Millions of people worldwide realize that working out is one of the core pillars of a healthy life. Burning calories, losing weight, and getting in good shape is good. Nonetheless, interactions with strangers, dirty clothes, and towels raise the question, can you get bed bugs in a gym?
This post covers the essentials you need to know concerning bed bugs in the gym.
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Can you get Bed Bugs from your gym?
Yes, you can get bedbugs in the gym, like any public place. Bed bugs have a chance to crawl into your belongings as you interact with friends and other gym subscribers. They can latch into your bags from nearby duffel bags, backpacks, and gyms. Since it’s a public place, you cannot predict someone’s home with bedbugs.
It is challenging to control the influx of bedbugs into gyms. Refrain from being cowed into thinking that you can only find bed bugs in low-end to middle-class gyms. You would be surprised to realize that even high-end gyms like Reebok Sports Club have bedbugs. All gyms can get bed bugs, including those attended by celebrities. The high gym fee is not related to the presence or absence of bed bugs.
It would be best not to allow bedbugs to deter your fitness goals. Keep visiting the gym and observe the preventive measures this post will provide to avoid taking bedbugs homes.
How do Bed Bugs get into gyms?
Bed bugs hitch rides on belongings and are unknowingly brought into the gym facilities by clients. If bedbugs are in their homes, they will carry them or eggs everywhere they go, including the gym. This poses a bed bug infestation threat to everyone in the gym.
Whether you enjoy yoga, Pilates, or hitting iron at your local gym, you must watch for bed bugs. There are three stages of a bed bug’s life cycle. Fully grown bedbugs have brown and flat oval-shaped bodies. Despite having an apple seed size, they are easy to notice. The nymphs are much more challenging to spot due to their size, but as they grow, they get much more visible. You can spot their brown shells, which they regularly shave off as they grow.
There are several ways to identify bedbug infestations. If you have a great sense of smell, you sniff their sweet, musty odor. If you find dark stains and spots in your locker, it’s a positive indicator of bedbugs in the gym.
Bed Bugs hotspots in your gym
Bed bugs require conducive conditions to thrive. Here are some high-risk spots in your gym that may harbor bed bugs:
Lockers are the primary storage units for personal belongings. That’s the first place the bedbugs lurch into when brought into the gym. They adore where clothing and private bags are stored since it attracts humans. The design structure of lockers is suitable since they are dark and warm, making a perfect spot to hide, lay eggs, and breed. These pests like to hitchhike in backpacks, clothing, luggage, purses, and other products made from fabric. This makes a gym’s locker a hotspot for bedbugs.
Bed bugs are not drawn to dirt but they gravitate towards a pile of dirty clothing since they have a human odor.
If you put your gym clothes in the laundry basket, you risk bedbugs hitchhiking in them. This happens more frequently if the gym has bedbug infestation concerns, and placing your belongings in a bag is advisable.
Gyms use paddings to reduce moisture, absorb sound, and decrease subfloor imperfections. However, its design provides ample hiding and breeding spots for bedbugs. If you place your belongings directly on the floor paddings, you risk taking bed bugs back home.
If the gym you attend uses flex rolls or interlocking mats, check areas below the padding and the covered floor surface for the bedbug. Identifying dark spots in floor positions are inadequate to confirm bedbugs’ presence. Instead, it would be best to use canine detection to make this judgment.
Shared Fitness Equipment
Fitness equipment does not provide the best hiding spot due to movements. Human presence and proximity to equipment such as bike seats, mats, and paddling machines attract bedbugs.
Unlike electronics, sitting areas provide ample space for bedbugs to hitchhike. Many people leave their belongings, especially bags and heavy clothing, in restrooms if they are in the gym for a short while. This provides enough time for them to lurch into sitting couches and benches. If you identify a single fully grown bedbug, chances are that infestation is on. A fully mature bedbug lays between two to five eggs per day, implying that they multiply rapidly.
Avoiding Bed Bugs in your gym
Bed bugs can turn your life into a living nightmare. It is in your best interest to stay vigilant and take proactive protection measures. Here are some ways to avoid getting bed bugs at the gym:
Keep all items in a locker
Always ensure that you place all your belonging in a locker. This goes beyond your property’s casual security since it provides bedbug protection. Refrain from trusting the gym locker room despite looking clean and feeling safe. Bedbugs cannot penetrate a metallic locker unless you carry them with your belongings.
Before placing all your items in the locker room, check the locker for bedbugs. Another advantage of using a locker is separating your belongings from other individuals’ properties. This limits item interaction and boosts the safety of your belongings.
Put your belongings in a sealable plastic bag.
If you suspect the gym has a bedbug infestation, you must take necessary action to protect your belongings and yourself. If the infestation is high, some bedbugs might have made it to the lockers. In such a case, place all your belongings in a sealable plastic bag before placing them in the locker. The sealable plastic bag will prevent bedbugs from getting into your property. However, ensure maximum care when removing your belongings from the sealable plastic bag to avoid contamination.
Choose a high locker and use hooks
That way, you would have minimized the risk of bedbugs crawling into your belongings. Besides, most gyms’ lockers have hooks that should hang your items.
Use bedbug-proof laundry bags
Premium and exclusive bedbug-proof laundry bags to up your prevention mechanisms are best. These bags have passed entomologist tests, and bedbugs cannot lurch into them when closed. Despite coming at a cost, bed bug–proof bags offers the best prevention strategy since your belongings have guaranteed protection. Most people use bed bug–proof bags if they suspect a high infestation and have limited options to protect their belongings.
Inspect your belongings before you leave the gym
Inspecting your belongings for bedbugs before leaving is necessary. This will ensure that you have no bedbugs and may realize missing valuables. If you use bed bug-proof laundry bags, checking your belongings is superfluous.
If you identify bedbugs in your belongings, do not panic. Instead, notify the gym’s management. The gym should exterminate the bedbugs and provide hospitable, workable environments for its clients.
Keeping fit and achieving your body goals by subscribing to a nearby gym is everyone’s aim. However, this creates a more significant risk of meeting strangers and exposing yourself and your belongings to bedbugs. This should not prevent you from achieving your fitness as you can take preventive measures to protect yourself. This post has highlighted high-risk areas at the gym and the best actions to protect you.
Can bed bugs infest high-end gyms and fitness centers?
Yes. Bedbugs can infest both low-end and high-end gyms and fitness centers.
What should you do if you are concerned about bed bugs in the gym?
Focus on taking necessary action to protect your belongings and yourself. You also inform the management of the gym about the infestation problem.
Should you avoid the gym for fear of bed bugs?
No. Bedbugs are everywhere, and you should learn how to protect yourself from them.