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Why Are Bed Bugs Such a Nightmare for City Dwellers?

Written by Posted On Friday, 15 March 2019 06:05

For some city goers, the saying “don’t let the bed bugs bite” becomes more of a reality than what our parents told us before bed. These non-flying insects can be hard to find, causing them to spread very quickly, especially in close living spaces like apartment buildings. Even though it was almost unheard of in the United States 10 years ago, bed bug treatments have been growing in popularity due to the critters' prevalence.

Bed bugs typically have a negative connotation thanks to the common misconception that they will only find their way into messy areas. However, they are not a sign of uncleanliness and only need blood to survive. These bugs don’t transmit any diseases, but they are tiny and usually bite hands and feet, leaving a trail of black spots in your furniture, sheets, towels and other fabric or linens.

Stop Bed Bug Infestation While You’re Ahead

Depending on whether or not you're the first to detect bed bugs around your living quarters, getting rid of the unwanted infestation can be controllable early. However, due to the quick spread with little space to go, there may be a chance that your neighbor was the first culprit. Bed bugs will travel through pipes, walls or any other way they may find their way in.

Many people confuse fleas with bed bugs and begin treating the area for the wrong insect which can cause this issue and be costly to control. If you have a pest problem, be sure to determine the root of the infestation before beginning treatment.

Top Cities in America With Bed Bugs

With the rise of bed bug incidents in the U.S., a few cities stand out with a significant amount of confirmed cases of bedbugs. Five of the U.S. cities that have stood out in the past few years are:

  1. New York
  2. Philadelphia
  3. Detroit
  4. Cincinnati
  5. Chicago

A common theme with these cities, along with many others, is that they have homes that are in close proximities with one another. Philadelphia, in particular, has had an issue with infestation cases, and a 2014 study found that about 11 percent of homes had been affected.

Because of these five cities' high population of business travelers who are frequently coming and going, the bugs can easily travel from state to state.

Tips for Preventing Bed Bugs

Unfortunately, bed bugs can be attracted anywhere, but when you're living in an apartment or close quarters, it’s increasingly more common for the pests to become present. If you live in an area like this, it's smart to practice these five bed bug prevention tips.

1. Inspect Your Home Regularly

Although bed bugs can come and go from any corner of the home, they especially like hiding in mattresses, electrical outlets and headboards and baseboards. Doing a regular inspection on your house can reduce the severity of a spread.

2. Kill Bugs With Extreme Heat

Bed bugs will die when they reach their maximum body temperature, which can be up to 113°F. Follow this tip with caution, as some homes have been set on fire due to this amount of heat.

3. Clean Clutter

Even if you don’t consider it a mess, you should always clean up areas that have more clutter than others. These little bugs will easily find a way into cluttered spaces, making it almost impossible to see them with the naked eye.

4. Wash All Fabrics

It’s not the most thrilling thing to do, but washing your fabrics — including bedding, towels, curtains, blankets, rugs, etc. — on the hottest temperature will help with the removal of any sign of bed bugs. If you visited a place that had bed bugs, it’s best to throw away the clothes you wore immediately for caution.

5. Get in Contact With a Pest Management Company

If you stay ahead of what you think could potentially be bed bugs, you can help manage the spread and intensity of the infestation. Don’t be embarrassed to contact a professional for help. They’ll be able to know the proper treatment required to remove the bugs and can reduce infestation time.

Be Prepared for the Nightmare

If you're planning on moving to the city or a small apartment soon, don’t let the fear of these creepy crawlers stop you. Use extra caution when bringing things in and out of the house, especially any secondhand furniture or clothing. Bed bug policies are currently in the process in many areas with pest control companies becoming more and more frequent in urban areas. Know the signs and effects of bed bugs, as well as who to contact, but don’t let it stop you from feeling unwelcome in your own home.

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Holly Welles

Holly Welles is a real estate writer with her thumb on the pulse of industry trends. She runs her own residential real estate blog, The Estate Update, where she shares advice for renters and homeowners alike.
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