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What Are Bed Bugs Attracted To?

a bed bug crawling up a wall

Homeowners all across the United States deal with the presence of bed bugs in their homes. A bed bug outbreak can happen to anyone because bed bugs are attracted to humans in a variety of ways. By learning more about bed bugs and methods of controlling them, you will be better prepared to identify the signs of bed bugs.

What Attracts Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are attracted to blood, heat and the carbon dioxide humans breath out. Because bed bugs are parasites, they feed on the blood of the people and pets in your home. These pests will bite you during the night for up to ten minutes. They prefer to live wherever they can get an easy meal, which is most often in the bedroom. Although bed bugs often bite when you are sleeping, they are not afraid of light. They may bite you, your loved ones or your household pets during daylight hours.

Because you are constantly releasing carbon dioxide into your home through your breath, bed bugs want to get as close to you as possible. That is why they love living in your bed.

It is terrifying to think about bed bugs being attracted to your breath, blood and body heat. Thankfully, bed bugs do not present a major health threat to your family. Still, their presence is uncomfortable, and bed bug bites can leave you itching for days or even weeks.

How Do Bed Bugs Enter Your Home?

Without wings to fly, bed bugs rely on outside help to sneak into your house. You may accidentally pick up bed bugs from other homes, hotels or public places you visit. Bed bugs can easily crawl into your clothing or bags.

If you travel often, you are more at risk of catching bed bugs, as bed bugs spread from location to location easily. These small, hard-to-spot pests hitch a ride home with you—ready to take up residence in your bedroom.

Bed bugs can also enter houses through external cracks. Once they are inside your home, bed bugs crawl from room to room across your floors, walls and ceilings.

There is not much you can do to prevent bed bugs from getting into your house. However, you can work to make your home a less hospitable environment for these irritating pests.

Where Do Bed Bugs Hide?

You are most likely to find bed bugs within six feet of your bed. Primarily, bed bugs hide out in fabrics and furniture. They live in dark, tight places like the folds of your mattress or under your covers. That said, they will happily live anywhere they can easily get a blood meal. This could include couches, easy chairs and other furniture.

Bed bugs are attracted to clutter because it makes it easier for them to hide. You may discover bed bugs around chairs, behind mirrors, around electrical outlets or inside curtains. They also hide in wooden surfaces like your baseboards, headboard, box spring or bed frame.

If you notice tiny bed bug eggs, dark bloody spots or bed bug feces in any of these places, you may have a bed bug infestation in your home.

Implementing a Bed Bug Control Plan

There are some treatments that homeowners can use to control bed bugs. Keeping these potential solutions in mind may help you slow down an outbreak.

However, many homeowners struggle to locate and kill bed bugs, and most home remedies prove to be ineffective. Your best bet for controlling bed bugs and keeping them away for good is to get professional pest control help. An expert can help you set up a custom bed bug control plan.

a bed bug climbing on a person's skin

Does Steam Kill Bed Bugs?

Don’t start spraying your home with store-bought pesticides or throw your mattress away if you discover a bed bug infestation. There are some tricks you can try first before going to more extreme measures. Thankfully, bed bugs die when they are exposed to high temperatures.

At 160 to 180 degrees, steam kills bed bugs quickly. Consider renting a steamer to deeply clean your carpets, mattress and furniture fabrics. However, if you cannot reach all the surfaces in your house where bed bugs hide, some bed bugs will survive.

Additionally, steam can cause damage to some fabrics. If you do not use it with caution, a steamer could burn you or someone else.

Other ways to target bed bugs with heat may be impractical. For example, some homeowners attempt to treat bed bugs by raising the temperature in their homes.

However, you would have to heat your house above 113 degrees Fahrenheit to kill bed bugs. This could be expensive and uncomfortable. Trying to kill bed bugs with a space heater is also ineffective.

What Are Other Ways to Get Rid of Bed Bugs?

Your first step to killing the bed bugs in your home is to wash and dry any removable fabrics with high heat. Wash your sheets, blankets, comforter, pillowcases or other washable fabrics.

Wrapping small items or furniture in plastic and leaving them outside in high heat may help eliminate bed bugs on some surfaces and fabrics. Vacuuming can also reduce the number of bed bugs in your carpet.

There are some at-home treatments you can spray in your home; however, many of these chemicals are not reliable for killing bed bugs.

Ultimately, these solutions work best when used alongside professional assistance. If you suspect a bed bug problem, the most productive action you can take to end the infestation is contacting a pest control expert.

How Can Bed Bug Control Experts Help?

Pest control professionals are trained to spot signs of bed bugs. They know what bed bugs are attracted to and where to find them. An expert can also tell you if the problem you are facing is actually bed bugs or some other type of pest.

Stopping a bed bug infestation on your own is difficult. Don’t spend hours hunting down the tiny specks of blood and feces bed bugs leave behind. It is much easier to request a bed bug inspection from a pest control company.

Bed bug control professionals can give you back your peace of mind. In addition to eliminating these pests, a bed bug control expert will be able to tell you how to prevent future infestations. Your family can rest well again without the stress of bed bug bites.

Learning more about how normal bed bug outbreaks are should help you feel alone in this stressful situation.

two bed bugs and a bed bug egg

How Common Are Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are common around the world including in highly developed countries such as the United States.

There is no connection between dirty areas and bed bugs. These pests like clutter, but they are not drawn to dirt. Instead, bed bugs are attracted to human blood, carbon dioxide and heat.

Almost any room can have bed bugs, regardless of how “clean” it is. These pests can make their home in the fanciest homes and hotels as well as in modest houses and apartments.

What Are the Downsides of DIY Pest Control?

The major issue with trying to end a bed bug problem by yourself is that you are not trained to control bed bugs efficiently. You could be exposing your family, pets and home to unnecessary or harmful chemicals by doing your own pest control. Bed bug control experts can target their solutions to specific problem areas in your home.

Another concern is whether you will be able to get rid of all the bed bugs in your home the first time. If not, your home will still be infested. Bed bug eggs will continue to hatch and spread throughout your home.

ABC Can Make You and Your Family Comfortable Again

Dealing with a bed bug infestation can leave you exhausted from lack of sleep and from worrying. When you contact ABC Home & Commercial Services, you can have peace of mind. We will create a custom pest treatment plan that will best fit your home’s needs. This way, you and your family can go to bed without worrying about bites.

Holt Myers

Holt joined ABC in 2021 as the Electrical & Appliance Operations Manager before transitioning to Division Manager for Pest Control. Before ABC, Holt worked as a Project Manager and Superintendent in Construction. Holt also served in the US Marine Corps from 2003 to 2007. Holt is a member of NPMA’s PestVets, Stewards of the Wild and Texas Wildlife Association. Holt is an avid outdoorsman, who loves to travel and spend time with his wife and daughter.

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