What cause bed bugs? Let’s find out!

what cause bed bugs

Bed bugs are not caused by filth; this is just a misconception. They are neither attracted to decay nor dirt. They live in any environment as long as they have access to their food source. They are blood sucking insects, and they need blood meals to breed and survive. They only hide near their food source and wait until it’s safe for them to come out and feed. So the question remains, what cause bed bugs?

Understanding what cause bed bugs

Bed bugs are not drawn to clutter; they find hiding places in clutter avoiding being detected. Clutter, therefore, doesn’t cause bed bugs. They can live in the cleanest and neatest environment. Bed bugs hide can hide under and inside the mattress seams, along with the baseboards, electrical outlets, on bed frames and picture frames, under all furniture, in books, and clocks. They can be found anywhere from five-star hotels, in planes, trains and automobiles, and most public places like libraries, schools, and even retail stores.

This is crazy!

So what cause bed bugs?

I am sure you will agree with me that the cause of bed bugs is a lack of awareness. And in this article, I am going to show you exactly where bed bugs come from, what causes them to come and you will know how to prevent them before they manifest in your home.

The presence of one fertile, female bed bug in a good environment for breeding can produce an infestation. A healthy female bed bug lays 200 to 500 eggs in her lifetime, laying from 2 to 5 eggs a day. The eggs hatch in 6 to 10 days and can live up to 10 months. Adult bed bugs can live up to 18 months without feeding on blood.

So what does this mean?

Three or more generations of bed bugs are born each year, and the likelihood of this infestation can be very high if there are no bed bug control measures being used.

All you need to do is inspect for bed bugs in the house all the time. Treating an early infestation is more convenient and far less costly and easy. However, you need to know what you are inspecting for or else you will misidentify the bed bugs giving them more time to spread.

It gets better if you know that bed bugs can be identified by inspecting the following

  • Eggshells
  • Blood smears
  • Faecal stains
  • Bed bugs casting/ skin sheds
  • Bed bug eggs
  • Nymphs
  • Adult bed bugs

Are bed bugs visible to the human eye? Or any of these signs visible?

Let me explain that when inspecting for them you have to use a flashlight to be effective.

What causes bed bugs to come out?

Bed bugs hide in the deepest, warmest and inaccessible crevices of the home. They only come out when they want to feed. To feed on human blood, so they need to be close to the host thus they hide close to the bed.

But this does not mean they only come out in the bedroom.

They also stay in furniture and fixtures and do not always feed at night. They take any opportunity. They can come out in the movie theatre because there is an opportunity to feed. Any place where humans or other mammals sit, rest or sleep, bed bugs can be found.

What makes bed bugs infest your house?

Bed bugs are hitchhikers, and unlike fleas or ticks, they do not fly not jump and are not nimble. They do not look for a passerby to hop onto; they spread through subtle. They hitch a ride on someone or something, and they do not stay on human hosts after feeding. They simply hide where they are not disturbed.

So if they manage to hitchhike and find somewhere to hide as in the clutter and the manifestation has begun.

Where do bed bugs come from?

The name says it all. They are found near beds. They prefer the beds, close to humans and no one knows why they like human beings and no other warm-blooded animals.

They are transported, while tucked in dark hiding places and these are the few places where bed bugs can come from

  • Buses, trains, planes, cruise liners, and taxi cabs.
  • Office buildings.
  • City Hall.
  • Colleges and universities.
  • Fire Stations.
  • Nursing homes.
  • Day-cares.
  • High schools, middle schools, and elementary schools.
  • Federal buildings.
  • Police stations.
  • Libraries.
  • Theatres.
  • A friend’s house.
  • The home of a family member.
  • Your workplace.

What causes bed bugs to bite?

What cause bed bugs and their bites?

What cause bed bug bites?

So bed bugs bite, yes they do when they feed.

And do bed bugs bite every night? They do not feed every night; they can go for days without feeding.

A bed bug bite is more likely to look like

  • A small swollen area with a dark centre.
  • Bites that are grouped together or in a line.
  • A blister on the area that has been bitten

Bed bugs can bite anywhere on the body and mainly on the areas of the skin that are exposed when sleeping. Bed bug bites do not transmit any disease but may cause a skin infection around the bite site.

Bed bug bites are itchy

You will feel a burning sensation after being a bed bug bite. You will only feel this after several days as the bed bugs release a tiny amount of anesthesia into your body before they bite.

If you scratch the burning sensation, it can lead to swelling and bleeding.

How do you get bed bugs?

