Bed Bugs Spread Fast - Here’s All That You Need to Know | #CP

Bed bugs are blood-sucking pests that are not very active but can spread really fast. Though they are tiny in size they can move faster than a champion athlete. They can travel about 20 ft in five minutes which is impressive considering their tiny size. So if you have bed bugs in one of the rooms in your house chances are that it can quickly spread to all the other rooms too.

Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash
Bed bugs are Lightning-fast
Contrary to the popular myth that bed bugs are present only in a filthy environment, they don’t have any such preferences. They can live anywhere as long as they get their food source. So the misinformation that they are attracted to debris and dirt is not true. But having said that, clutter is a good hiding place for these pets. As per a test conducted on the bug speed, it can crawl about 0.045 miles per hour. So on a smooth surface, it can travel 3 to 4 ft or 20 ft in 5 minutes. That is some amazing speed it covers considering an adult bed bug is on average about 5 mm long. All this essentially means that these pests can cross your room at night depending on the size of your room.

The ways they Move and Multiply
These sneaky creatures have two modes of transport to move from place to place, one is crawling and the other is hitch-hiking on a person or an object. You already know that they are fast in crawling, but most of the bug infestation is because of their skill of piggybacking on things or people. With these travel habits, they can quickly make your room or house theirs.

Things Bedbugs take a Hike
These pests have bodies that are designed to fit into the smallest of cracks and crevices. You can bring these pests home when you are on a vacation and sleep on a hotel mattress or are seated on the seat of an airplane, train or bus. It sticks to your clothing, luggage, hand purse, car, electronics and other such items that you bring back home unseen.

When you reach home, it crawls out at night from the luggage or whatever item it has hiked on. They then settle in small crevices and cracks of mattresses, furniture, curtains, bed frames, photo frames, wall cracks, mirrors, stuffed toys, carpets, boxes stuffed under the bed, laundry baskets and other such items. They stay close to their human food source to suck blood. They come out at night when you are asleep because they smell the carbon-di-oxide that you breathe out.

How do they Travel?

From Room to Room:
The main food source of these pests is human blood and they like to live near their source of food so that they can feed again and again. When they are well-fed they have a high-reproduction rate and they can lay anywhere between 1 and 12 eggs per day. In their lifetime they can lay about 200 to 500 eggs which shows that they can multiply fast and do not need a long time for an infestation to spread. The speed at which they move from one room to another is dependent on the time taken by the infested objects like luggage, clothing, etc to be moved from one room to another. If they get the right warm conditions they can breed in any place.

From Person to Person
Bed bugs cannot live on human hosts even though they need their blood to survive. The spread from person to person is not from people, explains exterminators, it happens due to the infested items. Take for example a houseguest has traveled to live with you for a few days and brings bugs unknowingly. It can also be that kids bring it from school on their backpacks or clothing.

From House to House
The more you travel, the higher the chances of bed bugs spreading from house to house. Some of the places these bugs are prevalent are airplanes, public transport, hostels, and hotels. Since these pesky pests are great at hitchhiking if you frequent places that cater to many guests there are greater chances of picking them up and bringing them home. Once at home, they feed on humans and they hide, digest and reproduce. They can multiply at lightning speed so the infestation will spread fast.

Bed bugs cannot be Confined to a Room
Most people tend to think that they can outwit the bugs when they sleep in another room. That is not true at all, they will find you after a few days as they follow the smell of carbon-do-oxide. Moreover, bed bugs can survive without food for a long time so isolating yourself from the infested room is not a great solution. Also, another aspect that is against you is that it is nearly impossible to isolate the bug-infested room from the other parts of the house. That is because these pests can crawl through pipes and walls in search of food. They can even cross floors through cracks in ceilings. If you have pets they can also be a good hike as they get inside the room if left unlocked. Another way you carry these pests is they lay tiny eggs on your belongings and you may accidentally carry them into the room you are currently sleeping. So the best way to deal with them is not to isolate but to eradicate them completely.

They Spread through quick Reproduction
The fastest way that bed bugs spread from room to room and in worst cases to the next house is through their quick reproduction. A female lays around 200 to 500 eggs in her lifetime and since the chances of their survival are high, there will be many such female bugs, you can do the math! Moreover, the eggs are coated with a sticky glue that makes getting rid of the eggs really hard as they are not easily dislodged from where they are stuck.

Once the eggs are laid, hatching time is between 6 and 10 days and as soon as they are hatched they are ready to feed on you. In about a few weeks and if the temperature is conducive (warm) they do it all over again. In winters they are not active and survive by going into hibernation. Adult bugs can survive without food for 6 months and the nymphs for 3 months.

Is there a way to Stop these Bugs?
Bed bugs spread fast but you can slow it down or even get rid of it in various ways. These sneaky pests cannot survive extreme heat and that is one of the ways to kill them. Slow down its spread by removing clutter and getting rid of junk as they can hide in them. Mattress encasements can help contain and eventually starve them to death. Use the hottest setting in your washing machine/dryer and wash and dry all the bedding, curtains, cushions, and stuffed toys. You can always seek the help of a professional exterminator to get rid of bugs fast and effectively.

Bed bugs are creatures that are highly opportunistic, they hide until it is convenient to feed on human blood. It is difficult to find their hiding places and that makes it difficult to treat and inspect. The speed at which the bed bugs spread is all dependent on you. The quicker you find out there is an infestation, the faster you can get rid of it.

Karl Young

Part-time daddy and lifestyle blogger. Father of 2 boys under 2. Golfer, scare-fan, tea-lover, traveller, squash and poker player. I write on the @HuffPostUK

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