Don’t let the bed bugs bite – but what if they have already made themselves at home? If you’ve been bitten during the night and are worried you might have some unwanted guests in the bedroom, read on to learn how to get rid of bed bugs for good.
Where do bed bugs come from?
Bed bugs feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals, including humans, and are commonly found in any location where people spend a lot of time, like bedrooms and hotel rooms. Despite their name, these bugs don’t just live in bed frames and mattresses, although these are some of their favourite places to hide.
Bed bugs can also be found in clothing, on furniture, in cracks in walls, behind picture frames, or under loose wallpaper. Because they “hitch hike” from place to place by latching onto material or other items, bed bugs can easily find their way into our homes. This might be via a suitcase or backpack when returning from holiday, or from a second-hand piece of furniture which is brought into the home.
Bed bugs spread quickly through their surroundings, and because these elusive pests are tricky to spot, you may not notice an infestation as it develops.
What are the signs of bed bugs?
Although adult bed bugs can be visible to the naked eye, their relatively small size means they are often well-hidden, so the first sign of bed bugs is usually a line or cluster of bites on the face, neck, arms, or any area of skin that is exposed during sleep. These can be red and itchy. You may also notice spots of blood on bedding or small brown spots of bed bug poo on bedding and furniture.
How to treat bed bug bites
Although itchy, bed bug bites are harmless and don’t usually cause other symptoms. Use a clean, damp cloth to soothe any itching and swelling and try to avoid scratching the affected area to prevent infection. If the bites are very itchy, speak to a pharmacist about using a mild steroid cream to ease any discomfort.
How to prevent bed bugs
Bed bugs are found in both clean and dirty environments, so their presence isn’t a sign of poor hygiene. However, clutter around the bed can provide bed bugs with more places to live, so keeping the bedroom tidy could help deter these pests. Regular cleaning and vacuuming will also make it easier to spot the signs of bed bugs should they move in.
Do bed bugs live in second-hand furniture?
Buying pre-loved furniture is a great way to save money when furnishing a property, but make sure your latest purchase doesn’t come with any unwanted visitors before bringing it indoors.
Always check second-hand furniture for signs of bed bugs, especially upholstered items like sofas and armchairs. Look for dark streaks or smears on fabric, and use a torch to check joints, seams, and creases for bed bugs or their eggs. If in doubt, ask a pest control expert to inspect the item before moving it inside.
Do bed bugs latch onto luggage?
Hotels and holiday accommodation that are used by lots of different people can be a hotspot for bed bugs. They might even find their way into a suitcase or backpack ready to return home with you. If you have been staying in a place where bed bugs were present, check luggage and clothing carefully for any stowaways before taking it inside.
Affected clothing should be washed on a hot cycle or tumble dried on a hot setting, or alternatively it can be put in a plastic bag and placed in the freezer for four days.
How to get rid of bed bugs
Although decluttering the bedroom and vacuuming regularly can help deter bed bugs, once an infestation develops, the only way to completely eradicate these pests is using chemical treatments. Whether at home or in a hospitality setting like a hotel, a professional pest control company will be able to offer a choice of treatments to tackle these elusive bugs.
If you have spotted the signs of bed bugs and need help fast, call Ace Pest Control on 01234 838 391 to arrange a visit from our experienced team, who can carry out a survey to confirm if you are sharing your home with these unwanted visitors.