When you find bed bugs in your Tampa home, you might think those bugs got in the same way other bugs get in, but bed bugs are somewhat unique. These bugs, which are actually better described as insects, have been dwelling with humans almost exclusively for as long as we can determine. They don't crawl around in your landscaping and scale your walls. These bugs get into your home by hitching a ride. So, the first thing you should understand is that bed bugs don't choose your home. There is nothing about your home that will make you more susceptible to a bed bug infestation. Let's take a look at what will make you more susceptible.

bed bug on a wall
bed bug on an arm

Where Bed Bugs Live

These insects, known as Cimex lectularius, hide in dark voids and tight spaces. They'll hide in the seams or interiors of mattresses and box springs, and in the gaps, cracks, and crevices of bed frames, but these are far from the only places they'll hide. They can be in:

  • Nightstands

  • Alarm clocks

  • Furniture

  • Duffel bags

  • Sleeping bags

  • Luggage

  • Pocketbooks

  • Boxes

  • Clothing

  • And more.

If a bed bug is hiding in something, and that something is picked up and carried to your home, the bed bugs will go with it. The first step in protecting yourself from bed bugs is realizing that bed bugs spread in this way.

How To Check Items For Bed Bugs

It is impossible to be 100 percent sure that an item doesn't have bed bugs in it. Bed bugs, or their eggs, can be hidden from view and there may be no visible warning signs. But, you can use these tips to lower your chances of getting bed bugs.

  • Use a debit card to drag along the seams of mattresses, box springs, and furniture.

  • Inspect the outside of items. Look for black or brown stains and streaks.

  • If an item can be put in a dryer, you can run it through a 30-minute cycle to eliminate any bugs inside. Heat kills bed bugs in all stages of development.

Bed Bug Hot Spots

You can lower your risk of getting bed bugs if you understand what hot spots may expose you to bed bugs and why. Here are a few places bed bugs are likely to live before they live with you.

Hotels and motels: These are frequented by people who spend the night. It is common for bed bugs to be brought from infested homes into businesses that offer sleep accommodations.

Nursing homes: Elderly people are not as reactive to bed bug bites. This can allow bed bugs to infest nursing homes more easily. Be on the lookout for any warning signs when you visit your loved ones.

Schools: Bed bugs can go from one infested home to another by way of public schools. It is important that you teach your children some simple precautions they can take to reduce the risk of picking up bed bugs, such as refraining from putting clothing and bags next to the clothing or bags of other students.

Office buildings: Bed bugs can spread by way of office buildings in the same way they spread at schools.

College dorms: When lots of people live in one structure, and move between rooms frequently, there is a high risk of bed bug issues.

Warning Signs

You and your family should be aware of the warning signs of bed bug activity. If you're alert, you may catch bed bugs before they hitchhike into your home.

  • If you see a bed bug feeding on your skin, it is likely to be a nymph. A newly hatched nymph will look pale and have a bright red abdomen if you find it attached to your skin.

  • You may smell bed bugs. Some describe this odor as smelling like a locker room towel.

  • You may see black or brown stains on fabrics or surfaces.

  • You may notice tiny shed skins clinging to fabrics, or uncover them in compressed spaces.

  • If you casually drag your debit card along a seam while taking a ride in a taxi, you might bring evidence to the surfaces, such as white eggs, shed skins, or the bugs themselves.

What To Do When Bed Bugs Get Into Your Home

The advice on the internet is nearly endless when it comes to getting rid of bed bugs. Unfortunately, much of it won't be all that helpful to you. These insects aren't easy to exterminate. If they were, they'd be extinct by now.

If you live in Tampa, reach out to Eco Tech Pest Control Services. Our licensed pest professionals are familiar with these insects and are equipped with the technologies and training to provide you with the highest level of bed bug control.

 

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