The tiny, blood-thirsty parasites known as bed bugs were virtually eradicated after the pesticide DDT was introduced in 1939. Over the past 20 years, though, pesticide-resistant populations have increased dramatically. Learning how bed bugs get in and their habits can help you keep them out of your home.
How the Bugs Get In
Bed bugs can be found wherever people sleep — hotels, homes, apartments and any other type of dwelling. An infestation typically starts with a few bugs hitching a ride into a home on luggage, boxes, clothing, personal belongings, or furniture. They can also migrate between attached spaces and rooms via plumbing, wiring, wall voids and shared air ducts.
Preferred Hiding Spots
Bed bugs hide during the day and become active after dark when they come out to feed. Most often, they take up residence where their victims sleep — in bedding and mattresses, box springs, bed frames, and headboards. However, in a badly-infested home, they can hide in furniture, behind baseboards, outlet/switch covers, and even wallpaper. The insects usually don’t set up housekeeping in air ducts, but they can use ductwork as a highway to other areas of a home.
Tips for Preventing a Bed Bug Infestation
These reddish-brown insects are easy to identify — they’re roughly the size of apple seed, with a flat, oval body. Here are some measures you can take to keep them out of your home:
- Thoroughly check new or secondhand furniture before bringing it into the house.
- When returning home from a trip, inspect your luggage and clothing for the pests.
- Install durable, zippered covers on your mattresses and box springs.
- Keep your home free from clutter.
- Check your pet beds regularly for signs of the bugs.
- Seal up cracks and crevices along baseboards and around outlet/switch covers.
- Have your ductwork inspected and sealed.
- Vacuum often to get rid of any hitchhikers that do make it indoors.
- If you find evidence of bed bugs, don’t try home rememdies – call a pest control company.
For help securing the ductwork in your San Antonio home against bed bugs and other pests, contact us at Beyer Boys.