While bedbugs are problematic throughout the entire year in residences and businesses, many areas refer to the spring and summer months as “bedbug season”. This is due to the fact that these invasive creatures thrive during the warmer periods of the year because of increased temperatures, higher levels of moisture, and the fact that more people travel through these months than any other time of the year. These blood-feeding, troublesome pests are more likely to hitchhike back to your home now than any other time. In this brief guide, you will be provided with straight-forward, effective techniques on how to protect your home from a bedbug invasion.
What Does it Mean When People Say That Bedbugs Hitchhike?
When referring to bedbugs, “hitchhiking” identifies the act of these troublesome pests climbing their way onto or into luggage, purses, bags, clothing pieces, shoes, bedding, and other items that will move from one area to another due to the movements by people. Hitchhiking is one method used by bedbugs to move. The other is referred to as “migration”. Migration occurs when the bugs crawl into an adjacent space from a point of origin. Examples include into hallways, electrical lines, plumbing systems, and where hiding spots may be present.
What Information Do I Need to Know about Bedbugs?
In order to prevent bedbugs from hitchhiking back to your home, it is important that you learn some basic information about these insects. By learning the following, you will be able to take some prevention measures that will help you avoid an accidental infestation in your home.
- Bedbugs are known to hide during the daytime hours. In fact, most of their life is spent in hiding. At night time, they come out to feed and are at their most active level.
- Bedbugs have a preference about their hiding spot. It is nearly always a dark area.
- These insects do not fly and they do not jump. They simply crawl from one location to another.
- Many mistakenly believe that bedbugs cannot be seen with the naked eye; however, this is not true. You can see these insects as the average adult measures approximately 6mm in length.
- Bedbugs feed on the blood of their chosen host. If they invade your home, the host would be you and/or your pets.
How Do I Prevent Picking up Bedbugs and Bringing Them Home?
Believe it or not, it is actually quite common to come into direct contact with bedbugs when you are traveling out and about. Naturally, this could result in an accidental introduction to your home once you arrive there. These bugs may invade any home, in any location. Infestations are possible for anyone. These pests do not discriminate. All they care about are the blood meals that they require for survival. The following outlines a few of the most effective strategies for preventing bedbug hitchhikers:
- First, you should learn how to identify bedbugs. These insects are relatively small, very flat, and do not have wings. They have a total of six legs and may be white, brown, or any color in-between.
- When traveling and staying in other structures apart from your own home, only take what you need. Place bags on a hard surface and away from walls, furniture, and bedding. For extra protection, place your clothing pieces in a sealed bag when they are packed and in a new location.
- If you will only be at a location for a short amount of time, it is better to stand rather than to sit or lay on furniture pieces. Pieces with fabric should be avoided. It has been established that metal pieces and those composed of wood are generally safe; however, with severe infestations, bedbugs may be found on pieces composed of metal and wood, too.
- Once you leave where you have been visiting, you should thoroughly inspect your shoes, socks, clothing, and other belongings. If you observe any bedbugs, items should be completely cleaned or thrown away, your choice. The point is, you should not introduce any infested items into your home.
- If you work outdoors or in areas where people frequent, wash your clothes in hot water immediately. If you do not have time to wash them, you may place them into a dryer on medium heat or high heat for up to 20 minutes. This will immediately kill any hitchhiking bedbugs.
- For extra protection when venturing away from home, you may use disposable-based clothing protection pieces. Examples include shoe covers and/or paper-based coveralls.
- When you are traveling, always inspect the areas you frequent for signs of bedbugs. Examples include airports, hotels, taxis, and similar areas that may be encountered while out and about. If you observe any signs of an infestation, remove yourself and your belongings from the area immediately.
- When staying at a hotel, bring along a flashlight. This goes for staying at a loved one’s home, too. Basically, you will want to look over the box springs and mattress of the bed you will be using, the bedding, the headboard of the bed, as well as the furniture. If you discover bedbugs, it is best that you remove yourself from the situation so that you can avoid hitchhikers going back home with you.
- When traveling, avoid unpacking all of your belongings. Instead, only unpack that which you need at the time. Everything else should remain sealed.
- Once you return home from traveling, unpack immediately – either outside, on the patio, or in the garage -so that no potential bedbugs get in your home. All of the clothes should be washed immediately, in the highest heat setting. Once they are moved to the dryer, make certain that you use the highest heat setting.
What are the Feeding Habits of Bedbugs?
Bedbugs are nocturnal insects. They hide anywhere they can, be it a bed, furniture, wood, trash, or on carpeting. These are examples of locations where they may be found during the day. At night, they will emerge from their hiding spots to find a blood meal. This is usually from humans in their environment. They are capable of consuming their meal in as little as four minutes or less. Once they become engorged, they will then crawl back to the areas that they hide so that digestion may take place. These insects live about 10 months at a time. They are capable of going without food for several weeks.
What are the Signs of a Bedbug Bite?
It is possible for bedbugs to feed on people without them even noticing. Most get bitten at night and will not even wake up. They will start by injecting a chemical that numbs the skin. This contains an anticoagulant, too. This makes the blood flow easier for them. Itchy, swollen red marks will appear on the skin. They most commonly eat off the arm and/or shoulder area. Once finished eating, the bite marks on the skin may be in a straight row.
Can I Treat a Bedbug Bite?
Yes, you may treat a bedbug bite by using an antiseptic lotion. You may also use an antibiotic ointment or cream. If you have a severe itch, you should use creams that include corticosteroids. You may also use antihistamines that may be taken by mouth. If you react in a severe manner to bedbug bites, you should consult your doctor immediately.
Is it Possible for Bedbugs to Transmit Diseases?
These insects are not considered to be a common vector for transmitting diseases. They are simply considered to be an annoyance because of the fact that the bites are irritating and sleep disturbances may be common among those that have an infestation. Additionally, for those that scratch the bites received from bedbugs, a secondary type of skin infection may occur. Of course, any skin infection may result in more serious health complications, including sepsis.
Are Bedbugs Easy to Get Rid of?
No, bedbugs are NOT easy to get rid of – especially on your own. Many are resistant to pesticides, they are capable of reproducing very quickly, and the fact that they hide so deeply within a structure makes it very challenging to eliminate the insects. To properly get rid of bedbugs, you will need professional assistants. Exterminators use a comprehensive combination of heat and chemicals to kill bedbugs even in the deepest hiding spot.
We Can Help
If you have an infestation or have discovered a hitchhiking bedbug, we here at All Pest can assist you! We offer a safe and chemical-free bedbug treatment that will treat the source of the problem very quickly. It is a highly advanced heat treatment strategy for instant eradication. It does not matter what time of year, or how bad your infestation is, we can knock out the problem for you! If you are ready to get rid of bedbugs once and for all, be sure to contact us today by calling: 765-259-0043