Can You Get Bedbugs From Curtain Drapes?

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Bedbugs are hard to see but their bites can leave visible marks. They are small and difficult to exterminate. Part of the battle is examining and treating every part of the house, including not only the beds but also textiles of every kind, including the drapes. The national bedbug problem has become so acute that the Environmental Protection Agency had called for a National Bedbug Summit in 2009 for pest control experts, public health officials and Federal, state and local governmental agencies from around the country.

Pathways

  • You can pick up bedbugs in any public place or private home. You can get them in a five-star hotel or on a bus. There are few places bedbugs do not abide. They're found in airports and airplanes, department stores, factories and restaurants. Bedbugs do not care whether a place is dirty or clean. Sitting near drapes that are bedbug-infested in a hotel, conference room, theater or anywhere else can expose you to bedbugs. They are hitchhikers, and if your luggage, purse or clothing are near the drapes, they can easily hop on. They like to travel and live on textiles near a blood meal.

At Home

  • When you arrive home with bedbugs, they will look for the warmest place they can find to live near where a person will be sleeping. They feed on blood and because it takes several minutes for them to feed, they prefer a sleeping host. This is why they prefer to live in beds. If the bed is too crowded, however, they will live near your bed in carpets, other furniture and drapes. The bedbugs may enter your house from your neighbors' house, too, if you share a wall with them. The bugs crawl through crevices and cracks.

Bugs on Drapes

  • Drapes can become infested with bedbugs in many ways. New drapes may encounter them during manufacturing and packing, during shipping or in the store that sells them. They can pick up the pests at the dry cleaner when you take them in to be cleaned. Bugs may climb up drapes when a bedbug-infested mattress or rug is introduced to the room or when infested luggage is brought in. If you buy the drapes from a thrift store or yard sale, you might be bringing them home. You will never know for certain where the bugs came from, so just do what you can to get rid of them.

Solution

  • Drapes and all other textiles in the house must be laundered in very hot water and dried at the highest setting. If they are not washable a professional exterminator can treat them. If you see one bug on the drapes or anywhere else, call for help. If you are a renter notify the landlord; if you own, call in an exterminator. He will tell you what steps you need to take to prepare. Don't remove the drapes unless the exterminator tells you to because they may be easier to treat when hanging.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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