Beware These Tiny Hitchhikers

Traveling in the modern age is challenging enough, but now there's something else to worry about. The chance you could be bringing home unwanted passengers in your clothes and luggage.

Bedbugs are small and infest bedding and wood. // Canva
Bedbugs are small and infest bedding and wood. // Canva

If you've stayed at a hotel or AirBnB recently, you may have invited some unwanted guests back to your home.

Bed bugs. These small, reddish-brown, wingless bloodsuckers can hitch a ride on your clothing and luggage, and you could unwittingly bring them back to your home.

Bedbugs even move into cracks and crevices in wooden bed frames. // Canva

Bedbugs will take up residence in the cracks and crevices of your bed, sheets, and pillows. These nasty little pests even make themselves comfortable in your mattress and box spring.

Sleep Tight. Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite

Bedbugs prefer a human host. They become active at night and may leave a small red welt.

According to the Mayo Clinic, "bedbug bites usually clear up without treatment in a week or two. Bedbugs aren’t known to spread disease, but they can cause an allergic reaction or a severe skin reaction in some people."

Bedbugs don't live on the skin, but their bites can be itchy. // Canva

Bedbug bites generally clear up on their own in about a week or two.

Small, itchy bites can appear after a bedbug bite. // Canva
Small, itchy bites can appear after a bedbug bite. They usually clear up on their own in about a week or two. // Canva

Bedbugs on the Rise in Arizona

Recently, Arizona has seen a rise in bedbugs and bedbug infestations. Several factors contribute to the increase:

  • More frequent travel
  • Changes in pest control practices
  • Insecticide resistance
Two cities in Arizona found a disturbing level of bedbug infestation. Canva

Two cities in Arizona reported disturbing levels of bedbug infestation. Scottsdale and Sun City in Maricopa County discovered a pervasive level of insects.

The bedbugs had inundated the areas under the bed and in the carpet. Clumps of bedbugs even made their way up the walls of the bedroom.

News12 Phoenix
One city in Maricopa County had a severe infestation that covered the walls and floors. //Photo via user News12 on YouTube

How to Get Rid of Bedbugs in Your Home

Healthline has some advice for getting rid of bedbugs.

  1. Contain the infestation so it doesn't spread.
  2. Prep for treatment. Clean and declutter the infested area. Use hot water to wash all bedding, clothes, and pillows for at least 30 minutes. Dry on the highest setting for 30 minutes. Steam the mattresses, couches and anywhere else bedbugs could be hiding.
  3. Kill the Bedbugs. Pesticides, heat, or cold treatment can kill the bedbugs. A solution of lavender oil or rubbing alcohol can also kill bedbugs. Be sure to use caution if you go this route and read all directions first. Natural bedbug solutions can be found online.
  4. Followup. Be sure to monitor the area to ensure you've eradicated all bedbugs for the area. If you can't get rid of them on your own, it may be time to call an exterminator.
Be sure to check bedding and mattresses for signs of bedbugs. // Canva

For more information on the bedbug infestation in Arizona, check out this YouTube post from 12News in Phoenix.

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