Severe outbreaks of bed bugs in hotels, apartment complexes, and condominium units across the globe have made headlines. Bed bugs don’t discriminate based on location, net worth, or even cleanliness of the home. They are equal opportunity blood-sucking parasites. The recent epidemic has brought to light their vicious nature, and the difficulty in ridding them from homes and businesses alike. But where do bed bugs come from?
The first recorded mention of bed bugs and their evil ways is mentioned in ancient Greek texts dating back to 400 B.C. Bed bugs have been around for thousands of years, biting and causing distress.
These nasty parasites like to travel. They can hide in luggage, on clothes or in shoes and can cling to anything without being detected. Bed bugs don’t care for strong day light which is why they most often strike under the cover of darkness, at night. Bed bugs are heat seeking little bugs that hunt down warm human and animal flesh to feed from. While humans, the host, lay in bed, asleep, bed bugs can have hours of uninterrupted feeding time
Bed bugs can hide in the mattress, in the bedding, behind the headboard, on the walls behind artwork, under the carpet, and in bed skirts just waiting for a host to crawl into bed for a good night’s rest. Female bed bugs can produce and lay up to five eggs a day; so new baby bed bugs are always in cycle. Bed bugs propagate extremely quickly and can overrun a house or apartment complex quickly.
In homes that have shared walls, floors or ceilings, bed bugs can, and will, travel through walls, ductwork, and electrical outlets for feeding. Bed bugs can also come attached to packages, mail and even gifts. If someone comes to your home for a visit, they can bring bed bugs with them on their clothing, their purse or their packages.
Bed bugs can come from anywhere, from anyone. Antique furniture can be a prized home for bed bugs. Bed bugs can go nearly a full year without feeding, so they can safely live and reproduce in antique couches, chairs, and even the crevices of book shelves and desks.
Everyone shivers when they hear of a bed bug outbreak or epidemic. They are so difficult to eradicate and can cause extreme discomfort and distress for those that have homes or offices infested with bed bugs. There are a few things everyone can do to limit exposure to bed bugs. First, frequently vacuum the mattress, box spring, and under the bed and wash bed linens often. Second, if there is an outbreak, call an exterminator well versed in bed bug eradication. If you live in attached housing, be sure to consult with your neighbors on the exterminator, as bed bugs will just travel back and forth between units unless they are killed simultaneously.