Bed bugs on a mattress.

The current bed bug epidemic is thought to be fueled in part by the large amount of traveling (air and ground) and temporary residency and housing such as hotels and apartments. Bed bugs, especially in heavy infestations, are known to “hitchhike” in belongings such as clothes or luggage and travel between destinations and spread rather quickly. Temporary housing such as hotels and apartments, which have high volume/traffic of individuals moving in and out are also very susceptible to bed bug infestations.

In multiple unit dwellings such as apartments, bed bugs are also very quick to spread from unit to unit. Landlords or apartment managers should use caution and exercise extreme measures to detect and properly treat a bed bug infestations. Generally, when treating a unit within an apartment for bed bugs, the units directly to the sides, above and below should also be treated for bed bugs. Laws regarding who is liable for payment of treatment (treatment can be very expensive, depending on location or company) are available in our resources/directory page.

In severe infestations, bed bugs are commonly known to be found in clothing and personal belongings like bags, backpacks or books. Traveling from destination to destination via host is a common occurrence and is more likely in heavier infestations where bed bugs are found in abundance throughout your residence. This, in conjunction with frequent traveling has also been a culprit in inflating bed bug reports in recent times.

The Reasons for Spread of Bed Bugs:

Bed bugs are sneaky pests who make a silent entry and settle down to make an infestation and often go unnoticed.  The blood-sucking insects have made a comeback, in the recent years, when people thought, it was virtually eradicated. Lack of awareness has given bedbugs leeway for them to make settlement in almost all the places around the world. Though, these tiny critters are not carriers of infection diseases, people are wary about the allergic reactions that the bites cause to the human body. Due to their small size and shape, bed bugs have the innate capacity to hide in small cracks or crevices, thus spreading its population in all the areas of a property.  It becomes a tough challenge to control the bed bug infestation once it becomes severe.

Bedbugs are resistant to most of the chemicals and can survive without food for more than a year. This makes it difficult to wipe out the pests in a single knockout.  People often require the services of a professional extermination company which can help to mitigate the problem. Various types of treatment are used on the bed bugs depending on the location to reduce the number of bed bugs.

People often wonder the cause and the reasons for the wide spread of bedbugs.  Studies and research point that there is nothing in specific that can cause an infestation.  There is a popular myth that dirt and unhygienic conditions go together with the spread of bedbugs. However, bed bugs do not thrive on dirt or trash, but, on the warm blood of human beings and animals. Therefore, there are other possible reasons for the spread of a bed bug infestation.

Reasons for the spread of bed bugs:

  1. Travel: Economic growth across the countries has led to high traffic of travel between the countries. Bedbugs easily hide in the luggage, baggage of the traveler and thus, travel to different places along with the traveler and infest a place.  Travelers residing or going to infested destination are often unaware and bring back the pests without their knowledge.

Public accommodation and public transport are also easy means through which bed bugs hitch a free ride to various destinations.

  1. Ineffective Pesticide: The use of DDT, post-World War II helped to eradicate bed bugs and other pests effectively. However, the growing health concern of human beings exposed to toxic pesticides caused the ban of DDT and other potent insecticides.  Pest control companies, in the recent years prepare insecticides that are too weak to kill the bedbugs.
  2. Infested Furniture: People picking up second hand furniture from a garage sale is probably infested with bedbugs, which result in introducing the bedbugs into the property.
  3. Unprofessional treatment: People often try to eliminate the bed bugs on their own with little knowledge on how to control the bedbugs.  Use of bug bombs or foggers, does not eliminate these pests but worsens the infestation.  Lack of awareness among the public also contributes to the spread of infestation.