As one of the most common pests in the U.S., bed bugs cause discomfort and disgust across the country, in homes, motels, movie theatres and even in cars, as they sneak up on their human prey and suck their blood, leaving itchy red bite marks in their wake.

This means that many homes and establishments have to undergo bed bug treatment by a professional bed bug exterminator, in order to exterminate the hard-to-get-rid-of pests.

Like their name suggests, bed bugs are most commonly found in beds, where they can hide in the seams of mattresses and wait for their unassuming human meal to lie down for the night, providing easy access to a meal.

However, bed bugs can hide, live and feed from more than just your bed – sometimes from unexpected places, which leave homeowners vulnerable to infestations as they don’t know to be careful.

Do bed bugs hide in cardboard boxes?

Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs don’t need a comfy fabric surface to make a home, and one of the sneakier ways they make their way into your home is in cardboard boxes.

If you’re moving house, for example, and you’re using boxes previously used by other movers, it’s possible that the cardboard boxes are acting as a vehicle for the bed bugs to make their way from one home to another.

Shockingly, bed bugs can survive for months and months on end without a meal, meaning that they can hide in cardboard for a seriously long time – so it doesn’t matter if the boxes haven’t been used for weeks.

Bed bugs love clutter and the dark, making stacked cardboard boxes a perfect place for bed bugs to hide. So, if you’re completing a move – or you’ve bought secondhand items that have come in boxes, for example – the best thing you can do is to unpack your boxes as soon as possible and remove them from your home, before the bed bugs have time to leave the safety of the cardboard and infest other parts of your home.

Can you get bed bugs through the mail?

Another unusual way in which bed bugs can make their way into your home is through the mail. It’s possible to find bed bugs in shipping packages and envelopes, as they like the comfortable, dark, enclosed space.

Finding Bed bugs in shipping packages is becoming more common, and they can likewise crawl into letters sent from friends and business establishments, meaning that if the sender has bed bugs in their residence it’s possible they will deliver their own bed bugs to your doorstep.

Again, since bed bugs can live for months without a human meal, bed bugs in shipping packages or envelopes can survive all the way to your door and into your home.

To prevent your home from acquiring a bed bug infestation like this, you should consider opening your mail outdoors, checking the envelope for critters and disposing of any paper waste outside.

What should you do if you get bed bugs from cardboard boxes or mail?

Aside from immediately disposing of the cardboard/mail, you should call your local bed bug exterminator to administer a bed bug treatment to your home.

Since bed bugs breed, you should aim to get a bed bug treatment as soon as you noticed the infestation, to prevent bed bugs infesting other parts of your home.