Whether you’ve battled bed bugs firsthand or heard horror stories from others, you’re sure to ask, “How does someone get bed bugs?” and, “What can I do to prevent them?” Despite the stigma surrounding bed bugs, who you are and how you live have little to do with getting them. Bed bugs can strike anyone’s home—the young or old, rich or poor, clean or dirty. What attracts these pests is something all humans possess, something each of us has coursing through our veins.
Out for Blood
Bed bugs feed on blood. Though they can feed on warm-blooded animals—in fact, it’s suspected that thousands of years ago, they did just that—they have evolved primarily into human parasites. One reason for this is our lack of thick fur, which makes us easiest to prey upon. As we sleep, the heat we give off and CO2 we exhale leads these pest right to our beds, where they get a quick bite to eat.
What You Can Do
Being that bed bugs aren’t particular, anyone can be a target. Their hardiness makes them especially unsettling, as they can live up to one year without feeding and have, over the last few decades, become largely resistant to chemical pesticides. So, what can you do to protect yourself? Awareness is arguably your greatest weapon against bed bugs. Being mindful of bed bugs, doing a thorough once-over of any clothing or furniture coming into your home, is the easiest way to avoid carrying them in.
And, while cleanliness won’t necessarily prevent bed bugs, keeping your home clutter-free will make it less-ideal for them. Bed bugs enjoy nesting in dark nooks and crannies. By getting rid of any unwanted or unused items, and keeping things off of the floor, you reduce the number of places where they can hide. If you’re already struggling with these unwanted house guests, take a look at some of our other posts to see what steps you can take to rid your home of them completely. As always, contacting a professional should be a top priority.