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7 Questions to Determine Your Bed Bug Cause

white bed in a hotel room

Have you been waking up in the morning with new bites on your skin when you have no recollection of being bitten? Are you seeing tiny reddish-brown stains on your sheets or mattress, with no idea where they've come from? If the answer to these questions is yes, there’s a good chance you may have a bed bug infestation in your home.

1) How Are Bed Bugs Getting Into My Home?

There are several different ways that bed bugs may come into your home. For one, they are notorious hitchhikers. If you have recently stayed in a hotel or even at a friend or family members home, you could have brought their bed bug problem home with you. These little pests crawl into luggage, snuggle up in your laundry, or may even hitch a ride on the outer parts of your bags or clothing. 

Another common method of entry for bed bugs is through new items that come into your home. This is especially true for secondhand items. That vintage couch that you think is so amazing could potentially be harboring a hefty bed bug infestation. Even a rocking chair or nightstand can hold an infestation in the crevices of the wood. 

You can keep bed bugs out of your home by:

  • Doing a thorough inspection of every new, or “new to you”, item you bring into your home.

  • Wash and dry every piece of clothing on the hottest setting to kill off any bugs that have made the trip with you.

  • Checking your hotel room for bed bugs before bringing your luggage in.

2) Can Bed Bugs Travel Through Apartment Walls?

Bed bugs are able to travel through your walls via your neighbors. If you live in a space with shared walls, whatever pest problem your neighbors have will likely become your own. 

If you have a new infestation and can’t think of any other way that you may have possibly gotten a bed bug infestation, you may want to reach out to your neighbors or your landlord. The best way to treat the infestation, in this case, is to treat the entire building at once. If you only treat your apartment, then the odds of the infestation coming back are very high.

3) Are Bed Bugs More Common in Rural or Urban Locations?

The infamous and resilient little pests are actually far more common in urban locations. There are two main reasons for this:

  • Bed bugs thrive indoors- bed bugs like to set up camp on bedding so they can be near a constant food source—you. 

  • Bed bugs are natural hitchhikers- While looking for their next human host, bedbugs often attach themselves to personal belongings or clothing. If the person who owns those belongings/clothes ends up on the move with them, then the bedbug can be transported to new locations.

When you’re in urban locations, the odds are there’s always someone with bedbugs close by. And if the afflicted person stops in one place for too long (like a hotel), the bedbug is now free to move around and find a new mode of transportation (like your luggage). Once you take your luggage home, you’ve now introduced bed bugs into your own house and could soon have a full-blown infestation on your hands. But hotels aren’t the only place you can pick up bedbugs: any high-traffic location (like public transportation vehicles or movie theaters) has the potential to expose you to bedbugs.

Are you worried you’ve been exposed to bed bugs while traveling? Give our team a call at 916-344-1515 and talk to one of our professional bed bug exterminators today. 

4) Do Bed Bugs Hibernate?

Many people believe that a decrease in bed bug sightings during the winter means their home is magically clear of bed bugs without professional treatment. Science tells us this is a false sense of security. While bed bug activity might slow down during the colder and less humid months, it indicates bugs are simply less active—not dead.

In fact, research at the University of Minnesota found that short-term, bed bugs survive temperatures as low -13 degrees Fahrenheit. And, if you want to kill off bed bug eggs, you must expose them to 3 degrees Fahrenheit for almost four days.

That sounds like a rather miserable thermostat setting.

5) How Quickly Can a Bed Bug Infestation Spread?

While there is no actual bed bug “epidemic” as you may have heard, there are certainly more cases of bed bug infestations today than in years past. This is because bed bugs can easily travel from place to place, and once they have arrived at their new destination, an infestation can spread rather quickly.

Once that stray bed bug or two has made its way into your home, the infestation can begin pretty quickly. Female bed bugs can lay between one and five eggs every day. Once these eggs have hatched, the tiny nymphs need only one feeding (which requires ingesting human blood) to move on to their next stage of development. They will typically reach maturity in about a month, depending on conditions. 

Bed bugs don’t only infest beds, either. Your infestation could spread from your bed to the nightstand beside the bed, to the carpet, into the living room, and so on. From that point, they may move onto your neighbor’s home via door frames or cracks in the walls, ceilings, and floors if you live in close proximity.

Unfortunately, bed bugs can survive for quite some time without fresh blood. So even if you were to go on a long trip, they wouldn’t starve and die off without you there to feed on. The only way to get rid of a bed bug infestation quickly and efficiently is to enlist the help of a professional pest control company that specializes in bed bug extermination.

6) Why Won’t My Bed Bug Problem Go Away? 

Bed bugs are difficult to get rid of once they are in your home. First, they are good at hiding. They will hide along the edges and in the creases of your bed and even on other nearby surfaces. In addition, they are most active during the night, which adds to the difficulty of finding them during the day. Bed bugs can also reproduce quickly which can turn a small problem into a major infestation in no time.

If you have a bed bug problem that will not go away, you may need to consider the idea that you are continuing to bring them into the home. Take some time to think about how the bed bugs got into your home in the first place. 

  • Do you travel frequently? Hotels are a great place to pick up bed bugs because they can hitch a ride on your luggage or clothing that was sitting in the hotel room. 

  • Do you like to buy clothing from your local thrift store? Used clothing is another common place to find bed bugs. 

If you can pinpoint where the problem is coming from it may help you stop the influx of bed bugs into your home.

There are some situations when getting bug spray from the local hardware store and spraying on your own takes care of a pest problem. But when a problem will not go away or continues to return, it is time to call in a professional. A professional exterminator is your best option when it comes to bed bug problems that won’t go away. A pest control service will know how to identify a bed bug problem and have experience eradicating bed bug infestations. 

For professional extermination, give Zap a call today at 916-344-1515 to see how we can help you. 

7) Is There Really a Bed Bug Epidemic in Northern California?

Many cities are notorious for bed bug issues, and lately, it seems that Northern California has had its fair share of problems. But is there really a bed bug epidemic in Northern California?

The good news is, there’s no actual bed bug “epidemic” anywhere. Sure, there may be a higher concentration of cases in some areas, but most of the time, the hysteria can be attributed to the news reports. Of course, densely populated areas are going to have more cases, and a true outbreak may occur from time to time. This is why it’s important to know bed bug prevention measures so that you can do everything possible to keep these critters out of your home.

Conclusion

Bed bugs are sneaky little critters that can find their way in through a variety of methods. Narrowing it down to the root cause may not be easy, but it also isn’t always necessary. Even if you don’t know where your infestation originated, the most important thing to know is how to treat it. 

Your first step should be reaching out to a professional pest control company in your area that specializes in bed bug extermination. These technicians will know the best way to positively identify and then eradicate a bed bug infestation. Taking the DIY approach, in this case, is not recommended, as bed bugs can be incredibly stubborn and difficult to remove. 

If you have an infestation on your hands, reach out to your local pest control company at once.