By now, you are probably aware that bed bug infestations are a growing threat for families in the United States. Since the end of the 1990’s, infestations have been spreading like a wildfire across the states. In the beginning, it was motels, hotels, and other places of lodging that presented the largest threat for picking up bed bugs, but these blood-eating pests can be picked up from a surprising selection of businesses. It is also becoming more common for bed bugs to spread from house to house. One of the ways they do this is by way of children.
Who doesn’t love a sleepover? Staying up until all hours of the night giggling, snacking, and playing games is one of the best parts of growing up. It is also one of the best ways for bed bugs to spread.
Bed bugs spread by passive dispersal. You may also say that they spread by accident. They don’t know which of our items are transportable. They just crawl around in every hidden location they can find. If items are moved, they move with them. Hopefully, this guide will help you prevent them from moving to your home.
10 Things You And Your Children Should Know About Bed Bugs
- Bed bugs can be in any home. It doesn’t matter how clean a home is, it can still have bed bugs. These tiny pests are not drawn to bacteria. They’ll live anywhere they can get a blood meal.
- Bed bug infestations aren’t obvious at first. It can take a few months for an infestation to become “painfully” obvious. This is because the bites left by immature nymphs are not as bad as bites from adult bed bugs.
- Bed bugs are drawn to certain items. Studies have shown dirty clothes are an attractant for bed bugs. They like to crawl around in them and they like to lay their eggs in them. When kids spend the night somewhere, it is important that they don’t leave their clothing on the floor or draped over a chair. As an added precaution, it is a good idea to wash all of your kid’s clothes in hot, soapy water after they have spent the night somewhere.
- Bed bugs love tight, hidden spaces. Creases in duffel bags, cracks in luggage, and the pockets of bags are all targets for these insects. When your child returns from a sleepover, use a flashlight to inspect tight, hidden spaces for bed bugs or tiny white eggs.
- Bed bug eggs don’t need a mother bed bug. If a female bed bug lays a batch of eggs in a personal item, those eggs can hatch on their own. The mother bed bug doesn’t have to sit on her eggs and wait for them to hatch.
- Bed bug bites are an important warning sign of an infestation. While there are many bugs that bite us, bed bug bites are somewhat unique. These bugs bite, usually, three times, if they’re not disturbed. This will make bites look like they follow a path or a line. They may also be in a cluster or so numerous that they don’t have a line or path appearance. But, when you or your kids see a distinct path, you can be pretty sure those are bed bug bites.
- Bed bugs leave feces. In any area of infestation, you’re going to find black feces. These may be tiny specks attached to fabrics and other items or they may be streaks. Areas of feces may be dense or spread out. Look for feces in the seams of mattresses, box springs, and on sheets, pillowcases, and bedspreads. Check baseboards and outlet covers as well.
- Bed bugs shed their skins. These skins will be tan to brown in coloration.
- Bed bugs leave blood stains. Look for tan or brown stains in the same locations feces can be found.
- Bed bugs have several appearances. When they hatch, they are pale in color. As they develop, they become tan and then a brown color. They have six legs, two antennae, and three body parts. If they have had a blood meal, they will be bloated. If they have not, they will be flat and oval-shaped. The abdomen of a bed bug has horizontal creases on it and it is semi-transparent. If there is blood inside, you will see it. You will also see its internals because they will be coated with black feces.
Recognizing bed bugs and the signs they leave is the best way to prevent an infestation from taking root in your home. If you ever find bed bugs in your home, it is important to contact a professional. Bed bugs are extremely difficult to eliminate without an education in bed bug control protocols. For assistance with bed bug control in New Jersey, reach out to ChemTec Pest Control.