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I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid, “Don’t let the bed bugs bite,” was a funny thing my parents used to say. I had no idea that these were a real thing for the longest time. In truth, bed bugs are very real; and for a multitude of reasons, they are spreading like wildfire across the country and are coming to homes, hotels, and colleges near you.

Bed bugs are tiny, apple seed sized insects who flourish in your home - places such as couch cushions, pet beds, and most commonly, under your mattress. Why there, you ask? It’s simple. A bed bugs source of nourishment is their host, you. These insects are nocturnal. They feed on their sleeping host without the host ever even knowing they were there and leave behind itchy bumps that probably make you think that you touched something that you shouldn’t have, or got bit by something earlier in the day.

The problem is that bed bugs are not just found in these places. Bed bugs can go long periods of time without feeding; and during this time, they prefer to remain hidden in dark, hard-to-reach areas such as: inside electrical outlets, behind wall voids, in picture frames, in stereo and computer components, and inside televisions.

Your home could be at risk of bed bug infestation in a number of ways. Hotels and colleges are particularly at risk. Once one room gets infested, they quickly spread from room to room through walls, service carts, and people’s clothing. These bugs then hop a ride home with students and travelers to infest their homes as well. Bed bugs are experts at hitching a ride and will hop into luggage and laundry bags as well as purses, bedding, and any used furniture you might decide to bring home.

Avoiding a bed bug infestation takes some work on your part, but it is worth the trouble. First, when you travel either to a hotel or to a college dorm, make it a habit to check all areas in the room, especially under the mattresses near the headboard. Any staining, blood spots, or bug bodies are bad news, so you will need to bring that to someone’s attention without delay. Make sure you check chairs, especially the crevices, thoroughly. It wouldn’t hurt to bring a small flashlight when you travel to check those areas. Protect your luggage by keeping it in a plastic bag and all of your clothes wrapped as well. Then, when you get home, inspect every nook and cranny and immediately wash your clothes in hot water to kill anything that might be hiding. If this all seems like overkill to you, just keep in mind that when you have an infestation, these bugs are tough customers to get rid of and practically impossible to eradicate without professional help. Millions of dollars are spent each year across the nation trying to combat bed bugs. You do not want to add to that number.

Even if you do not travel or have a teen off to college, you still want to check your home occasionally for these pests. They can still find their way in with guests, and you can pick them up anytime you travel outside your home. Bed bugs have been found in planes, trains, and taxi cabs; in ambulances, hospitals, and libraries; in malls, movie theaters, and laundry mats – Anywhere that people are found are fair game for bed bugs. It is better to be safe than sorry, they say, and they are right. If you do find that you have an infestation, do not try to get rid of bed bugs on your own. You will more than likely spend a lot more time and money this way, and find you still have them at the end of it all. Give Witt Pest Management a call. Our professional bed bug experts know just how to get rid of these pests and will work with either commercial properties or homeowners to eradicate these pests and keep you safe from further infestation.

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