A-1 Pest Control North Carolina

What Attracts Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs, those tiny blood-sucking pests, have developed quite a reputation in the past couple of decades for being a major nuisance. While there’s plenty of talk about how to deal with active bed bug infestations, the question of what attracts bed bugs is too-often overlooked. By taking steps to prevent and control bed bug infestations, you can preempt these nocturnal bugs and sleep safely and soundly. 

What Attracts Bed Bugs?

Their name gives them away: Bed bugs are drawn to warm, dark places where they can hide in fabric and crevices. Learning what attracts bed bugs (besides just beds) will help you get rid of them quickly and discourage them from returning.

Human Presence and Body Heat

Bed bugs are attracted to the warmth and carbon dioxide produced by humans and animals. When we sleep, our bodies emit heat and exhale carbon dioxide, acting as signals that guide bed bugs to their blood meal. The presence of a warm, breathing host is a primary attractant for bed bugs, making bedrooms and sleeping areas their preferred habitats.

Clutter and Hiding Places

Bed bugs are expert hiders, seeking refuge in cracks, crevices, and cluttered spaces during the day. A cluttered environment provides numerous hiding spots, making it easier for bed bugs to evade detection and reproduce. Regularly decluttering and organizing living spaces can minimize potential hiding places, making it more challenging for bed bugs to establish themselves.

Used Furniture and Secondhand Items

Secondhand furniture, especially mattresses, couches, and chairs, can be potential carriers of bed bugs. These pests are adept at hitchhiking on infested items, making it essential to inspect used furniture thoroughly before bringing it into your home. Avoid picking up discarded furniture from the curb without careful examination, as it may harbor bed bugs.

Travel and Commuting

Bed bugs are notorious for hitchhiking on luggage and clothing, making travel a common mode of transportation for these pests. Hotels, public transportation, and even movie theaters can be hotspots for bed bug activity. Always inspect hotel rooms, avoid placing luggage on beds or upholstered furniture, and wash clothing promptly after returning home to prevent bed bugs from infesting their living spaces.

Dirty Laundry and Cluttered Bedrooms

Bed bugs are attracted to the scent of human sweat and body odors. Piles of dirty laundry, especially in bedrooms, can serve as attractive hiding spots and potential breeding grounds for bed bugs. Regularly washing and drying bedding, curtains, and clothing can help eliminate odors that may attract these pests.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Getting rid of bed bugs requires a comprehensive approach that combines cleaning, treatment, and prevention. In this article, we will discuss effective strategies to eliminate bed bugs from your home.

Identify the Problem

The first step in eliminating bed bugs is to confirm their presence. Look for signs such as small reddish-brown bugs, tiny eggs, or dark fecal spots on your mattress, sheets, and furniture. 

Declutter and Clean

In your research to discover what attracts bed bugs, you’ll have found that they thrive in cluttered environments. If you can, declutter your living space, getting rid of unnecessary items, and vacuuming thoroughly. Pay special attention to seams, cracks, and crevices where bed bugs may hide.

Wash and Heat Treat Fabrics

Bed bugs can hide in your bedding, clothing, and curtains. Wash all washable items in hot water and dry them on the highest heat setting to kill both bugs and their eggs. Consider using mattress and pillow encasements to trap any remaining bugs and prevent future infestations.

Steam Cleaning

High-temperature steam is an effective non-toxic method for killing bed bugs and their eggs. Use a steam cleaner on mattresses, furniture, and carpets, ensuring you reach all potential hiding places. This method is particularly useful for treating areas where pesticides may not be safe or effective.

Chemical Treatments

Various insecticides are available for treating bed bug infestations. Choose a product specifically designed for bed bugs, and follow the instructions carefully. Treat areas such as bed frames, seams, cracks, and baseboards. It's advisable to repeat the treatment to address newly hatched bugs.

Professional Extermination

If the infestation persists or is severe, seeking professional help may be necessary. Pest control professionals have access to stronger pesticides and specialized equipment, providing a more thorough and effective treatment.

Final Word: What Attracts Bed Bugs?

So, what attracts bed bugs? Warmth, dark spaces, and clutter are the main attractants, though there are a few other common culprits. Luckily, keeping bed bugs at bay is fairly simple. Regular inspections, proper hygiene practices, and cautious behavior while traveling might be all you need to ensure your space is never invaded by these creatures.

Whether it be for a preemptive inspection or an active infestation, A-1 Pest Control can help keep your home bed-bug free all year round. While our main office is in Lenoir, North Carolina, we service the majority of Western North Carolina, including Blowing Rock, Mooresville, Hickory, West Jefferson, Asheville, and Hendersonville. Contact A-1 Pest Control today at  828-481-9140 to schedule a FREE inspection, or fill out the contact form below.

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