17 surprising ways you can bring bedbugs into your home

USDAThere are many ways you can bring bedbugs into the house.

Your home is your castle, and there’s nothing worse than having unwanted guests on your turf – especially the insect kind. A bedbug infestation in particular is bad news because the insects’ flattened bodies allow them to fit into the smallest of spaces – roughly the width of a credit card, according to WebMD. That means there are many ways you can bring bedbugs into your home. Here are 17 of them.

Secondhand furniture is a common way for bedbugs to spread.

Helissa Grundemann/ShutterstockBringing secondhand furniture is risky because it could be infested.

Bringing home secondhand furniture is a risk because, if the items are infested, the bedbugs will spread through your home, according to the EPA. And, despite their name, bedbugs don’t only reside in beds. They can hide between cushions on sofas and in the seams of chairs and couches.

Secondhand clothing poses a bedbug risk.

ShutterstockBedbugs live in used clothing.

Thrift shoppers, take note: Bedbugs can reside in used clothing. Put any secondhand garments in the dryer on a medium or high setting for one cycle once you bring them home, according to Scientific American. This will zap the bugs.

Hospitals can be havens for bedbugs.

If you think hospitals are gross, here’s another reason to be squicked out: According to a survey by the National Pest Management Association, more than a third of US pest-management companies responded to bedbug infestations in hospitals in 2012.

Your gym could be infested with the insects.

ER_09/ShutterstockGyms can have bedbugs from other people’s belongings.

When you leave the gym, you might be bringing home more than ripped abs: You could pick up bedbugs from other gym-goers’ personal belongings, like gym bags, yoga mats, and clothing in lockers, according to Terminix.

Even movie theatres can be hot spots for the insects.

Syda Productions/ShutterstockMovie theatre cushions can have bedbugs.

Cushions in movie theatres may also be home to bedbugs – as well as the clothing and belongings of other theatergoers – which can, in turn, spread to you, according to the Travel Channel.

Bedbugs can hide on aeroplanes, too.

AMCBedbugs live in the cushions and the belongings of passengers.

Speaking of upholstery, the seats on aeroplanes – as well as the belongings of other passengers – can harbour bedbugs and allow them to spread to you and your stuff, according to MentalFloss.

Bedbugs can sometimes hide in the folds of curtains.

Nate Grigg/flickrSecondhand curtains can have bedbugs.

Secondhand curtains may also be a culprit, as bedbugs may hide in the folds and hitch a ride into your home, according to the EPA.

The insects love to hitch a ride in luggage.

Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty ImagesSuitcases can bring bedbugs anywhere.

Borrowing your buddy’s suitcase for your upcoming Europe trip? Make sure you inquire if he’s had any bedbug issues lately, because the insects can hide in luggage, according to WebMD. Likewise, if you bring luggage into an infested hotel room, the bugs can get inside and come home with you.

Shared laundry facilities can spread bedbugs.

Warner Bros. TelevisionLaundromats can shift bedbugs around.

If you use a laundromat or a shared laundry room in a dorm or apartment building, we’ve got bad news: Bedbugs can jump ship from other peoples clothing and infest yours, according to the EPA.

Bedbugs love to hang out in college dorms.

Kettering College/FlickrBedbugs can be found in dorms.

College dorms in general are another hotspot for bedbugs, according to Scientific American.

Cracks in your home could allow bedbugs to spread from other units.

Wikimedia CommonsBedbugs can move through apartments.

An apartment or condo that’s not properly maintained – whether by you or your landlord – could invite a bedbug infestation. If a nearby unit is infested, the bugs can move through wall voids and enter your home through crevices and cracks around light sockets and baseboards, according to the EPA.

Bedbugs can spread through vacuums.

Twentieth Century FoxVacuuming bedbugs to kill them will only make the problem worst.

Some people think vacuuming up bedbugs and their eggs is an easy way to get rid of them. However, a vacuum can spread bedbugs to other rooms or homes – say, if a house cleaner uses a vacuum in an infested home and then uses it in yours, according to Scientific American.

Even electronics like phones and radios can harbour bedbugs.

20th Century FoxBedbugs can live in phones and radios.

It’s not just soft materials that bedbugs call home. Surprisingly, they can stow away in telephones and radios, according to WebMD.

Coat closets can be bedbug havens.

m01229/FlickrHanging jackets anywhere makes it possible for bedbugs to spread.

Be careful where you hang your jacket. Coat closets in offices, schools, and other public places can allow bedbugs to spread from one person’s infested item to those of others, according to the EPA.

Taking home a library book could mean taking home bedbugs.

Joe+Jeanette Archie/FlickrIt’s possible for bedbugs to live in library books.

Say it isn’t so: Although it’s not common, it is possible to bring home bedbugs in a library book, according to Bustle.

Break rooms and office lounges can spell bad news.

NBCBedbugs can be found in your office.

You might want to skip your next coffee break. If your break room or office lounge has upholstered furniture, bedbugs may be hiding in the furniture – and could then spread to you, according to the EPA.

The insects stow away in footwear, too.

Carlo Allegri/Getty ImagesYour shoes can transport bedbugs.

Even shoes are a potential hiding spot, according to Scientific American. Whether you’re buying used shoes, borrowing a pair from a friend, or walking through an infested location, your kicks can bring bedbugs back home with you.


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