If you are experiencing problems with bed bugs, then you may be asking yourself, “Where do bed bugs come from?” Then again, you could just be one of the world’s most curious people, always wanting to know more. You might not be dealing with an infestation, but you might think that “What are bed bugs and where do they come from” is a question worth seeking the answer to.
It will depend on the exact question you are asking:
1) Where do they usually originate in the home, 2) from outside the home, or 3) is it a question of historical inclination?
No matter, we will answer all three in this article.
To the right, you will see a photo of a canvas strap of an old box spring cover that is housing adult bed bugs, skin castings, feces, and eggs. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Louis Sorkin)
Where do bed bugs come from in the home?
Our first question is “Where do bed bugs come from?” This question is basically asking “How did they get into my home” and “Where are they hiding?” To answer this, it helps to understand the nature of bed bugs.
Bed bugs are small parasitic insects that feed on blood. More specifically, the common bed bug Cimex lectularius feeds almost exclusively on human blood. Since they are small creatures, they cannot move great distances quickly, so they like to hide near where their prey will rest for relatively long periods of time.
So, where do bed bugs come from in the home (or hotel room)? They like making nests in beds. This is because humans sleep and thus do not move away for long periods of time, making it easy for bed bugs to feed on humans. Plus, there are many nooks and crannies to hide in. Even screw holes and tiny borings in the head board of your bed, which are very cozy nests for bed bugs!
Where do bed bugs come from and how do they infest a home?
The next question is “Where do bed bugs come from and how do they infest a home?” By and large, bed bugs enter our homes or hotel rooms by being brought in by visitors, or by clinging onto our clothes. After arriving to a destination, the bed bug will then drop off clothes and find a hiding place, until night time. Basically bed bugs are hitchhikers, from one location to another. This is how they have traveled throughout the centuries.
Bed bugs can be carried in by your pets too. Of course, we are talking about cats, dogs, and other terrestrial pets. Bed bugs may sometimes feed off of animal blood, and can be carried around the same way.
Note that a relative of the bed bug, the bat bug, can be brought into the home by bats roosting in the attic. These bat bugs do not feed off of humans, and upon close examination are very different from bed bugs.
Finally, the root of the problem: Bed bugs where do they come from originally?
Historically speaking, and how did they become the nuisance that they are today? The problem of bed bugs is several millennia old. In fact, the earliest recorded mention of bed bugs was as early as 400 BC, in ancient Greek records. However, it is very likely that the problem is even older than that.
If we follow the theory of human evolution, then we believe that our ancestors came from the Mesopotamian area, what is today the center of the Middle East. In this area, early hominids lived in caves and other natural enclosures. Unsurprisingly, so did a fair few other animals, including bats. These bats may have had blood-feeding parasites that feed on humans and took a liking to human blood. Over time, evolutionary processes have allowed Cimex lectularius to become better-suited to its life as a parasite to humans.
Where Do Bed Bugs Come From
Some ancient civilizations believed that bed bugs had medicinal uses, and even up to the 18th century this school of thought persisted. However, their range was relatively limited in the past, and they were quite rare back then, unlike the situation today.
It is very much possible that the current rising trend of bed bug infestation may be related to our high volume of travel, making it easier for bed bugs to move from one host to another and infest new areas. Shared rooms, even if not lived in simultaneously, increased the possibility even more. Now it’s easier to understand “Where do bed bugs come from” in your quest to eradicate these pests!