technician inspecting for bed bugs

There is no such thing as bed bug season, but bed bug infestations can increase during the year. These hotspots of bed bug infestation are directly linked to two factors. Today, we're going to look at these two factors and see what we can learn that will help us prevent an infestation.

Heat

While bed bugs are an indoor bug and are rarely found outside, heat can affect their ability to reproduce. In a home that is temperature controlled, bed bugs will continue as usual. But, in a home that does not have controlled temperature, rising summer temperatures can increase the birth rate of bed bugs in an infested home. This leads to an increase in the spread of bed bugs.
 
You may be aware that bed bugs can be picked up in hotels, motels, and other accommodations. This is true. But bed bugs can go from home to home too. You kids can pick them up at sleepovers. You can pick them up when you visit someone. And this can happen day or night.
 
Summer infestations can come out of nowhere. You can go to work, pick up a few bugs from a coworker's bag or pocketbook, and in three months start seeing the telltale signs of an infestation in your home. But, while fall is when infestations rise, summer is when you have to be looking more closely for the signs of bed bugs in places you visit.

Travel

This is the big one. And it is big for a reason that might surprise you. It isn't because more people are coming and going and there is a greater chance of spread, though that is definitely a factor. It is more that hotels, motels, resorts, and other accommodations are the ideal environment for bed bugs. Here's why:
 
As many as 80% of people who get bitten by bed bugs show no reaction to the bites. So, when someone stays in a room, feeds the bed bugs, has no reaction, and moves on, the infestation is allowed to grow without any action being taken.
 
The same is true of being on an airplane or riding in a bus. Infestation in these locations is much easier for bed bugs. They can bite with impunity. And it can take a little bit for an infestation to be caught.
 
Every time you travel, you have the potential of exposing yourself to an infestation. Bed bugs travel by passive dispersal. When you stay somewhere and a bed bug climbs into your stuff or lays eggs in your stuff, those bugs are coming home with you.

3 Ways to Prevent Bed Bugs From Coming Home With You

  • Always inspect your room or any seat you sit on, whether it be in your room, in a plane, in a bus, in taxis, etc. Look for black streaks or tiny black spots, the presence of tiny pale or brown insects, shed skins, dried brown blood stains, and tiny white eggs.
  • When you get home, inspect your luggage outside or in your garage. Look for the signs listed above.
  • While on vacation and when you get home, protect your clothes. Bed bugs are drawn to items that have been worn. Put laundry items in a sealed bag while you're away and when you get home, throw all your clothes in the wash, or just put them all in the drier for a cycle. High heat kills bed bugs in all stages of development.

What To Do When Bed Bugs Appear in Your Home

Don't try to exterminate those bugs on your own. They are extremely difficult to eliminate without experience, training, and proper equipment. Reach out to a licensed professional. If you're in our Greater Knoxville service area, contact the bed bug experts here at Russell's Pest Control. When it comes to this increasing pest threat, you can trust our bed bug team to take care of those bugs the first time. We provide industry-leading bed bug control for homeowners and business owners in Eastern Tennessee. Get fast relief, and the support you need to prevent a new infestation from replacing the one you're dealing with right now.  

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