4 unexpected bed bug hotspots

(BPT) - The term “bed bugs” might make you shudder and picture a mattress teeming with the bloodsucking insects, but don’t be fooled; the name is a bit of a misnomer. While almost 70 percent of bed bug infestations are associated with beds or items found near beds, the insects don’t limit themselves to those spaces. Bed bugs are experts at hitchhiking and can be found in common spaces like movie theaters and public transportation. Here are a few tips from Terminix on spots and objects where you may not have thought to check for these insects.

Personal belongings

Bed bugs can find their way into your house via purses, jackets and other belongings. Your kids could even bring them home from school on their backpacks. To help guard against an infestation, limit the number of items your children bring back from school, check the items that do come in and keep them in a separate area of your house. And don’t forget to check your own jackets and bags!

Luggage racks

While luggage racks are a great way to store your bags while staying in a hotel, be cautious — these racks are a common nesting spot for bed bugs. Don’t place your belongings on one until you’ve properly checked it for signs of the critters. These could include reddish stains and shed insect skins, which look like yellow flakes.

Dirty laundry

Think again before you let that pile of soiled laundry sit on the floor any longer. Bed bugs are actually twice as likely to infest dirty clothes as they are to infest clean clothes, possibly due to odors that mimic the smell of a food source. Place your dirty laundry in a bag and keep it separated from your clean clothes to help contain the smells.

Furniture

Bed bugs can hitch rides on new and used furniture alike. Be wary of bringing chairs and other pieces into your home without first checking them for bed bugs and other pests. You shouldn’t limit your search to a casual glance, either. Look in the tucks and seams of upholstered pieces for the insects or for telltale signs that they may have infested your furniture.

Tackle an infestation with the help of a professional

If you do find yourself dealing with a bed bug infestation, don’t try to fight it alone. The insects can be extremely difficult to remove through do-it-yourself methods, and you could still wind up with bed bugs after all your efforts. Take your home back with the help of trained professionals, such as Terminix’s technicians, who are trained to perform thorough inspections, detect bed bugs and develop a customized treatment solution for your home.