Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?

If you've come here for an answer to this question, there are a few answers you might be seeking. This is a broad question. You may be curious about the history of bed bugs and where they originate. You may be wondering where they came back from since the United States was nearly bed-bug-free between the 1950s and the end of the century. Or, you might simply want to know what places you can pick these bugs up. Well, you're in luck. We've covered all three answers below.

bed bugs hitch rides on airplanes

Where Do Bed Bugs Originate?


Bed bugs go back a long long way. In fact, it is believed by some scientists that they go back as far as humans do. Evidence of bed bugs has been found in Middle-Eastern caves believed to have given refuge to pre-historic people. But it is the ancient Romans who gave them their scientific name, Cimex Lecturlarius.

 

Where Are All Of These Bugs Coming Back From?


If you've been alive for more than 30 years, you may be wondering why bed bugs are now such a big problem, and where they're all coming from. They were nowhere to be found when we were kids. Well, they're not coming from any one location. With the incredible increase of air transportation at the end of the 20th century, bed bug infestations have been on the rise in cities all over the world. It takes a matter of hours for someone to hop on a plane in a remote part of the earth (where pest control is limited) and go to a large city. This, combined with a ban on certain pesticides has led to the resurgence of bed bugs in the United States. But we can't point a finger and say, "That's where the bugs are coming from."

Where Can You Pick Bed Bugs Up?


If you have bed bugs in your home and you're wondering where they came from, that is a much bigger question to answer. Bed bugs come from many places, some of them may even surprise you. While the following is by no means a comprehensive list, it should give you an understanding of where you might have picked bed bugs up, and why.

  • Hotels and motels. Let's start with the most obvious locations. We all know that bed bugs hide in places we spend the night. These are blood-eating insects that hitchhike with humans in order to spread. If you've been on a recent vacation, you may have picked these bugs up wherever you stayed the night.
  • Dormitories. Bed bugs thrive in structures that have lots and lots of people sleeping in beds. This will be an ongoing theme. Colleges and Universities have a particular challenge because they don't have a permanent residence. Students come and go from all over the world. If you have a college-age kid who came home for the holidays, that may have been where those bugs came from.
  • Nursing homes. Any large structure that gives residency to elderly people has a high risk of bed bug infestations. This is because the elderly are more tolerant of bed bug bites. Only a small percentage develop itchy, painful welts. If you've visited a family member or friend in a nursing home or had them visit you, that might be why you're finding bed bugs.
  • Daycares. Bed bugs don't need people to sleep through the entire night in order to feed. If you drop your kids off at a Head Start or daycare, they could have picked these bugs up and brought them home.
  • Hospital. There is a myth that bed bugs only infest dirty place, but bed bugs can actually be found in the cleanest of environments. If you, or someone in your home, has been to the hospital recently, they could have gotten bed bugs from there.
  • Cab, bus, train, plane, and other transportation. Bed bugs can feed on us when we're awake. We don't have to be laying in a bed. For this reason, they have been found infesting public transportation.
  • Friend of family. Have you spent the night somewhere, or has your child come back from a sleepover? A home can be infested with bed bugs for months without being detected.
  • Library. Borrowed any good books lately? Bed bugs like to lay their eggs in the bindings of hardback books.

What we hope you've gotten from this article is that bed bugs can be picked up nearly anyplace where people lay down or sit. If you have them in your home, and you're in our South Carolina service area, reach out to Spencer Pest Services for immediate assistance and the fastest resolution to your bed bug problem.