When bed bugs are mentioned most people think of unhygienic motels and unclean households, but the truth is far from that. While pests like cockroaches may be attracted by dirt and grime, all bed bugs are interested in is their next meal, and that means blood – your blood!
Sure, they are found in the places mentioned above, but they are equally at home in luxury hotels and the cleanest homes. All they need is food and the shelter provided by the smallest cracks and niches.
Are bed bugs more common in dirty homes?
You can find bed bugs anywhere that humans live, from Beverly Hills to the meanest shack. But, while having a clean home doesn’t mean you won’t get a bed bug infestation, it does mean you are far likelier to spot the signs of this parasite early and deal with it before it becomes a big problem.
Spots of blood on bed linen, fecal deposits, eggs, shed skins and even the apple seed-shaped adults are much more likely to be noticed in clean environments than dirty or messy ones. And clutter also provides shelter.
Typically, bed bugs come out at night and feed while you are asleep, then retreat to cracks and crannies during daylight. The more stuff you have, the more bed bug hiding places you create. Also, clutter makes eradication more difficult as there are more potential places for bed bug concealment and so more places that could be missed.
Does cleanliness help deter bed bugs?
Cleanliness does help in control. If you travel a lot or use public transport, washing all your bed linen once a week on the highest heat setting may kill some bed bugs and eggs but it won’t eradicate the problem.
Of course, you can’t wash your mattress but you can examine it carefully for the tell-tale signs of bed bug activity. Mattress protectors can help as they offer fewer hard-to-reach areas that might harbor bed bugs.
Similarly, vacuuming your home thoroughly also helps to keep numbers down, though be sure to dispose of the vacuum bag outside, away from your home.
What should you do if you suspect bed bugs?
Though prevention is better than cure, good hygiene is not a guarantee of staying bed bug-free. The reason for this critter’s rise is because it is so adept at hitching a ride and colonizing new sites quickly. If they are quick to infest, you have to be quick to respond and nip an outbreak in the bud.
DIY methods are available but often prove ineffective. By far the best way to eliminate bed bugs is to call in a professional pest control service. The most effective method is undoubtedly heat treatment. The heat treatment ensures that all stages of the insects’ life cycle are destroyed (the adults, nymphs, and eggs), the chemical spray prevents re-infestation, while trained dogs have been proven to be the best bed bug detectors by far.
If you’re not sure if you have bed bugs, the best way to detect bed bugs is with a K-9 inspection. Dogs can detect the presence of bed bugs even when there aren’t any other signs so you can treat the problem before you start getting bitten.
If you’re in Arizona, we’re here to help. Whether you’re sure you’ve got an infestation in your home or business, or just want to check you’re bed bug-free, our experts can come out to you for a free inspection and advise you on your next best step. Click here to find out more.