True or false: bed bugs are reserved for seedy motels, run-down apartments, and bad parts of town.
Bed bugs are everywhere. And we mean everywhere: if there are people around, bed bugs are likely nearby.
Bed bugs are most often found in places where people sleep or spend significant amounts of time—which means that hotels, motels, hostels, homes, and apartments are most at risk for a bedbug infestation. But that’s not all! Bed bugs can also be found in schools, libraries, movie theaters, planes, college dorms, hospitals, nursing homes, daycare centers, train stations, bus stations, laundromats, churches, cruise ships, retail stores, health clubs, gyms, moving vans, office buildings, restaurants, thrift stores, used furniture outlets… The list goes on.
Right now, you might be wondering, Where do all these bed bugs come from? Wouldn’t I notice them if there were so many out there?
Bed bugs are very good at hiding. Since they’re very small, they can hide in the most unlikely of places. This includes on the seams of mattresses, box springs, upholstered couches, and chairs; in the cracks of furniture and baseboards; under loose wallpaper; on curtain folds; inside electrical outlets and electronics themselves (like your TV or alarm clock); on clothing; inside picture frames and books; and under clutter. And since bed bugs are mainly active at night, hiding during the day, they are difficult to spot.
Bed bugs are almost as good at hitchhiking as they are at hiding. Bed bugs are attracted to people and will crawl out from their hiding place onto a person’s clothes, shoes, or bags—which is how bed bugs are often transported from place to place.
The good news is that you don’t have to barricade yourself in your home to avoid a bed bug infestation: you just have to keep your eyes open for bed bugs. Here’s how you can protect yourself while you’re out and about.
Know how to spot a bed bug.
A lot of people are scared of bed bugs but have little idea what they look like. (Find out here.)
Look out for bed bugs where they are most likely to be.
There’s no need to inspect every public place you enter with a magnifying glass. (You’ll just drive yourself crazy.) But it is a good idea to be vigilant for bed bugs in the locations where they’re most prevalent, like hotels, hospitals, and nursing homes. (Find out how to check for bed bugs here.)
Protect your things.
When you check into your room at a hotel, keep your suitcase off of the floor. Similarly, if you know of a bed bug problem at your office or your child’s school, store your belongings in a closed plastic bin.
Toss it in the dryer.
If you’re worried that you or a family member have brought home a stray bed bug, toss clothes in the dryer on high heat for 30 minutes. (Note that this won’t get rid of a full-blown infestation, though!)
Report bed bug sightings.
If you see a bed bug in a public place, alert management immediately. It may not be an infestation (one bed bug doesn’t mean there’s an infestation); however, it’s still important to let them know so that they can address the problem.
Call in the experts.
If you see a bed bug in your home, it’s a good idea to call in the experts. A pest control professional has the expertise and tools to check your home for an infestation and recommend next steps.
Contact Scherzinger Pest Control, a trusted pest control company in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas, including Dayton, OH, and now Columbus, OH. We’ve been pioneers, engineering new standards for ways of eliminating and controlling bugs and pests. Contact us by phone at 1-877-748-9888 or through our website, Facebook, or Twitter.