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Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?

Stop Bed BugsA common question asked by many home owners and Apartments and Hotels. We have discovered and rid countless residences of nasty bed bug infestations. We are providing here some true stories that might help you understand the problem and solution.

How Do You Get Bed Bugs?

Berkeley County, South Carolina

Goose Creek, South Carolina is a city of around 35,000 located in the Berkeley county which borders Charleston county. One of my recent Goose Creek jobs involved an elderly lady that had found bed bugs inside her home and realized that was what had been biting her.

She knew she hadn’t purchased any used items and had not traveled, however she did provide daycare for a newborn baby. She felt bad asking the family if they had bedbugs, but she felt she had to say something. The family admitted that they had lived in an apartment in Goose Creek which had bedbugs, but that they moved and thought they had gotten rid of them because they threw out most all their belongings and started over.

Unfortunately, bed bugs are not a bug that you can just “throw” away. The bedbug(s) may have been inside the diaper bag, car, the mom’s purse, or infant carrier. The family in Goose Creek felt bad about giving the lady bedbugs, but didn’t have enough money to pay for her bed bug heat treatment. In the end, we ended up financing part of the treatment and the lady had to tell the Goose Creek family she could no longer babysit for their child. It’s bad when people have small children that are being exposed to bedbugs because no one wants to think about a child being bitten by bed bugs. If the family doesn’t treat the bedbug infestation properly they will inadvertently transport them into the public schools and daycares.

Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?     

Goose Creek, South Carolina is a city in Berkeley county located near Charleston, South Carolina. Goose Creek resident contacted our office after returning from traveling to a graduation ceremony in the upstate. The individual had stayed in a hotel and was upset that she had gotten bed bugs from the place. K-9 team inspected and found bed bugs on the headboard as well as bed bug eggs.

After showing client the bugs she went and retrieved a plastic baggie in which she had placed two bugs that she had found in her suitcase. They were identified as adult bed bugs and were then flushed down the toilet. Client was concerned that she could have given them to her daughter when her granddaughter spent the night.

K-9 team went ahead and checked her daughter’s home, but fortunately no bed bugs were found at her Goose Creek home and client was much relieved to know this. After client was heat treated it was recommended that she wait to have granddaughter stay over until we were certain that bed bugs were eradicated and her nightmare was over.

How Do Bed Bugs Spread?     

Hanahan, South Carolina is located in Berkeley county and is near North Charleston. Hanahan has around 20,000 residents and growing. I recall a Hanahan, SC bed bug case where the owner of a warehouse had found bed bugs inside the warehouse.

K-9 was brought in and searched crates and shelving for bed bugs. She did not detect anything on the warehouse floor, but did detect bed bugs in one of the office desk. Upon further investigation it was found that an employee had brought them to work. He had a roommate that had brought bed bugs into his apartment and they had spread to his bedroom.

The Hanahan warehouse was treated and the employee was required to treat his apartment or risk being held responsible if more bed bugs were brought back into the work area. Employee had his apartment treated and the bed bug infestation was resolved. Hanahan is near the Navy Ship yard and it would not be unreasonable to find bed bugs being brought in through the shipping process, especially during cooler seasons or within a warehouse setting.                            

Jamestown, South Carolina is a small town of around 200 residents located in Berkeley county. You may have driven through it on your way to Myrtle Beach or Charleston. I recall a bed bug job in Jamestown in which the family had invited friends to stay with them during their town’s yearly craft festival.

Their friends had traveled and stayed in a hotel one night before arriving in Jamestown with the plan to stay at their home. The friends stayed with them for around a week and slept in their son’s bedroom. They claim that during that time no one realized there were bedbugs. The couple left and after they departed the son took his room back.

After just a few days he had a horrible rash all over his arms and neck. Thinking it might be a heat rash from playing sports they gave him some hydrocortisone cream and Benadryl. They said that it helped relieve the itching and his skin calmed down. Then about four days later he was up in the middle of the night complaining that his legs were itching and he needed more cream. His mom went into his bedroom to see about him and she saw a bug run over his comforter. It was at this point that she stripped down the bed and found bed bugs in the corner of the mattress seam.

Horrified the Jamestown family all moved downstairs to sleep and then called us the next day. They also contacted their friends to warn them about the bedbugs. Their friends searched all their luggage, beds, and belongings, but no evidence of bed bugs were found. It is likely that bed bugs crawled into their luggage during the one night hotel stay and crawled out during the week they were visiting at their friend’s home. The bed bugs were most likely biting them, but had no allergic reaction to the bites and so had no idea.

How Do You Get Bed Bugs In Your House?

Saint Stephen, South Carolina is a small town located near North Charleston, in Berkeley county. Recall a bed bug infestation in which a lady was a single mother living in a Saint Stephen’s in a mobile home and on a fixed income.

