Bed bugs are a common household pest that has been causing headaches for homeowners and travelers for centuries. But where do bed bugs come from, and how do they end up in our homes in the first place?
These small, reddish-brown insects are notorious for their ability to infest bedding, furniture, and other household items, and can be incredibly difficult to get rid of once they’ve taken hold. But learning how they make their way into our homes is the first step to making sure we can take the necessary preventative measures.
What are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are small, flat, reddish-brown insects without wings that are about a 1/4 inch long before they feed which is approximately the size and shape of a small apple seed.
During the day, they hide in the mattress seams, box springs, bed frames, and headboards, as well as in cracks and crevices in walls, floors, and furniture. They are active at night. They can’t fly or jump, but they can move quickly when they crawl.
Where Did Bed Bugs Originate From?
For thousands of years, humans have battled the pests that we now call bed bugs. Most researchers agree that bats in the Middle East are responsible for introducing bed bugs to humans. This is because bats and people once likely shared many of the region’s caves.
Bed bugs were spread over the world by mankind as civilizations expanded. There is evidence that the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans all had problems with these invasive pests.
How Do Bed Bugs Enter Homes?
First things first, bed bugs are not a sign of poor sanitation. In fact, they can infest any home or business, regardless of how clean it is.
They are often brought in on items like clothing and luggage from an infested location. Bed bugs can also travel between units in multi-unit dwellings such as apartments, hotels, and dormitories.
Another common misconception is that bed bugs are only found in dirty places. While it is true that clutter can give bed bugs more places to hide, any home or business can become infested with these pests.
Bed bugs don’t just appear out of thin air, and they don’t make their way into your house from down the street. They are nearly usually brought onto your property by humans unknowingly, and they can do so in a number of different ways.
They are essentially hitchhiking pests, making their way into your homes from one place to another by attaching themselves to hair, clothes, skin, and even animal or pet fur.