It wasn’t too long ago that bed bugs were virtually extinct. Prior to the middle of last century, bed bugs were extremely common all over the world. Around the 1950’s a chemical, known as DDT almost completely exterminated bed bugs in most of the developed world. DDT was highly toxic to bedbugs and lingered for more than a year anywhere it was applied which stopped subsequent bed bug infestations from ever taking root. Unfortunately, as was determined later, DDT is also a carcinogen (causes Cancer) and was therefore banned for use in any place inhabited by human beings as a means of killing bed bugs.
What do Bed Bugs Look Like
Since 1995, bed bugs have made a roaring comeback in most major developed countries. Once thought eradicated, bed bugs are now infesting homes all across North America including Canada and the United States and have been found in all provinces and states respectively. In fact, getting bed bugs into your home can be as simple as rubbing up against someone on the subway who’s carrying a few of the insects. Bed bugs can make a home in almost any environment and they are exceptionally resilient. Once they get into your home, they tend to congregate on things like curtains, couches, and beds where there is high anticipation that humans will be around to feed on at some point in the future. If you get them, getting rid of bed bugs is a relatively straight forward operation, but it will take time and dedication.
Any home can get infested by bed bugs but the most common causes are:
- Hitchhiking: bugs or eggs get on your clothing or luggage anywhere from the movie theater to the subway/bus. Once inside your house, they grow and multiply.
- Stowaway: bed bugs or eggs get into used furniture, that you then bring into your home
- Infested Neighbors: Bed bugs are very tiny and thus don’t need much of a route to move from one dwelling to another. If you have a neighbor with bed bugs, especially if you live in a shared apartment building or other communal dwelling, bed bugs can migrate from one home to another
- Pets: Animals such as dogs and cats can carry bed bugs as well as any human and can bring a bed bug infestation to your home.
While initially attributed to only poor and dirty homes, it has been shown that bed bugs can and do exist in even the cleanest home environments. No home is immune to bed bugs, but there are several things you can do to protect yourself from bed bug infestation. If you have bed bugs or are looking for a way to kill bed bugs, check out our top 10 list of bed bug tools. For more information on protecting yourself from bed bugs, check out the remove bed bugs guide.