When you get on a bus, train, or other mode of public transportation, bed bugs probably aren’t on your mind. You might be thinking about your to-do list for the day or wondering when the bus was last cleaned. Bed bugs, despite their name, don’t just infest beds and bedrooms. They aren’t even limited to homes and offices. They can infest cars, trains, planes, you name it. Basically, no place is immune, and that includes public transportation. Is this something you should be concerned about every time you board a public transit vehicle? And how do you keep yourself safe on public transportation and avoid bringing the tiny critters home?
How Do Bed Bugs Infest Public Transportation?
You may not know this about bed bugs, but they are travelers. They enjoy a good adventure just like humans do, and are always looking for new places to crawl and explore. Bed bugs are tiny and can sneak around anywhere they want to, given that the average adult bed bug is roughly the size of an apple seed. They tend to hitch rides on people’s clothes and belongings such as purses. Then, when they see another place that they’d like to explore or think they can hide in, they hop off and move on. If a person brings a bed bug or two onto a public transportation vehicle such as a bus or train, the bed bugs can then jump off and go explore its new environment. And there you have it: all of the sudden, the vehicle is infested and the bed bugs could spread quickly.
Are Some Modes of Transportation Riskier Than Others?
The risk of picking up bed bugs from public transportation depends on several factors. If a vehicle is cleaned regularly, the risk decreases somewhat- however, not by much. In general, bed bugs are no more attracted to dirty or germy environments than they are to clean ones. However, if a vehicle is cleaned regularly with something like a vacuum or a hose, this may remove some of the bugs. Vehicles with carpeting and upholstery, such as longer-distance trains (not subways) and some buses, are at a higher risk for bed bugs because they can hide better in fabric than they can on solid surfaces like wood or plastic. Vehicles with dark-colored seats are also at a higher risk. Bed bugs are attracted to dark colors because they provide better camouflage than light colors. Additionally, the risk of bed bugs increases as the amount of people who use the form of public transportation increases. The more people get on and off the bus or train every day, the more likely it is that one of them will be carrying bed bugs without knowing it.
How Can You Protect Yourself on Public Transportation?
The good news is, even if the public transportation you’re riding is carrying bed bugs, taking them home isn’t unavoidable. There are several ways to spot bed bugs and avoid them before it’s too late. First off, if you see any live bugs scuttling around, don’t sit down in that spot. They may be bed bugs and they may not, but it’s just not worth taking the risk. Secondly, watch out for rusty reddish-brown or black spots. They may be bed bug fecal stains, which tend to take on a rusty color because of the blood they drink. If you see any signs of bed bugs on public transportation, wait for the next bus or train to arrive instead of taking the infested one, and let the driver or conductor know.
Have You Brought Bed Bugs Home From a Ride?
If you think you have bed bugs or are interested in a home heat sanitation treatment, contact Bed Bug Barbeque, LLC in Lakewood, Ohio! We use heat treatment to eradicate bed bugs and we offer entire home sanitation heat treatments. This safe, effective treatment is completed in less than 12 hours, and Bed Bug Barbeque, LLC offers a 60-day warranty for you to verify for yourself that your bed bugs are fully eradicated. Contact Bed Bug Barbeque, LLC today for a FREE quote at (216) 221-1227 or through our website, and check out our other bed bug informational resources on identification, prevention, and eradication.