Bed bugs are extremely small, parasitic, wingless insects. They are about the size of an apple seed and are reddish-brown in color. While bed bugs most commonly are found in mattresses, they can also inhabit sofas, chairs and other soft furnishings.Many people think bed bugs only reside in seedy motels and other unsanitary places. While it’s true that bed bugs thrive in places with poor sanitation, they can also live in clean environments.Bed bugs are able to spread faster in close living quarters such as college dormitories, hotels and apartment complexes, but it is possible for bed bugs to make their way into single-family homes as well. Bed Bugs are Great Hitchhikers It’s possible for anyone to get bed bugs, but you’re most susceptible if you’re frequently sleeping and spending time in places where other people have slept. The most common way bed bugs get from place to place is by hitching a ride with people that are traveling. They can hide in anything from luggage, clothing, towels and other linens.Because bed bugs are so small and good at hiding, most people don’t even realize they are carrying bed bugs with them as they travel. How Can I Avoid a Bed Bug Infestation in My Home? Just because you travel doesn’t mean you’re doomed to have bed bugs in your home. There are a number of different measures you can take in order to prevent an infestation.
- Use a bed bug mattress protector on your beds at home. A mattress protector is made of specially designed fabric that will create an impenetrable barrier and keep bed bugs from entering your mattress.
- Never put your luggage or belongings on the bed, floor or any other soft surface while staying in a hotel or place other than your home. In addition to mattresses, bed bugs can be hiding in carpet or on the fabric of chairs and ottomans. It’s best to keep your luggage and belongings on a hard surface such as a table or nightstand.
- Carefully inspect clothing and luggage that you take on a trip as soon as you return home. If possible, do not take the items into the house. Conduct your inspection in a garage or unfinished basement in order to prevent bringing any possible lingering bed bugs into your house.
- Be careful when bringing second-hand furniture into your home. Because it has been used before, a second-hand furniture item could have been infested with bed bugs without the previous owners ever knowing it. Only use second-hand furniture that you know the origin of. Always conduct a thorough inspection before bringing it into your home.