Method of Initial Infestation

There are several ways that a home can become infested with bedbugs. People can often acquire bedbugs at hotels, motels, and bed-and-breakfasts, thanks to increased domestic and international tourism, and bring them back to their homes in their luggage. They also can pick them up by inadvertently bringing infested furniture or used clothing to their household. Finally, bedbugs may travel between units in multi-unit dwellings (such as condominiums and apartment buildings), after being originally brought into the building by one of the above routes. This spread between units is dependent in part on the degree of infestation, on the material used to partition units (concrete is a more effective barrier to the spread of the infestation), and whether or not infested items are dragged through common areas while being disposed of, resulting in the shedding of bedbugs and bedbug eggs while being dragged.

Common Location of Infestations

Bedbugs are very flat, allowing them to hide in tiny crevices. A crack wide enough to fit the edge of a credit card can harbor bedbugs [even in the ceiling]. In the daytime, they tend to stay out of the light, hidden in such places as mattress seams, mattress interiors, bed frames, nearby furniture, carpeting, baseboards, or bedroom clutter. Bedbugs can settle in the open weave of linen; this will often appear as a gray spindle a centimeter long and a thread wide, with a dark speck in the middle. Bedbugs can be found on their own, but more often congregate in groups. They are not social insects, however, and do not build or stay in nests. These groups of bedbugs are very often found in beds, usually either the seams of a mattress (usually the seams closest to the sleeper), in the boxspring, or within the structure of the bed itself. Dressers and nightstands should be completely emptied and examined inside and out, then tipped over to inspect the woodwork underneath. Oftentimes, the bugs will be hiding in cracks, corners, and recesses.

Other common places to find bed bugs include: along and under the edge of wall-to-wall carpeting (especially behind beds and furniture); cracks in wood molding; ceiling-wall junctures; behind wall-mounts, picture frames, switch plates and outlets; under loose wallpaper; amongst clothing stored in closets; and inside clocks, phones, televisions and smoke detectors.

Bed Bugs NYC And New Jersey

Bed bugs can live in almost any crevice or protected location. The most common place to find them is the bed. Bed bugs often hide within seams, tufts, and crevices of the mattress, box spring, bed frame and headboard.

Upholstered chairs and sofas should be checked carefully, including seams, tufts, skirts, and crevices. Sofas can be major bed bug hotspots, especially when used for sleeping.

Detection of Infestations

Bedbugs can be detected often by looking for dark stains on bedding, which are the bedbugs' fecal stains. These stains are most visible on light-colored bedding.

Occasionally an engorged bedbug is inadvertently killed or disgorged by incidental crushing, resulting in a visible smear of blood. Crushing them will produce a unique sickly sweet pheromone scent, which can also be detected in the ambient air in a severe infestation.

Though bedbug bites can occur singly, they often follow a distinctive pattern of a linear group of three bites, sometimes macabrely referred to as "breakfast, lunch and dinner". These patterns of bites are caused when a bedbug is disturbed in feeding by a person moving, and then the bedbug resumes feeding. Bedbug bites also often occur in lines marking the paths of blood vessels running close to the surface of the skin. The effect of these bites on humans varies from person to person, but often cause welts and swelling that are more itchy and longer-lasting than mosquito bites. Some people, however, have little or no reaction to bedbug bites. Those whose bodies do not initially react may subsequently develop symptoms, however, due to an allergic reaction caused by the development of antigen.

A technique for "catching" (detecting) bedbugs is to have a light source accessible from bed and to turn it on at about an hour before dawn, which is usually the time when bedbugs are most active. A flashlight is recommended instead of room lights, as the act of getting out of bed will cause any bedbugs present to scatter. Bedbugs can also sometimes be viewed during the day.

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