The situation required a more intensive investigation as to how bed bug problem began because there were so many different people in and out of the Saint Stephen home. It was discovered that all three children had friends that they played with and stayed with that also had problems with bed bugs. It was stressed to the family that once we treated their mobile home and belongings with heat remediation and organic dust, it would be necessary that they not spend the night or stay with their friends as the chances that they would become reinfested were highly likely. This was difficult because the mother relied on trading out babysitting with several of these families.

The mother was serious about being done with these annoying bedbugs so she ended up finding a friend at work that had not had bed bugs and got the friend’s teenage daughter to help her with childcare and was eventually able to prevent becoming reinfested.

Bed Bug Infestation

Moncks Corner, SC is located in Berkeley County and has around 6,000 residents that live in and around it. We had a bed bug case in a hunting cabin located in Moncks Corner. Yes, a hunting cabin of all things.

Apparently the owner had invited several friends to stay in his cabin and one gentleman had traveled prior to his arrival. He had bites but assumed it was from the large amount of mosquitoes that are common in the area. They had stayed in the Moncks Corner cabin for an extended weekend and then the cabin was not used for several months. The next time the owner stayed at the cabin he ended up with itchy bites, but still unaware that the problem was bed bugs.

Finally, on his next trip to his Moncks Corner cabin he noticed a bug crawling across the bedspread. He captured it and then asked his buddy that worked for a local pest control company to identify the bug. His friend immediately told him it was a bed bug, however his company didn’t deal with bed bugs and recommended he contact someone that specialized in bed bugs.

That’s when he contacted our company and began to learn more about these bugs. I remember him asking how this happened and could bed bugs now be in the woods of Moncks Corner like chiggers and mosquitoes. I explained that they would have come into the cabin through a person often having luggage, backpacks or bags and would not be in the woods.

What Causes Bed Bugs? 

Dorchester County

St. George, South Carolina located in Dorchester county and having around 2,000 residents it  is west of Charleston. St. George had a bed bug infestation in a residential home in which the occupant was required to travel for her work. She has been traveling for years and just couldn’t stop asking, “where are these things coming from?” as if she just couldn't get her mind around it. She had never encountered these pests before and just felt like there must be one reason why they were now in our country.

After explaining to her that bed bugs have made a comeback for a number of different reasons, she said ok, but why do we have them, how did they get in St. George and in my house? Just couldn’t get her mind around the fact that they have come back. What she did understand is that they were biting her every three or four nights and she was ready to move out of her house and never come back.

After we heat treated and applied organic dust we reminded her that her job required a lot of travel and that she would be in a higher risk group of coming in contact with bed bugs in the future. I’m not sure, but I got the impression that she was job hunting and perhaps changing careers to work in St. George verses traveling. Please know that this is not necessary and that with some education and some good practices you can learn to minimize your risk of getting bed bugs while working in a higher risk area.

Colleton County

Walterboro, South Carolina is a rural town located in Colleton County and has around six thousand residents. Ironically, the town of Walterboro was established by rice plantation owners that were trying to escape a different type of pest—the mosquito and the disease that mosquitoes can transmit, “malaria”. Walterboro didn’t have all the water and marsh areas that were found on the rice plantations and therefore didn’t harbor as many mosquitoes. Walterboro may not be ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes, but bed bugs like it just fine.

We received a call from a homeowner that had discovered they had bed bugs. Initially the guy thought he must have picked them up as he was a salesman and did a good bit of traveling. When the K-9 team came thru they found that the highest infestation was in a bedroom recliner which was highly infested.

It was obvious that bed bugs had been in this furniture for some time due to all the excrement stains and castings.  Turned out that his step daughter had moved back home and had not told them about her bed bug infestation, thinking she had gotten rid of them by purchasing a new bed and throwing out items.

Well, you know this Walterboro resident was upset.... letting her move back home and then finding out how irresponsible she had been in bringing these bed bugs into their home. He had a large colonial type brick house so there was a fair amount of square footage that had to be heated, but in the long run he was happy to have them gone! Not sure how long he put up with the daughter moving back home, but I know she was told not to hang out with her ex-boyfriend and old friends while she lived there.

Professional Bed Bug Inspection

It can take two trained technicians up to two hours to search one bedroom for bed bugs visually and they only have around 25% accuracy. Inspecting an entire home with an IBBMA certified canine and handler can be completed in a number of minutes with accuracy of 90% or greater. Bed Bugs are excellent hitchhikers and just like lice they are parasites and need people or animal blood to survive. 

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Pictures of Bed Bugs

Bed Bug Detection Remediation Services of South Carolina is a division of FFR, Inc.

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