Your bed is the ultimate safe haven: a soft, comfortable place where you can unwind from a stressful day, get cozy, and get your much-needed rest. It’s the place you daydream of during endless work meetings and can’t wait to get into after a long day or a late night.
But an infestation of bed bugs turns your favorite place into something scary, stressful, and gross!
Anyone who’s ever dealt with a bed bug infestation can tell you: it’s not something you want to deal with. And while bed bugs can be safely eradicated from your home, sometimes it’s best to prevent the problem rather than treat it later.
So where do bed bugs come from?
They don’t just spontaneously appear in your home– they have to come from somewhere!
Unfortunately, the most common way that bed bugs can enter your home is by “hitchhiking”.
That means coming into contact with a place or person currently dealing with a bed bug infestation, allowing a bug (or several) to find their way into your purse, luggage, or even your clothes.
You can also bring bed bugs into your home on used furniture. So although that vintage sofa sitting at the curb might look incredible, think twice before bringing it into your home.
The worst news? If you’re in a place with a lot of people, the possibility of coming into contact with bed bugs is always present. Bed bugs could hitch a ride on your clothes or bags on public transportation, in a movie theater, and more.
Bed bug outbreaks tend to be worse in highly populated areas, like New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Baltimore, Cleveland, and more.
How do I tell if I have bed bugs?
Fortunately, there are some surefire ways to identify the presence of bed bugs. It helps to check out hotel or Airbnb bedding and mattresses as soon as you arrive– before you even bring your bags into the room, if possible.
Taking a few minutes to check for bed bugs can save you a lot of stress and frustration, so it’s definitely worth it!
To spot a bed bug infestation, take a close look at the mattress. Be sure to check around the seams and corners. If you can see brownish-red spots, these might be either bed bug droppings or blood from bites.
You may also spot eggs (tiny white or yellowish specks), or even discarded shell casings from adult bed bugs.
If you happen to spot any of these signs, don’t stay in that hotel or Airbnb!
Take clear photos to show the owner or hotel staff and find another place to stay. Avoiding bringing your bags into the room while you check out the bedding can also help prevent “hitchhikers”.
These same signs are true for your home. If you suspect a bed bug infestation in your home, take a look at your bedding and mattresses but also any soft furniture, like couches and easy chairs.