Bed Bugs: Not Just in Beds

Since the resurgence of bed bugs in the late 1990s, people have become more aware of the steps necessary to prevent bed bugs from hitching a ride back home. Travelers know to check mattress seams, bed footing and frames, airplane seats and personal luggage when traveling. Unfortunately, bed bugs are all too common today, and there are many other ways people can encounter bed bugs, inadvertently taking them home.

Light brown to reddish-brown in color and wingless, adult bed bugs can reach 4-5mm in length. While these pests are not known to transmit diseases to humans, they do cause allergic reactions and can lead to secondary infections from their bites. Itchy red bumps and blood blisters are common after bed bug bites, and if scratched, the blisters can become infected.

Bed bugs are most commonly found in residential homes, hotels, hospitals, schools, warehouses, office buildings and on the seats of transportation vehicles, but there are many other places that are susceptible to infestations.

Schools and Daycares

Bed bugs in dorms, schools and daycares have many places to hide, so treatment needs to be thorough to prevent an infestation. Clients need to launder bedding and other fabrics to help remove bed bugs. Students and their families should be notified to avoid an infestation in their own homes.


Commonly found in gym locker rooms and in shoe storage shelves or “cubbies,” bed bugs often find their way into these public places. When personal items are placed in these spaces, the pests will hop on for a ride back to the owner’s home. Treating these shared spaces with a residual product will help prevent these pests from returning.


The last thing a hospital patient wants to experience is a bed bug infestation. Beds are an obvious location to find bed bugs within a hospital, but waiting rooms, visitor chairs and nurse’s stations may also be homes to the pests, so consider when treating.

Rental Cars

Bed bugs hidden in or on purses, luggage or jackets can easily make their way into the crevices of rental cars while the driver heads to his or her destination, potentially transferring to the individual renting the car next. Treat trunks, seats and mats, along with seat belts and underneath seats.

Coat Check

Coat closets can become dens for bed bugs during a short time. If one jacket is infested, all jackets near it are at risk of bringing the pests home. Once the jackets have been removed from the coat check, any lingering pests will find their way to their next hiding spot, such as where carpets meet the wall or into any bags on the ground or seats.


Bed bug populations can soar within libraries—living within the pages, binds and jackets of books and on furniture and carpets, waiting for a reader to sit and enjoy the book. Because of the high-traffic nature of libraries, bed bugs can enter the building on someone’s bag, book, coat and more, making prevention difficult.

When bed bugs are found within a library, quarantine the items immediately to thwart infestations. Put quarantined items into plastic bags or totes to stop the spread of an infestation. Use heat, where applicable, on items that chemicals would damage.


With people constantly coming and going, courthouses are a common place for bed bug infestations to take hold. Thoroughly inspect and treat waiting or common areas as well as courtroom benches and chairs for these pests.

Treating Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are known to be difficult to treat because of their tendency to hide in hard-to-reach areas. Featuring a 360-degree valve, crack-and-crevice actuator and System III® compatibility, Zenprox® Xtend Aerosolis a convenient choice for reaching these tough areas of infestation. Zenprox® Xtend Aerosolcombines an effective battery of adulticides, which includes etofenprox, along with an insect growth regulator (IGR) for efficient broad-spectrum control.

For tank sprayer applications with contact kill and long residual activity, Zenprox® EC is effective in suppressing bed bugs with the non-repellent active ingredient etofenprox. Zenprox® EC works well as a tank-mix partner with Gentrol® IGR and easily mixes with water so that it can be applied with most application equipment, providing long-term relief.

To learn more about the 2018 Bed Bug Control Market, including market growth, managing call backs and the future of the marketplace, download the full report.