Bed bugs are small, wingless, oval-shaped, parasitic insects that feed solely on people and animals’ blood while they are asleep. Bed bugs are reddish-brown in color whose size ranges from 1mm to 7mm. As adults, they’re only about one-eighth of an inch long, and sadly these insects can live several months without a blood meal. Because bed bugs are wingless, it usually moves around by crawling, which brings us to the main topic, how do bed bugs spread? To answer that question, it is imperative to first learn more about bed bugs, how they reproduce, how they transfer from person to person, how to know if you have bed bugs and how to prevent the spread of bed bugs.
How Do Bed Bugs Reproduce?
A female bed bug lays five to seven eggs per week. By calculating these insects’ lifespan, we can safely assume that it lays 250 eggs in its lifetime, considering that it is well fed. Now, these eggs take up to10 days to hatch. When the eggs hatches, bed bugs then go through five stages before they become adults. During each stage, they shed their exoskeleton, known as molting. Now every time they molt, bed bugs need to feed at least once. It takes approximately two to four months for bed bugs to become full-grown adults.
How do bed Bugs Spread from Person to Person?
In reality, bed bugs don’t travel directly from person to person. One of the ways how a bed bug spreads is by sticking on people’s clothes. In this way, people can spread bed bugs to other people without them knowing it. Since bed bugs need blood to survive and breed, they tend to become irritating for most people who have it. But even with their inseparable connection with blood, they don’t actually live on human hosts. In fact, the way bed bugs spread from person to person doesn’t really have anything to do with the person itself but the infested object’s movement. One good example is when a person could unknowingly bring them into your home from their travels. A kid carrying an infested item like his/her bag could also lead to the spread of bed bugs in your home.
How to Know if you Have Bed Bugs
Contrary to what most people may think, bed bugs don’t prefer a clean space and a dirty environment. As long as bed bugs have access to blood, they can practically live anywhere. The ideal habitat for these insects is warm environments, which provide access to a blood meal. Given these conditions, people may not realize that they are infested with bed bugs. So how can you know if you have bed bugs? One of the easiest ways to identify a bed bug infestation is by the bite marks left on your face, arms, neck, or any other body parts while asleep. Bed bug bites are usually seen as red, tiny, and slightly swollen. These bites may be itchy, while for others, these bite marks may take 14 days to appear. Each person has different reaction levels to bed bug bites, so it is also essential to check for other clues of a bed bug infestation.
How To Prevent the Spread of Bed Bugs
There are several ways that you can prevent bed bug infestation on your own. These methods include:
- Keeping your bedroom and furniture clean
- Avoid buying or using secondhand furniture because they have higher chances of carrying bed bugs.
- You can use a protective cover over your bed
- When traveling, always inspect your luggage and clothes for bed bugs before leaving.
A regular inspection for bed bugs infestation is also an excellent way to prevent its possible spreading. While some people treat bed bug infestations by spraying insecticides, it is also a good idea to contact a pest control company experienced with treating bed bugs if the infestation has gotten out of control.