How Easily Are Bedbugs Transferred?

Bedbugs, small brown insects that feed on human blood, were nearly eradicated in the United States after World War II. However, with greater mobility of the human population, they have returned. They can infest anyplace inhabited by people and are spread especially easily in apartments, dormitories and hotels. Bites can be painful and cause sleep loss as well as embarrassment.

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Even a cozy bed and breakfast could have bedbugs.

Where Bedugs Are Found

Bedbugs have flat bodies that fit well in crevices. They are active at night, and usually live in beds or other places people are likely to be, according to an article by Michael F. Potter, extension entomologist of the University of Kentucky Entomology Department, published on that university's website.

Transferral of Bedbugs

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Bedbugs can hide in any type of luggage.

Due to their small size and rapid movement, bedbugs can easily crawl into and hide in suitcases, packing boxes, purses, clothing and linens. Once hidden away, these pests are easily transported from one location to another. They quickly make themselves at home in their new surroundings.

Prevention of Bedbugs

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Bedbugs could be hiding in the tucks of this chair.

While in a hotel, keep your luggage off the floor, and perhaps even in plastic garbage bags. Purses should also be stored in a plastic bag while in the hotel. When packing to return home, place clothing in plastic bags and launder upon arriving home.

Do not purchase used furniture, especially mattresses and box springs, without a thorough inspection. Small blood droplets are usually indicators of bed bugs.