The prevalence of international travel means bugs can easily catch a ride to far-off places by hiding in luggage or clothing. They can also rapidly travel between rooms in hotels or homes.
Bed bugs' flat bodies and ability to stay perfectly still make it easy for them to hide undetected in crevices in furniture, behind torn wallpaper, in curtains or inside pillows and mattresses.
Bed bugs are hardy creatures that can go for months with eating. They may already be present in an empty apartment when you move in.
If you live in a hot, humid climate, own pets or have a lot of people coming in and out of your sleeping area, you could be at greater risk for a bed bug infestation.
Check for dark red spots on sheets, fecal droppings where insects could enter furniture and walls and a sweet strong smell left by their oil secretions.
Inspect every room you sleep in for eggs and cast-off skins. Reduce clutter and never bring used furniture into your home without examining it thoroughly. Change your linens every week and wash them in hot water.