Where Do Bed Bugs Come From? The Ultimate Guide

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Bed bugs are every resident’s worst nightmare. Even the thought of them can send your skin crawling!

According to the Utah Department of Health, the state of Utah has seen an uptick in the number of bed bug infestations in hotels, apartment buildings, and single-family homes. The same can be said of states like Washington, Oregon, and more.

The question is, where do bed bugs come from? How do they end up in our communities and, more importantly, what brings them into our living quarters?

Read on to learn everything you need to know about where bed bugs come from.

The Origin of Bed Bugs

Bed bugs have a history that may well be as old as the history of mankind, itself. Historians have worked hard to uncover the bed bug origin and their findings have been nothing short of surprising.

Some of the earliest references to bed bugs come from ancient Egyptian literature. In recent years, archaeologists tracked down fossils that appear to contain bed bugs–from 3,500 years ago.

The original bed bug host was likely a species of bat native to Europe. Over the centuries, these nasty critters evolved their taste to match one of the most rapidly expanding populations of the time: humans.

In the mid-20th century, the Western world had all but eradicated bed bugs from areas developed for human habitation. They used chemicals like DDT to smoke bed bugs out of homes and kill them off for good–or so they thought.

Since then, we’ve discovered how harmful DDT is not just to bed bugs but to humans and other important populations. Since the chemical was banned, we’ve seen a massive rise in the number of bed bugs in countries like America. Their favorite places to hang out are densely populated cities, where they can always find a feast.

Where Do Bed Bugs Come From Today?

The pressing question most residents have today is, how do you get bed bugs? Where are they coming from when they enter your home?

Before we discuss where they come from, it’s important to note that a single pregnant female bed bug can lead to an entire infestation. Bed bugs can cycle through rounds of inbreeding that allow the population to grow from one to hundreds or thousands in a matter of weeks.

Keep reading to find out where you may be picking up bed bugs so that you know what to be wary of.

Travel

Bed bugs are fantastic hitchhikers. Because they tend to make their way into hotels, you may be picking them up while on vacation or traveling for business.

Depending on their age and external conditions like temperature, bed bugs can go anywhere from 20 to 400 days without feeding. That means that if a bed bug climbs into your luggage after a night at a hotel, they can easily survive the car, bus, or plane ride home before settling in to their new digs–your bed.

New Accommodations

Technically, landlords are responsible for maintaining their property before renting it out to a new tenant. That means that they should be inspecting for pests and sending in pest control if they detect anything.

However, some things slip through the cracks, and bed bugs are adept at hiding their presence in the absence of residents. Ask your landlord if the property has any history with bed bugs before moving in. If it does, make sure that they follow through with an inspection and eradication.

Second-Hand Furniture

Everyone loves a good deal and in the age of over-consumption, buying things second-hand is always a good move. However, there are some risks that you take when buying second-hand furniture. Those risks go up if the furniture is cushioned or upholstered.

Bed bugs are particularly keen on beds and box springs, couches, and armchairs. If you’re going to buy any of these pieces used, you may want to have them professionally cleaned and treated for pests before you bring them into your home. In general, you may want to avoid picking up any of these pieces off the street, as you don’t know if the original owner tossed them out because of an infestation.

(On that note, do your best to avoid contributing to the spread of bed bugs. If you are dealing with an infestation and plan to throw some of your furniture out, dispose of it in a thoughtful way. Contact a junk removal service and let them know that the furniture is not safe for reuse before they pick it up.)

Bed Bugs and Filth: Busting the Myth

There are a lot of myths when it comes to bed bugs, and one of them is that bed bugs prefer dirty homes. The truth is that filth has nothing to do with bed bugs, and keeping a tidy home isn’t going to stop them from coming in.

What bed bugs are looking for is darkness, dampness, and a source for feeding. That means that even a brand new bed or couch will suit them just fine as long as it is in frequent use. If you have an infestation, routine cleaning won’t send bed bugs scattering out of your home.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

If you’re asking yourself, “Where do bed bugs come from?” you probably have another question on your mind. How on earth do you get rid of them?

There are DIY methods you can try if the infestation is new and manageable, but some infestations are too large to handle alone. Bed bug eggs are the hardest to kill off, which means that you may think you’ve eliminated the problem only to discover more bed bugs in a few weeks.

Why take the risk? Contact us today about professional bed bug removal.

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