Bed bugs are an indoor pest. They are rarely found outside. Therefore, the climate outdoors is not really a factor for why bed bugs are a big problem in the fall. While other pests are trying to get into your home to get away from the cold, bed bugs are already inside (somewhere). They’re not hanging out on your exterior walls, looking for a hole or crack to exploit. So, why are they a threat in the fall?
The beginning of fall and the beginning of the school year are around the same time. This allows bed bugs the opportunity to go from home to home very easily. Here are a few reasons why:
Bed bugs thrive in clutter. In a cluttered room, it is harder for bed bugs to be seen. And kids often have far more cluttered rooms than adults. This makes kids more of a target when bed bugs get into a home. It also makes kids more likely to spread bed bugs from home to home.
Bed bugs are drawn to dirty laundry. If clothing is left on the floor, it is a recipe for disaster. Kids are notorious for leaving their clothes on the floor, especially when they spend the night at someone’s house.
Bed bugs are hitchhikers. They move from one location of infestation to the next by stowing away in carriables. This may be clothing, bedding, sleeping bags, pocketbooks, or duffle bags. When kids go to school, they have the potential to bring bed bugs with them. If bags, clothing, or other items from two students are stored in close proximity, bed bugs can transfer.
During the school year, kids are more likely to do sleepovers. When kids go from home to home, so can bed bugs.
What You Can Do
Get to know what bed bugs look like in all stages of development so that you can properly identify these insects when you first see them. Newly hatched bed bugs have six legs, are pale in color, and may have red abdomens if they have recently had a blood meal. As bed bugs grow, they become tan and then eventually brown. Adult bed bugs are usually what you’ll see on the news but immature bed bugs are the stage of bed bug you’re most likely to see. This means you should be looking for an insect that is pale-white or tan.
It is very important that you are able to identify bed bug eggs as well. These eggs will be about 1 mm long and white in color. You’re most likely to find them in creases, cracks, gaps, and stitching. Bed bugs hide them in such places.