Causes of bedbug

The Main Causes of Bedbug Infestations & How to Get Rid of Them

Avatar of author Ismael Girard
Ismael Girard
min read

Ever woken up to itchy red spots and wondered what's behind the sudden discomfort? You're not alone. Reasons behind bedbugs can be traveling, transportation, second-hand furniture, neighbors' apartments or even public spaces. And in this text, we'll help you have a better overview of your bedbug situation.

Here's what we'll cover:

✔️ The 4 main reasons you have bedbugs

✔️ The common misconceptions about bedbugs

✔️ How to detect an infestation and how to prevent it

✔️ Traveling tips to avoid bedbugs

✔️ When to call for bedbug extermination

Armed with knowledge from extensive research and expert insights, we're here to guide you through this often-misunderstood topic. So, stay with us as we uncover the mysteries of bedbug causes, offering practical tips to keep your house bedbug-free.

What Causes Bedbugs in Homes?

a picture of a bedbug infested bedroom

Bedbugs, invade our houses due to a variety of reasons. They hitch a ride on our carry-on, thrive in furniture, lurk in public spaces, and capitalize on a lack of awareness and education about their habits. Let's investigate deep into each contributing factor.

1. Travel and Transportation

Catching a flight? Be mindful of bedbugs as they leverage human transportation modes, clinging onto your baggage, clothing, or any personal belongings.

Hotels, motels, and any lodging options often carry a high risk of harboring bedbugs. Once in your house, they take up residence in your mattress, bed frames, or any small hideouts, quick to spread and ruin your precious sleep.

2. Second-Hand Furniture and Items

The menace of bedbugs extends to your love for antique furniture, second-hand clothes, or preloved items. They can bury themselves in furniture cracks, bedding seams, within used clothes, even in electrical outlets!

Importing these items into your house could potentially establish a new bedbug colony, especially if items were previously present in an infested environment.

3. Shared Living and Public Spaces

Apartments, shared living spaces or even public lounges can be a breeding ground for bedbugs due to the high human traffic.

Bedbugs can easily spread from one apartment to another through cracks in walls, water pipes, or via shared facilities like laundry rooms, showcasing how bed bugs invade apartments.

Being highly adaptive, they can survive in various scenarios, feeding on the host's blood, thereby posing a severe health risk.

4. Lack of Awareness and Education

Unfortunately, ignorance isn't bliss when it comes to bedbugs. A lack of awareness and education can quickly make a tiny problem a lot worse.

Pay attention to small blood or fecal spots on your sheets, itching or allergic reactions on your skin, or even feeling slightly sick. When such symptoms are disregarded, bedbugs multiply rapidly, evolving from an unnoticed bedbug to a full colony, potentially leading to issues like serious skin infection.

Myths and Facts About Bed Bug Attraction

In facing the battle against bedbugs, misconceptions often cloud the truth. We'll address the following myths and clarify facts for each:

Myth #1: Bedbugs prefer dirty surroundings.
While clutter provides more hiding spots, this supports the myth of bedbugs and clean homes, as bedbugs are not inherently attracted to dirt and grime.

Myth #2: Bedbugs, cannot thrive in leather or metal items.
Bedbugs can nest in any nook they find suitable, irrespective of the material.

Myth #3: Bedbugs transmitting diseases.
While bedbugs feed on human blood, they're not known to spread diseases unlike other pests.

What Really Attracts Bedbugs?

Now that we've dispelled common misconceptions about bedbugs, let's examine the elements that truly attract them.

#1: Carbon Dioxide
Yes, the CO2 we exhale attracts bedbugs. When we sleep, our respiration rate increases, producing more carbon dioxide—an unwitting invitation for bedbugs.

#2: Body Heat
A warm body is like a guide to a bedbug. The warmth our bodies radiate is a powerful attraction for these nocturnal creatures.

#3: Human Odors
Specific compounds found in human skin and sweat are attractive to bedbugs.

#4: Blood
Bedbugs feed on our blood. While other warm-blooded hosts can suffice, they prefer human blood.

#5: Dark, Quiet Spaces
They love to hide in the cracks and crevices of furniture, bed frames, and box springs. Essentially, they favor any dark, quiet space where they can stay undetected during the day, coming out at night to feed.

⚠️ Remember, early detection is vital to preventing any problem. Regularly inspect your environment for signs. Contact a professional pest control company immediately if signs are found.

