Tiny and pesky bed bugs have been causing trouble for humans ever since we can remember. These pests aren’t just excellent hitchhikers, but they’re also experts at hiding.
They multiply like crazy, and once they’re in your home, the infestation is very hard to get rid of. Leading us to ask, where did they originate from?
While there have been different theories on where they originated from, some experts say that they might have come from caves. It was presumed to have come from bats back in those days when men were living in the same caves.
As men have traveled to different places, along with civilization, so did the bed bugs. Over time, these bed bugs have traveled far, reaching Asia, Europe, Africa, and even the United States.
They’ve been found in ancient Egyptian tombs and in many other historical places. Our ancestors have even documented their experiences with these bed bugs, and some are found in Roman, Egyptian, and Greek texts.
Different Factors That Affected the Spread of Bed Bugs
As civilization took place, men had to start traveling more for work and other purposes. This made it easier for bed bugs to tag along and travel to new places.
These pests would often hide in luggage, make themselves comfortable in between the clothes, and would end up in a new home or country.
Aside from that, these bed bugs have also been said to hitch a ride on animals like bats, dogs, and other rodents. While they feed on the blood of their host, they would often end up in a new place once the animal had traveled to a different area.
The eggs they hatch would also be transported to a new place, making it easier for them to establish themselves in a new area.
With that being said, here are some of the different factors that have significantly affected the spread of bed bugs, making their way into different parts of the world in a short period of time.
More People Traveling Internationally
As more people start traveling internationally, the chances of them bringing bed bugs with them also increase. Initially, bed bugs were only found in certain parts of the world. But as people started to travel more, they were able to bring these pests to different countries, thus increasing the number of bed bug infestations around the world.
People stay in inns, hostels, and other places when they travel, which makes it easy for these critters to travel from one place to another. All they need is a small opening, and they can easily make their way into your luggage and travel with you to your next destination.
Furniture and Other Items Being Traded
Another factor that has contributed to the spread of bed bugs is the trade of furniture and other items. These pests can easily hide in furniture, clothes, and other items that are being traded or shipped from one place to another.
As people started to buy second-hand furniture and other items, they would often unknowingly bring bed bugs into their homes. These pests would then start to infest the new home, making it difficult for the homeowners to get rid of them.
The Increase in International Trade
Similarly, the increase in international trade paved the way for bed bugs to be transported to different parts of the world. As goods and items are being shipped from one country to another, bed bugs would often hide in these items and would end up in a new place.
Because they’re tiny and can easily hide in different places, people from different parts of the globe have become more susceptible to bed bug infestations.
The Rise of Urbanization
As mentioned earlier, the rise of urbanization has significantly contributed to the spread of bed bugs. As more people start living in urban areas, the chances of them coming into contact with these pests also increase.
These pests multiply rapidly, taking shelter often in cluttered and dirty areas. And because there are more people living in close proximity to each other in urban areas, it’s easier for bed bugs to spread from one person or home to another.
With that being said, multiple reports have noted that bed bugs have been found to spread faster and easier in apartments, hotels, and other places where people live in close quarters.
The Use of Public Transportation
Along with urbanization and civilization, people who use different modes of public transportation are also more likely to get bed bugs. Public transportation like buses, trains, and subways are often used by a lot of people, making it difficult to know if one passenger might be carrying these pests.
As bed bugs start to infest these public transportations, finding new hosts or victims would be easier for them.
This is because there are a lot of people who use these transportations on a daily basis, giving bed bugs more opportunities to find new hosts and spread to different areas.
Lastly, global warming has also been identified as one of the main reasons why bed bugs have been able to spread more easily in recent years.
As the temperature starts to rise, bed bugs are able to survive and reproduce more quickly. The humid and warm environment is also ideal for their eggs to hatch, increasing their chances of survival.
Additionally, the warmer the weather is, these pests are now able to move faster and cover more ground. This simply means that finding new hosts and areas to lay their eggs and infesting won’t be much of a problem.
Originally, bed bugs were said to come from bats living in caves, which is how they got their name. However, as time passed and these pests started to spread more easily, it’s now difficult to know where they come from exactly.
Civilization, global warming, public transportation, and international trade are some of the most common factors that have significantly contributed to the spread of these pests.
Although bed bugs don’t carry any diseases, the bites they leave behind can be itchy and uncomfortable, and getting rid of them can be quite a hassle.