Other than the fact that bed bugs suck blood, they are notorious for spreading fast because they can be transported through luggage and clothing when a host travels. Fortunately, there are some things that can be kept in mind to stop bed bugs spreading.
Know Your Bug
Bed bugs are miniscule blood suckers that target warm-blooded mammals (yes; that includes humans), and are almost the same size as an apple seed or a grain of rice, which is why they’re a bit difficult to detect. Furthermore, it will take more effort to spot them during the day, as they commonly emerge from their hiding places only at night. Their color is usually reddish-brown, and their shape is oval-like and flat.
They thrive in mattresses (usually spotted around the corners) and box springs, carpets, furniture, luggage, cracks, and crevices at home. Also, they are common to environments that are below 120ºF (48.89ºC), which means that a majority of parts of the world are suitable places to live for them.
Fix Your Home
To prevent bed bugs from breeding, fixing the house is important. As mentioned earlier, they thrive in cracks and crevices, and that means patching up those gaps will eliminate some of their possible hiding places.
This also includes regular cleaning, as they can easily be sucked by a vacuum cleaner from carpets or hiding places. Vacuuming will also clear up any grime in gaps that will ensure thorough penetration when using insecticides.
A quick and easy method to kill and prevent these pests is to use alcohol and a spray bottle. Simply pour a 91% solution (recommended by most exterminators) in a spray bottle and spray this into their hiding spots. This will kill them and prevent them from biting you, and thwart their breeding, as this can cause their eggs to perish as well.
However, some prefer not to use this because alcohol is inflammable (there have been cases where a house burned down because of this), which is why they opted for a steam machine instead.
A steam machine can kill bed bugs and cover a lot of areas easily. Take note, however, that when a bed bug is spotted in their hiding spot, they would appear lifeless and won’t move until they are steamed. Also, they should be steamed until they completely stop moving because they are resilient insects, and may be mistaken as dead too early.
Handle Affected Items
To completely stop bed bugs from spreading, the infested items should be handled properly. For most small items, such as socks, placing them inside a bag and either exposing them in sunlight or cold temperature for several days can help in eliminating them.
For clothes, put them in a plastic bag and submerge them in hot water (120ºF minimum). For large items, such as mattresses, they will have to be discarded or cleaned with a lot more elbow grease.
Bed bugs are unwanted, resilient creatures. They spread fast, which is why everybody has to do their own part in getting rid of them; otherwise, they would simply breed and travel from one place to another.