Common Hiding Places for Bed Bugs

Bed bugs can inhabit a diverse range of locations. As experts trained to uncover these covert areas, we've identified the most popular locations where bed bugs hide.

  1. Bedding and mattresses: These insects mainly reside in beds, especially around the seams and tags of mattresses and inside box springs. The close proximity to the host makes this an attractive stage.
  2. Furniture and clutter: Bed bugs also love to sneak into the crevices of furniture and clutter. Inspecting items like dressers, desks, chairs, and even wall hangings, can lead to an uncovering of their hideouts.
  3. Clothes and luggage: Bed bugs are expert hitch-a-riders and may travel from space to space in baggage or on clothing. A close check of your traveling companions, such as suitcases and jackets, may reveal them.
  4. Cracks and crevices: Bedbugs are also often found in cracks and crevices throughout the house, including behind wall outlets, beneath wallpaper and inside picture frames.

By monitoring these signs and hiding places, you can better determine the presence of bed bugs. As always, securing the help of a professional pest control company can provide more comprehensive search and treatment, saving time and sparing you additional health risks.

How to Identify a Bed Bug Infestation?

Recognizing bedbugs presents a crucial step in keeping our homes bedbug-free. To reduce risk and best maintain a clean, safe environment, identify the hints of bed bug presence and recognize their common hiding places.

Signs of Bed Bug Presence

Detecting bed bugs involves being vigilant, recognizing key symptoms.

  1. Bites on skin: Encountering red, itchy bite marks on your skin following sleep may indicate bedbugs. They usually feed at night, preferring human blood as the main food source.
  2. Blood and fecal spots: Keep an eye out for tiny rust-colored spots or patches on bedding, mattresses, and box springs. These markings represent stains from crushed bed bugs or their droppings, serving as clues of their presence.
  3. Presence of Bedbug eggs: Finding tiny, creamy white colored eggs, about a millimeter in size, marks an undeniable sign of invasion.
  4. Health symptoms: Many people develop allergic reactions to bed bug bites, including severe itching and red welts on the skin. It’s always important to differentiate these symptoms from other potential health concerns to ensure accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Preventing Bed Bug Infestations

In preventing bed bug invasions, we emphasize 2 critical steps: Regular cleaning and inspection and implementing protective measures for homes. These proactive actions reduce potential issues and the associated health risks.

Regular Cleaning

Even though a spotless house doesn't mean you're automatically bedbug free, maintaining cleanliness remains crucial.

By regularly cleaning furniture, bedding, and the spaces wherein bedbugs may hide - including mattresses, bed frames, and even electrical outlets - potential problems may be minimized.

Protective Measures for Houses

As part of enhancing your defense against bedbugs, consider the following:

  • Carefully inspect second-hand items: Second-hand furniture, especially beds and couches, can harbor bedbugs. These insects can survive for days to months without feeding, making it easy for them to hitch a ride. Inspect them thoroughly before bringing them home, or better yet, avoid them if possible.
  • Be vigilant during travel: Hotels and airbnbs can sometimes be infested with bedbugs. When traveling, inspect your room upon arrival and avoid placing luggage on the bed or floor. Upon returning home, inspect and wash your belongings to prevent inadvertently introducing bedbugs.
  • Seek professional help: If you suspect anything, it's best to contact a pest control company promptly. Professionals can provide treatment options that are more effective than DIY methods, ensuring that all bedbugs are eliminated.

Combining regular cleaning and inspection with protective measures provides a powerful strategy to keep bedbugs away, and in turn, ensure our houses, and health, are protected.

Travel Tips to Minimize Bed Bug Risks

Entering a new environment, especially one previously occupied by others, bears the risk of encountering bed bugs. Hotels and accommodations often serve as a pathway for them to reach our houses. Alertness and preventive measures considerably lower the chances of these unwanted guests from hitching a ride.

Precautions for Hotels and Accommodations

Upon entry into a room or accommodation, take time to inspect for potential signs of bed bugs. Here are the steps to keep your luggage and belongings safe:

