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  • Writer's pictureRobert Bate

Where do bed bugs live?

Prior to the 1940’s, people had an awareness of bed bugs and took certain

precautions in order to avoid introducing bedbugs into their home. People modified their behavior such as checking rooms prior to unpacking bags after holidays, not putting handbags or clothing on seats next to them while at the cinema, inspecting second-hand furniture for bed bugs before bringing the item home. As time went by and cases of bedbugs had dropped, we have lost our bedbug consciousness. Unfortunately, since the 1990’s, we have seen a significant rise in bed bugs and now we need to reconsider our habits and start to become more bedbug conscious again.

Most of us are aware of the common places that bed bugs are often found such as motels, hostels, and old furniture. Reports have shown that there are many other common areas where we can pick up bedbugs, such as movie theatres, office buildings and libraries.

Excuse the pun when I say try not to “lose too much sleep” worrying about some of the more obscure places that you may find bedbugs, but take precautions where there is the greatest risk of encountering bed bugs may save you many sleepless nights, stress and anxiety. To help you understand what areas are of greater risk, it is good to understand a little about bed bugs. Let’s look at what a primary and secondary bed bug infestation is, and then you can understand more about the places that are the most concerning.

Primary Bed Bug Infestation

A primary infestation refers to a place where people sleep at night such as homes, motels, apartments, homeless shelters and nursing homes. An infestation in these areas can double in less than three weeks due to the unlimited access to food (that being us). Eventually, the infestation will become so big that bedbugs can no longer find good hiding places. At this point, bedbugs will begin to show up in places such as bed mattresses and sheets, and other furniture. These are the areas that we need to be aware of.

Secondary Infestation

These are places where people do not sleep overnight, but they are

locations where bed bugs have come from primary infestations. These are locations such as cinemas, laundromats, schools and libraries. In these locations, bedbugs do not have an unlimited food supply, therefore they do not survive very well.

At the Laundromat

If your house has been infested by bedbugs, one of the first

recommendations a pest control company will instruct is to have any infested item that can be laundered to be placed in rubbish bags and washed and dried to kill any bed bugs. For this reason, laundromats are often where people will go to do this. While there is no question that washing and drying will kill the bedbugs, the rubbish bags that the items were placed in end up in the rubbish bins at the laundromat. So what happens to those bedbugs? If rubbish bins are not emptied at the end of the day, the bedbugs will start to get hungry and need to escape to source some food; choosing warm, freshly dried clothes is often the easiest target for them.

  • Do not set your laundry or laundry basket anywhere near rubbish areas.

  • Inspect seating in the laundromat before sitting or placing any laundry or laundry baskets down on them.

  • Inspect the table used for folding laundry or do your folding at home.

  • Use white plastic baskets rather than cloth bags to transport your laundry as they are easier to inspect when empty.

Used Furniture

One of the single most common ways to get bedbugs in your home is through bringing second-hand furniture into your home. Often the treatment of the bedbugs will exceed the price of the furniture.

When checking second-hand furniture, use a torch to check all nooks and crannies (bedbugs like to hide, especially in tight places). Use a credit card or similar through any creases or grooves in the furniture.

  • Use a torch to check any dark areas of the furniture.

  • Soft furniture is more likely to carry bedbugs than hard furniture.

  • When bringing the furniture home, if it is small enough, place it in a black rubbish bag and leave it in the sun for a few hours. The heat should kill any bedbugs.

  • Avoid taking furniture that is from high-risk bedbug areas.

  • Avoid taking furniture from roadsides.

  • Avoid buying used mattresses and bed bases.

Unfortunately, the majority of bedbugs are now resistant to many chemicals that are available over the counter. If you do have the misfortune of finding bedbugs in your home, our advice is to seek professional advice immediately.

If you think you might have bed bugs, call Results Home Services now on 3823 2500 and have one of our qualified and experienced pest control experts do a bed bug treatment before it gets out of hand. We service all of Brisbane including the north and south side suburbs and Bayside region.

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