The sheer mention of bed bugs gives me the creeps and the very thought of them crawling on my skin and feeding on my blood whilst I’m asleep sends shivers down my spine! Unfortunately, in recent years, the number of bed bug incidents has risen. But where do bed bugs come from and how do you get a bed bug infestation?
Let me explain…
What causes bed bugs?
It is believed that the two main culprits behind the spread of bed bugs are:
- Global travel
- Secondhand furniture sales
- Lack of awareness
- New accommodation
Like bed bugs, both these instances have seen a rise in recent years and provide these biting insects with amazing opportunities to claim a free holiday, travelling to new locations by latching on to passenger luggage, often unbeknownst to them!
Bed bugs love to travel, it’s one of their favourite things and not to mention that they are amazing hitchhikers!
Places such as hotels and other overnight facilities are like giant magnets for bed bugs due to the high amount of human traffic. This provides bed bugs with countless opportunities hitch a ride to an array of locations by easily hitching a ride in your suitcase.
Hotels are at just as much risk of obtaining a bed bug problem as they are of spreading one.
Just like luggage, furniture also provides bed bugs with cheap flights to your home.
If a piece of furniture is infested with bed bugs, especially pregnant female ones or their eggs, then there is a high possibility that the new owner will have a bed bug problem on their hands.
One thing to keep in mind, although their name might suggest it, bed bugs do not just live in beds, they can also be found on other furniture such as cabinets, wardrobes and even chairs and sofas, providing multiple ways for bed bugs to invade your home.
Lack of awareness
According to Fitzpatrick Associates, the amount of new registered and approved accommodation has steadily increased on a yearly basis. Taking Dublin as a typical example, the number of Dublin visitor accommodation supply demand is predicted to increase by 3% by 2020. This does not take into account the increasing demand and supply in new accommodation models such as AirBnB. These factors potentially contribute to an increase in the number of callouts for bed bug infestation in Ireland.
How to tell if you have bed bugs
Unfortunately, it isn’t that easy to spot bed bugs in your home, as they often dwell in areas out of plain sight, only vacating their homes, which they have made in your furniture, to grab a bite to eat from human hosts.
The first sign you might have a bed bug problem can be waking up to find bites on your body. However, it is important to understand that identifying bed bug bites can be a bit difficult as everyone reacts differently to them.
Bed bug symptoms
Aside from discovering suspicious bites, there are also some signs that you might have a bed bug problem. They are:
- Dark/black stains around your mattress and bed frame, particularly around the joints and slats
- An unpleasant, sweet, sickly scent
- Small dark blood spots on your bedding
- Live bed bugs on furniture joints and skirting boards.
If you are looking for assistance to control bed bugs in your home or businesses, contact the experts at Rentokil today.