Bed bugs hitch hike onto places that are closest to them such as

  • Hotels, motels or resorts are at the top of the list and need to be inspected for bed bugs. Before spending time in the hotel make sure you check for bed bugs and also avoid cheap hotels.
  • Any public transport can have bed bugs. You need to keep an eye and check yourself before you leave.
  • Visitors or guests may bring bed bugs unwillingly into your home. The bed bugs could be coming from their homes, or they may have picked them when they were traveling. Bedding needs to be washed on the hottest temperatures once visitors have departed.
  • Visiting other people’s homes could bring bed bugs into your home as well. Inspect all items that you bring into your home after visits.
  • The work place also may have bed bugs that you need to be cautious. You always have to check the surrounding for bed bugs.
  • Second-hand furniture from the road side needs to be scrutinized. Bed bugs also hide in furniture and not just bed.
  • Generally any public place can have bed bugs. As long as they can hide somewhere unnoticed. Always check for any of their signs.

When bed bugs enter your home undetected through luggage, clothing, used beds and couches and other items they hide in the tiny spaces and these spaces have to be close to the human blood which they feed on.

They need to have access, in fact, easy access to people so that they can bite them. So over time, they will move to the bedroom and into any crevice and bed.

Bed bug bite symptoms

Symptoms of bed bug bites include itchy red bumps, especially in the mornings. Blister-like rashes may also occur. Sometimes the hard red bumps may become infectious when scratched.

Secondary infections from scratching require medical care.

When bedbugs bite

Bed bugs usually bite when people are sleeping and at night. They pierce the skin and take in blood through their beak, and they feed on for three to 10 minutes to get full.

Bed bug bites are usually not painful at first, but they later get itchy. And bed bugs only bite the area of the skill that is exposed when one is sleeping.

How are bed bug bites treated?

While bed bugs are more annoying than they can be dangerous, a normal bite should disappear within one or two weeks. An anti-itch cream can help reduce the itching of the skin. Antihistamine reduces itching and burning or an antiseptic cream or lotion.

Cleaning up to get rid of bed bugs

To get rid of bed bugs you have to make sure there is less or no hiding place for bed bugs. Cleaning up should include

  • Bed bugs do not like heat. Linen, curtains, and clothing must be washed and dry cleaning in hot water for 30 minutes on high heat to kill bed bugs. The clothes must be put in the dryer on the hottest temperature the fabric can withstand. Cleaning, drying and pressing clothes will kill bed bugs and their eggs.
  • Using a stiff brush on the seam of the mattress or other furniture can eliminate bed bugs and remove their eggs.
  • Vacuuming is one handy remedy to get rid of bed bugs in your home. A vacuum cleaner is a common useful household item. It can suck up bed bugs and their eggs effectively from the mattress. It has to be done thoroughly to make sure that no bed bug escapes and as regular as once a week. Also, remember to change and dispose of the vacuum bag after you finish vacuuming.
  • Mattresses can be prevented from bed bug infestation by using the bed bug mattress covers or encasements. These are impenetrable to bed bugs outside the mattress. If the bed bugs get trapped in the mattress, they will not be able to escape and will eventually die.
  • Seal all cracks in the home as they are possible hiding places for bed bugs. These creatures are tiny and can fit through the smallest openings. After sealing cracks treatment is still required to completely get rid of bed bugs. And it will be effective.

What to use to kill bed bugs

You need to know what to use to kill bed bugs. There are some home remedies to get rid of bed bugs. You can also use the following in your house to prevent bed bugs from coming,

  • Diatomaceous Earth
  • boric acid
  • Thiamine
  • Wintergreen alcohol
  • Sweet flag
  • Bean leaves
  • Indian lilac leaves
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Thyme
  • Essential Oils
  • Mint Leaves
  • Black Walnut Tea
  • Beauveria bassine
  • Lemongrass
  • Clove
  • Pyrethrum

Preventing bed bugs

Bed bugs are the worst yes and the best way is to know ways to get rid of them. Prevent them by

  • Avoiding to stay in cheap hotels and or buying second-hand furniture
  • Inspecting your belongings before and after leaving any residence
  • Making sure that you seal all your luggage when traveling
  • Place your luggage in places that are not likely to have bed bugs like tables, not on someone’s bed or couch
  • Inspect your environment always. Remember their sign of black droppings, shells or eggs
  • Be smart. Wash your bedroom belongings regularly
  • Making sure there is no hiding place for bed bugs. Remove all clutter


The best way to avoid bed bugs is to know what they are and what causes them. You need to be able to know how to inspect them and possible solutions to kill them.

They do not just on their own, you probably pick them from somewhere, anywhere- offices, stores, hotels, and gyms. Know also that they are great hitchhikers and they can hide in your luggage, personal belongings or even you.

But they can be controlled. Catching them early reduces costs and the final tips to avoid bed bug infestation in your home are

  • Remove all clutter from your home, bed bugs hide in clutter
  • Wash and dry your bed linens on the hottest temperature permitted.
  • Closely inspect any second-hand furniture before bringing it into your home.
  • Inspect your home after moving, trips, service calls or overnight guests.