These tiny bed bugs could cause massive problems if left ignored about the size of an apple seed. They feed on the blood of animals and humans while they sleep. When they're done, they leave you with red, itchy welts all over your body. While this isn't dangerous in and of itself, it has a cumulative effect. That skin irritation can seriously mess up a person's sleep schedule, leaving them tired and stressed as a result. If you have a bed bug allergy, it can pose a serious health problem, as a couple of bites will leave you swollen with blisters and hives.
They can be a serious problem, and one of the best ways to attack a problem is to strike it at its roots. This begs the question: what is the main cause of bed bugs? "There is no fire without smoke," as the old saying goes. Understanding how they spread the way they do is a great place to start if we want to figure out how to avoid them.
Without further ado, here are some of the most common causes of bed bug infestations.
COMMON CAUSES OF BED BUG INFESTATIONS
- Secondhand furniture. Before you buy that fancy discounted sofa, consider if it comes with any "unwanted guests. Secondhand furniture gives bed bugs plenty of those small, narrow places that they love to hide in so much. From the mattresses' springs and tags to the cracks in a bed frame, it's a goldmine of hiding spots for the little pests. Also, there is no better feeding ground for a little bloodsucker than the beds we sleep in, or the sofas we sit on. After all, why not let your food come to YOU?
- Long-Distance Travel. This is easily the most common cause of bed bug infestations. Your house might not have any bed bugs, but can you confidently say the same for every single hotel you've ever stayed in? Springing from the hotel furniture, bed bugs commonly cling themselves to the luggage or clothes of the numerous persons that visit a hotel at any given time.
- Clutter. This is less of a cause in and of itself. Rather, it aggravates pre-existing bed bug problems. Piles of clutter are full of narrow, hard to reach spots. For the pesky bed bug, that's essentially a dream come true. Cluttered environments allow bed bugs to thrive and spread faster than they would normally.
With the common causes identified, we can finally consider actions we can take to mitigate the problem. Just to name a few for your consideration:
- Steam your secondhand furniture: If you need that fancy sofa, there are ways to go about it correctly. By thoroughly steaming your new furniture, you can nip the problem in the bud before it can get worse. Be sure to focus on all those tiny, narrow spaces that they love so much!
- Do some spring cleaning: This one is fairly self-explanatory. Don't give those bed bugs even more room to fester and grow. Doing some heavy cleaning also does you some good beyond pest control.
- Keep a watchful eye when travelling: You can definitely spot a bed bug presence in your hotel bed if you look closely. If you see a bunch of apple seed-sized bugs gathering on your mattress, that's a good signal to steer clear and call staff for assistance. For some added vigilance, keep your luggage away from the hotel bed. Heck, even after you go home, it wouldn't hurt anyone to put them all in the wash (even the clothes you didn't use).
It's important to note that these are good ways to lessen risk; the threat of infestation is always there. Bed bugs are incredibly small and hard to detect unless you're really paying attention. They also breed like rabbits and spread incredibly quickly as a result. All it takes is a handful of bed bugs to cause a world of trouble.
If you end up with a bed bug infestation that is out of your control, the best course of action would be to call a professional extermination company. Don't let these bloodsucking pests own the place. GTA Toronto Pest Control offers high-quality bed bug removal services that will get them out of your hair for good.