Largely eradicated as pests in the United States in the early 1940s, bed bugs have been resurgent in the past decade to near epidemic proportions.
Reportedly, bed bugs have shown capable of infesting a variety of institutions and different types of businesses including nursing homes, furniture rental stores, hospitals, jails, homeless shelters, movie theaters, cruise ships, public housing, moving vehicles and public transportation, etc.
There are several ways in which dwellings can become infested with bed bugs. One common way is for them to be picked up while traveling or when staying at temporary lodging such as hotels, bed and breakfasts, or motels -- which are places that have been traditionally associated with an increased risk for housing bed bugs due to their higher rate of turnover and continual influx of temporary residents. Once acquired at such travel locations, the now hitchhiking bed bugs may then be transported and brought back to the homes of the guests in their luggage where a new infestation can then take place inside the home.
When bed bugs are brought into apartment building the problem becomes much worse. Within as little as a few weeks they can travel through the walls and spread throughout the complex resulting in a major infestation.