CausesBy Mayo Clinic staff
The resurgence of bedbugs in developed countries may be linked to:
- Increased international travel
- Changes in pest control practices
- Insecticide resistance
Where do they hide?
During the day, bedbugs hide in the cracks and crevices of:
- Box springs
- Bed frames
They also can be found:
- Under peeling paint and loose wallpaper
- Under carpeting near baseboards
- In upholstered furniture seams
- Under light switch plates or electrical outlets
How do they spread?
Bedbugs don't usually stay on their human hosts after their meal, but they might take refuge in clothes or luggage left nearby on the floor. If you're traveling and bedbugs get into your luggage, you might bring them home.
While bedbugs may hitchhike on your belongings, they can also crawl about as fast as a ladybug. So they can easily travel between floors and rooms in hotels or apartment complexes.
Some varieties of bedbugs prefer to feed on birds or bats, so they may take up residence in your attics or eaves. If their preferred prey migrates south, these bedbugs will settle for feeding on the humans in the house.
Sign of uncleanliness?
Bedbugs don't care if their environment is clean or dirty. All they need is a warm host and plenty of hiding places. Even pristine homes and hotels can harbor bedbugs.
- Joint statement on bed bug control in the United States from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). National Center for Environmental Health. http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/ehs/publications/bed_bugs_cdc-epa_statement.htm. Accessed Dec. 7, 2011.
- Eiston DM, et al. Bedbugs. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Dec. 7, 2011.
- Bed bug information. Environmental Protection Agency. http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/bedbugs. Accessed Dec. 7, 2011.