  1. Avoid immediate placement: Resist the instinct to place your luggage and personal stuff on the bed or upholstered furniture. Opt for hard, elevated surfaces like desks or luggage racks instead, reducing the risk of bed bugs latching onto your belongings.
  2. Perform a thorough inspection: Start with the bed – the most common place for bed bugs. Pull back the sheets and inspect the mattress, focusing on corners and seams. Look for dark brown or reddish stains (signs of bed bug fecal matter), tiny white eggs or actual insects. Bed bugs are small, about the size of an apple seed, so keep your eyes peeled.
  3. Check the surrounding areas: Bed bugs hide during the day in dark, quiet places. Extend your inspection to surrounding areas such as bed frames, nightstands, curtains, carpets, and cracks in the wall. Pay attention to fine details – a flashlight can be a useful tool.
  4. Report any signs immediately: Any hint of bed bugs is enough reason to alert hotel management. They should provide a new room that is not adjacent or directly above or below the suspected infestation.
  5. Keep belongings in sealed plastic bags: Wherever possible, use sealed plastic bags for storing things such as clothing and personal belongings to prevent bed bugs from gaining access.
  6. Carefully unpack back at home: Even with precautions, bed bugs can still find their way into your luggage. Unpack carefully, away from bedrooms or living rooms. Immediately wash clothes and bedding at high temperatures and thoroughly vacuum your suitcase before storage.

Following these steps can safeguard your health, ensuring a bug-free stay while preventing the spread of bed bugs to your own house. Remember – healthy travel practices can make the major difference in the battle against bed bugs.

How to Get Rid of Bedbugs?

Transforming from a bed bug-infested space to an pest-free environment demands exceptional diligence. As expert pest control specialists, we suggest these efficient bedbug sprays to save the day and nights. In this section, we'll go over the required steps to get rid of bedbugs.

Initial Cleaning Steps

Clearing the area forms an initial line of defense. Precise inspection and subsequent cleaning can contribute significantly to preventing further spread. Observe the following steps:

  • Initiate by thoroughly inspecting every room in the home, especially bedrooms. Pay extra attention to areas around the bed, including mattress, bed frames, and box springs. Not larger than an apple seed, bed bugs hide in tiny openings.
  • After spotting the bugs or their eggs, the next measure involves vacuum cleaning. Make sure you collect all that you see around, including eggs, bugs, and molted skins.
  • Post vacuuming, encase your mattress and box springs with bedbug-proof covers. These are available in several pest control outlets and add an extra layer of safety to your slumber hub.
  • Clothing, bedding, and curtains participate significantly in hosting and spreading bed bugs. Wash your fabrics in high heat and dry for a couple of hours to exterminate any lingering bugs.
  • It's common to spot bed bugs clinging to wooden furniture. Our recommendation is heat treatment. Expose the infested furniture to about 60°C (140°F) for a few hours to kill the adult bugs and eggs.

DIY Remedies for Bed Bug Removal

Although professional exterminators ensure optimal results, a few DIY remedies can put up a worthwhile fight against bed bugs:

  • Diatomaceous earth (DE): A naturally occurring substance lethal to many insects, including bed bugs. Sprinkle it around your bed or furniture and other potential bedbug hideouts.
  • Essential oils: Certain essential oils, particularly tea tree oil, show insect-repelling properties. Mix it with water and spray it around the infested areas.
  • Silica gel: The tiny packets that come with new shoes nonetheless have a big impact as they act as a desiccant killing bugs by drying them out.
  • Vinegar: While it doesn't kill bed bug eggs, it certainly can interrupt their life cycle by killing adult bed bugs and nymphs upon contact.

Remember, DIY treatments may help you in controlling a minor infestation, but for severe bed bug issues, you are better off hiring a pest control company. This is simply because the bugs hide so well and reproduce so quickly that they can overcome even your best efforts.


We've navigated the complex world of bedbugs, breaking down their causes and characteristics. We've debunked myths and highlighted the real attractants. It's clear that vigilance and education play a vital role in preventing infestations. Remember, bedbugs aren't exclusive to dirty environments and can infest any space, given the right conditions.

Professional pest control services are invaluable in this fight. They offer comprehensive inspections, effective treatments, and preventative measures. We've stressed the importance of seeking their assistance when signs of bedbug infestation appear, or when allergic reactions to bites occur. Don't let these insects reclaim your house.

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Frequently asked questions

Why is awareness critical in preventing bedbug infestations?

Understanding and recognizing signs of bedbugs, such as red spots on sheets or skin irritation, is crucial. Lack of awareness often leads to unchecked spread and severe infestations.

What misconceptions exist about bedbug attractions?

Common myths include bedbugs preferring dirty environments and being unable to live on metal or leather surfaces; however, they are attracted to carbon dioxide and warmth, regardless of cleanliness or material.

How can I identify bedbugs in my house?

Signs include seeing bedbugs, which are small, brown, and the size of an apple seed, or noticing red spots or insect waste on bedding and furniture.