For years we have been warning our clients about bed bugs in mattresses, box springs, and bed frames. We have discussed the “hitchhiker-like” nature of these creatures and how easily they can cling to an item that you are carrying and make their way into your home. Still, many people are unaware that the term bed bug is a complete misnomer due to the fact that they are not only found in beds but in some pretty common places that we all frequent. Read on to learn about the other locations you should be wary of in regard to bed bugs.
To understand where bed bugs hide, you need to know a little about their behavior and physiology. Bed bugs are fairly small at a quarter of an inch long for adults and 1-5 millimeters for the nymphs. That means that crevices, corners, nooks and crannies are all fair game for hiding spots. In addition to size, bed bugs are stealthy creatures that feed on human blood in a “hit and run” pattern. They come out (usually while you’re sleeping) only to feed. Right after their feast, they scurry back to their hiding places until it’s time for them to make another food run. Being fairy close to their meal is, therefore, important. Bed bugs will stay within 5 feet or so to their food source (you). As an infestation grows, they do tend to spread further away from the main feeding area, though.
Within Your Home
While bed bugs are most commonly found in places like your bedroom, specifically in and around the mattress, box spring, and bed frame, they can hide in other places within your home. This includes: luggage, walls, clothes, furniture, dressers, couches, pillows, carpets, pet beds, curtains, wall sockets, the laundry room, and even behind wallpaper. According to a study of infested living environments conducted by the University of Kentucky, this was the breakdown of the most frequent places where bed bugs were found to be hiding:
- Box Spring (34.6%)
- Couch and/or Chair (22.6%)
- Mattress (22.4%)
- Bed Frame and/or Head Board (13.4%)
- Other (3.1%)
- Walls and/or Ceilings (2.3%)
- Baseboard (1.4%)
- Dresser and/or Night Stand (0.2%)
Out and About
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most common locations of infestation outside of your home are places like apartments, dorm rooms, and shelters. There have been locations in the news recently that add some rather alarming locations to that list. Some recent reports put bed bugs in places like: movie theaters, libraries, trains, buses, taxis, retail stores, schools, day care centers and, most alarmingly, medical settings.
Bed bugs are not just for beds anymore. Do you know what to look for and how to prevent an infestation from happening in your home? Stay tuned for next week’s blog about bed bug prevention. If you suspect you have an infestation, call Pest-End Exterminators at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321.