Erin Doman on May 16, 2016 0 Comments How You Got Bed Bugs If you’ve ever gone to bed with clear skin but have woken up to find yourself covered in small red bumps, you know the pain and discomfort a bed bug can create. Although these bumps could have technically come from any number of insects, the most common reason is from a bed bug infestation. These annoying pests can populate quickly, and soon you have a full-scale infestation on your hands. This often leads people to wonder how they even got these pests in the first place. Everyone would like to think that they keep a clean house that would never be home to bed bugs, but the truth of the matter is that bed bugs can happen to anyone, regardless of how clean you keep your home. It does not matter if you are rich or poor; bed bugs do not discriminate. Where Do Bed Bugs Come From? Bed bug infestations can happen to anyone, anywhere. Even with proper preparation, you may not be able to completely exclude yourself from the risk of bed bugs, but you should be able to take certain precautions to limit your risk. Here are some of the most common ways that homeowners acquire these pests. The Best Mattress Covers for Bed Bugs You Purchase Used Furniture Most people are privy enough that if they are buying a used mattress, they inspect it thoroughly first for any sign of bed bugs. However, these pests being called a bed bug is a bit misleading. Bed bugs are very good at attaching themselves to clothing and going to other areas of the home. In addition to your bed, they may end up in couches, chairs and other pieces. Therefore, if you are purchasing anything used, you need to check it out thoroughly first. You Have House Guests If you have a guest spending the night at your place, then it is entirely possible that they are bringing bed bugs with them. Again, the bed bugs may be on their clothing or in their luggage. If your guests are crashing on the couch or using your sheets, the pests can attach themselves, and you are the one ending up with the problem. Although it is nice to offer friends and family a place to sleep while they are visiting town, it is best to protect yourself. To do so, you can ask your guests if they have bed bugs before they enter your house. They may not even realize they have them, but it never hurts to check. You should also consider investing in some high quality bed bug covers for when your guests come to stay. You Are Sleeping Somewhere Else Conversely to the last point, if you spend a few nights at a friend’s place or even at a hotel, then you put yourself at risk of getting bed bugs. For friends, it helps to ask whether they have pests, and if they do, you should definitely make accommodations elsewhere. If you are staying at a hotel, then make sure to check reviews first to see if they have a history with the pests. If you find yourself stuck in a hotel room that has bed bugs, do not hesitate to alert the hotel management and ask for another room. You Work at Other People’s Homes You may have a job that requires you to visit other people’s houses. Plumbers, cable technicians, nannies and health care workers may need to drive to various houses throughout the day, and at each place, you are putting yourself at risk of coming in contact with bed bugs. It does not take long for the pests to attach themselves to your clothes or bags. Even if you only sit on the couch for a few minutes, they may cling themselves to your clothes, and then you end up bringing them home with you. These are typical ways that people end up with bed bugs. However, many people are completely clueless about how they got the pests. Some people have never bought used furniture, have not slept anywhere differently recently and work at a clean office and still somehow find themselves dealing with a bed bug infestation. Sometimes there is no obvious answer, but there are still steps you can take to try to prevent bed bugs from entering your home. Ways to Prevent a Bed Bug Infestation You should not cancel your next vacation because you are afraid of getting bed bugs. You do not have to be overly paranoid, but a little bit of healthy skepticism never hurt anyone. If you are concerned about contracting these pests, then follow a few simple rules to prevent these bugs from taking over your home. First, if you are going to be spending the night at a hotel or friend’s place, inspect the area carefully. Pull back the sheets and look for the bugs within every nook and cranny, including mattress seams, bed frames, pillows, and even on the wall. This can be a bit of a challenge because bed bugs tend to be nocturnal, so you may not see them in the middle of the day. However, you may see certain things the bugs leave behind such as molted skin or small, pin-sized blood stains. In the event you do see bugs, inform someone at the hotel or the owner of the house you’re staying in. You should absolutely make different accommodations. Once you come back from your trip, wash your clothing thoroughly. All worn clothing should be kept in sealed plastic bags so that any bed bugs are unable to escape. Once you get back home, put the clothing in the washer on the highest setting. Do the same thing with the dryer. If you do not have these appliances, then it can be wise to take your clothes to the nearest dry cleaners. Bed bugs may not necessarily be attached to your clothes. They may be hidden away within your suitcase, backpack or whatever luggage you have. Vacuum the insides of these bags immediately after you unpack. Additionally, you may want to hand wash your bags with hot water and use plenty of soap. Store your bags in an empty closet or your garage to keep them far from your clothes and furniture. Inspect used furniture carefully before bringing it home. If you are buying any used clothing, then it would be a very good idea to wash it before wearing it or putting it away in your closet. The same rule applies if you are buying any used soft furnishing, including curtains. Bed bugs do not discriminate. You could be buying a used couch from someone who seems like the cleanest guy in the world. Bed bugs may still be on it, and you need to take the proper steps for your own benefit. The only thing bed bugs care about is being near a host that provides them with their meal of choice: blood. With a few simple steps, you can do a lot to prevent yourself from acquiring these bothersome pests. However, if you do get a bed bug infestation, get rid of them as soon as you can and do anything and everything to prevent you from spreading them to others.