A bed bug infestation can seemingly pop up out of nowhere. Since they are expert hiders, they can go unnoticed for quite some time. In the meantime, they will quietly spread throughout your home until they are impossible to ignore. So how quickly can bed bugs spread throughout the home?
Bed Bug Appearance
To find out if you have bed bugs in your home, you will first need to know what you should be looking out for. Bed bugs are tiny, flat insects that are usually compared to the size of an apple seed. Because of their flat shape, they can very easily squeeze into the tiniest of places and narrowest of cracks. This makes it very easy for them to hide and go unnoticed for such long periods of time.
Bed Bug Behavior
While bed bugs are usually considered nocturnal creatures, they will actually adjust their sleeping schedule to be the opposite of their hosts’ sleeping patterns. This means that no matter what your schedule is, bed bugs will wait until you are sleeping to feed on your blood. Since they don’t feed every single day, it’s easy to disregard any bites you may have as something else.
Bed bugs cannot fly, but they can jump very high for their size, making it seem like they can fly to some people. How can bed bugs spread so quickly then? Oftentimes when you think a bed bug infestation has rapidly spread, it turns out that the bed bugs had already been in the area for quite some time.
Can Bed Bugs Spread?
How quickly a bed bug infestation spreads depends on specific details, such as how long the infestation has already been there and where the insects are in their reproduction cycle. However, you can always expect a bed bug infestation to grow in size and never shrink.
Bed Bug Eggs
A female bed bug can lay up to seven eggs per day when inseminated, and up to 300 eggs in her entire lifetime. After mating, a female bed bug will travel to an entirely different location in order to lay eggs. This gives the female the opportunity to lay eggs without being sought out by another mate. This traveling to lay eggs increases the rate of a bed bug infestation spreading, as a female will commonly find a spot away from other bed bugs to lay eggs.
One single pregnant female bed bug can turn into an infestation numbering in the thousands in just a few months. This number can be even higher if your infestation has multiple pregnant females.
Bed Bug Control
There are certain steps you can take to avoid attracting an infestation and keep it from spreading further. Bed bugs are expert hiders and hitchhike rides on clothing and other fabrics, so make sure to check any of the following areas.
Bed bugs can very easily attach themselves to clothing and fabric and will only detach themselves when they find a suitable, comfortable location to settle in.
Similar to clothing, bed bugs can easily attach themselves to any furniture fabric or hide within its crevices. Be extra cautious around any second-hand or used furniture.
Female bed bugs enjoy laying eggs in cardboard boxes that provide shelter and protection from the environment. Places like your garage or attic can be the initial starting point for a bed bug infestation. Activities like pulling out holiday decorations could unleash any hiding infestations you might not have been aware of.