Who Gets Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs. They’re nasty. They’ve been a pest to mankind for thousands of years. And while they are not known to transmit any diseases when they bite, they are still a major nuisance.
So who gets bed bugs, and where do they come from?
Cleanliness Won’t Save You
Think you are safe from the nasty, parasitic creatures because your home is spotless? We hate to break it to you, but do not assume that poor hygiene and bed bugs go hand in hand. It doesn’t matter how hygienic you are. No one is safe from bed bugs. By simply brushing up against another person, you can pick up the little hitchhikers. Any public space can host bed bugs and anyone can catch them.
How to Identify the Parasites
How do you know that you have bed bugs? It’s not always obvious. Some folks won’t even have a reaction to bed bug bites. And despite their name, most bed bugs don’t take up permanent residence in the bed. The trick to identifying them is to know what to look for.
One of the best ways to check for bed bugs is to strip the suspect mattress and inspect its nooks and crannies. Take special care to check under the fancy bits, including trims and accents. What you’re looking for is little black specks. Why? After having a blood meal, bed bugs digest the good bits and poop out the rest, leaving behind the specks.
If you see black specks during your inspection, it’s a clear sign there’s a bug problem.
Protect Yourself From Exposure
Many folks reading this article may feel on edge by now, but don’t fret. Realistically, the chances of bringing home bed bugs is statistically low—even lower if you know what to look for and how to defend yourself.
Our biggest tip is to be mindful of where you place yourself and your belongings in public spaces. Bed bugs can’t fly and aren’t the best climbers. Since they usually stick to the ground, try not to place your belongings on the floor. Avoid sharing communal chairs or sofas with others. And if you are traveling and staying at a hotel for the night, place your bags inside the bathtub until you’ve had the opportunity to thoroughly inspect the mattress and bed frame.
What to Do if You Have an Infestation
What do you do if you’ve followed all precautions, but still managed to bring the little parasites home?
First, stay strong. Online stories about bed bug infestations are pretty horrible, but realize that most people have no idea how to control the problem nor how to use effective methods against bed bugs.
Second, reserve calling pest control as a last measure. The bug man is going to charge you an arm and leg for “the bed bug treatment” that may or may not rid you of the infestation. Be advised that spraying typically only kills bugs on contact. Since most of the bugs are hiding during the day, they’ll never come into contact with those pesticides. Professional heat treatments are generally one of the most effective methods of control, but still regularly fail.
The best way to deal with your pest issue is cheap, effective, and relatively harmless—in fact, you’ve probably come across it before.
The greatest bed bug murder weapon is everyday silica dust, the pulverized powder of the beads in “Do Not Eat” packets. Silica is a drying agent, and it also likes to stick to things. That's really bad news if you are a bed bug.
After you liberally apply silica dust in the cracks and crevices of your bedroom, all of the bugs should dry out and die within two weeks. Because the dust doesn’t kill on contact, the bugs that collect dust on their carapaces will have ample time to take it back to the nest. It’s a guaranteed death sentence for them, their bug buddies, and the little bug eggs. Good riddance!
Bed bugs don’t care how nice and clean your house is. They can be a problem for anyone. Do your best to eliminate the chances of picking up any uninvited guests by following the tips in our guide.
We also recommend adding an extra layer of protection to your mattress to beef up your defenses. Our Preserve Mattress Protector will give you a leg up when it comes to keeping your mattress clean. Throw it in the wash to prevent the build-up on your bed that attracts all types of bugs.