While Kansas, as a state, is among the least infested with bed bugs, they are such common pest that this essentially means nothing- especially since Overland Park is a fairly well populated, built-up area, it’s still in need of regular bed bug control.
Whether you’re on the bus, at the cinema, or in a hotel, you should make sure to carry out a quick check to ensure you don’t get bitten by bed bugs, or become an unknowing carrier of these little pests to your home, office, or friends’ and family’s homes.
What are the risk factors that you need to be aware of?
If you live somewhere that has a high population density, such as in an apartment complex or if you live in a house in a very built-up area, then your odds of getting bed bugs increases. Moreover, if you spend time in hotels, motels, cinemas, or at others’ houses, you increase your chance of unknowingly picking up bed bugs on your clothes, since these are the top spots at risk of having a bed bug problem. Lastly, if you live in a very cluttered home, this can increase the odds of the bed bugs that make it to your home, successfully hiding and breeding; similarly, if you don’t wash your bed sheets and bed frame regularly, then this is sure to increase your risk factor of developing an infestation- be sure to wash clothes and bedsheets at a high heat, as bed bugs and eggs have the potential to survive a low-heat wash.
Can you get bed bugs by being around someone who has them?
In theory, yes. However, unlike fleas, bed bugs can’t jump- at least not any sort of distance that could be of use to them. Bed bugs attach to the clothes of their carrier, and only by engaging in a prolonged period of contact would you be able to acquire bed bugs from the carrier, since the bed bugs would need to crawl from their initial carrier, to you. So, if you hugged someone for a long time, or if you were squeezed up next to someone (for example, on public transport) it’s possible that you could acquire enough bed bugs to start an infestation in your own home.
If you’ve spotted a single bed bug on your clothes, have experienced no bites, and you’ve checked your bed (and sofa, and car) for bed bugs and find none, then it’s entirely possible that you’ve picked up a bed bug somewhere outside of your home, and don’t have an entire infestation. If this is the case, make sure to immediately wash the clothes you’re wearing at a high heat to ensure that any others you may have picked up, are killed for good.
While it is possible that you’ve picked up a single bug, it’s unlikely that you’d notice it, and if you notice any other tell-tale signs, it’s highly likely that you have an actual infestation which will need treatment.
Are hotel rooms really as bad for bed bugs as their reputation suggests?
The odds of getting bed bugs in Overland Park hotels are pretty much the same as any hotel in the US. Unfortunately, hotels are hotspots for bed bugs- mainly because so many people use the rooms, in any given year. A number of these people will have a bed bug infestation in their own homes, or have picked up bed bugs during the day, so that they end up being deposited on the bedsheets, and bed frame, and go on to breed and infest the room. A common piece of advice given to holidaymakers is, if you find bed bugs in a hotel, don’t ask to change room- change hotel altogether. This is because, when cleaning, maids will often pick up bed bugs, which will attach to their clothes, and be dropped off in neighboring rooms.
Bed bug epidemics are such a problem in the hotel industry that 82% of hotels in the US have had a bed bug treatment administered in the last year, and the Orkin study showed that 98% of hotels carry out at least one bed bug prevention program at any given time.
So, if you’re planning to take a trip anytime soon, then make sure to carry out a quick check of your accommodation, and any other bed-bug friendly places you might visit. To check for bed bugs, especially if it’s not a white surface, use a flashlight and something to scrape the surface, such as a card. If you notice any fecal matter, bed bug exoskeletons or eggs, then get out of there unless you want to bring the little critters home with you.
Here are two more articles to help you to prevent bringing bed bugs home: