourself to avoid the pests. However, the insects are not drawn to dirty homes or areas that are cluttered and unsanitary. The bugs will take up shop wherever they can. In fact, one of New York City's fanciest hotels, the Ritz-Carlton, confirmed that they were experiencing a bed bug infestation in 2012. 

While the bugs may not discriminate when it comes to their home, the bugs are probably more likely to stick around low-income housing apartments and cheap motels for a longer period of time. The simple reason for this is that these areas are much more populated and infestations move quickly before someone notices. Also, it can be quite time-consuming and costly to eradicate the bugs. Both chemical and non-chemical approaches will likely be needed to kill the bugs completely.

When bed bugs are killed, an investigation is completed first to identify the bugs and the areas inside a building that are infested. Insecticides are typically utilized. A fog or a spray may be used. While the chemicals will kill most of the bed bugs, some will scatter and try to hide in walls and other closed-off locations. To kill these bugs and any eggs that may not have been reached, pest control professionals will use steam around walls, floors, windows, and other areas where the pests can hide. A fancy hotel is probably more likely to invest in this sort of approach to rid the building of bed bugs, but this is not a guarantee against future issues. 

Myth: Bed Bugs Live Only In Beds

Bed bugs will typically make their homes in mattresses, because this allows them easy access to their food source, which is human blood. The blood is consumed through biting. Since bed bugs are nocturnal and you sleep in your bed at night, this helps the bugs grab a meal while they are typically awake. However, bed bugs do not live in beds exclusively. The bugs like to live on soft surfaces in dark areas. This means that your carpet, couch cushions, office chair, and favorite sweater can all make a home for bed bugs. Bed bugs can even stay in these locations away from you, their food source, for several months. Some professionals say that the bugs can even live for a year without eating, so they can stay put in your sofa or armchair for some time.

While bed bugs are nocturnal, they can also become active during the day if they are hungry. This means that they may decide to start feeding on you during the afternoon or evening as you watch television. 

This means that you should inspect hotels and your own home thoroughly if you want to make sure that the bugs are not present. Use a flashlight to look around soft surfaces and check in crevices and cracks as well, like the seam of your mattress or couch. Look for bugs that are flat and brown with oval-shaped bodies. Call a pest control business or contact the hotel you are staying in immediately if you notice the bugs.