Bed bugs warning: How to keep creatures at bay as summer approaches

Bed bugs expert reveals how to spot signs of infestation

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Although bed bugs are around 5mm long, they can cause a wealth of mischief if they take up residence in your home. With the warmer weather approaching, it’s a good idea to take steps to protect yourself and your household from an infestation of the pests.

How to get rid of bed bugs

If you suspect a bed bug infestation in your home, you should contact your local council or pest control service as professional assistance is needed to remove them.

Cleaning and vacuuming regularly are essential, and remember the creatures can lurk in clean and dirty places.

Affected bedding and clothing should be washed in a hot wash (60C) or tumble dried for at least 30 minutes on a hot setting.

Alternatively, the bedding can be placed in a plastic bag and put in the freezer (-16C) for four days.

How to prevent a bed bug infestation

Secondhand furniture should be carefully inspected before being brought into the home, although it is not always easy to spot an infestation in upholstered furniture so you may wish to avoid buying such items.

Bedding should be washed at least once a week and vacuuming should be carried out regularly to help prevent bed bugs from getting comfortable in your home.

Avoiding clutter around the house can also help as it reduces hiding spots, and bed bugs love to lurk in cardboard so do not use cardboard to store your belongings.

What are the signs of bedbugs?

According to the NHS, signs of bedbugs include:

  • Bites – often on areas exposed while sleeping, like the face, neck and arms
  • Spots of blood on your bedding – from the bites or from squashing a bedbug
  • Small brown spots on bedding or furniture (bedbug poo)

Further advice on how to treat bed bug bites and when to see a GP can be found on the NHS website.

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How to avoid bed bugs on holiday

Many people choose to jet off on holiday during the summer months, but it’s important to be vigilant for bed bugs when staying away at a hotel.

The mattress experts at MattressNextDay have compiled a list of things to look out for when on holiday that may indicate the presence of bed bugs, including blood, eggs, musty odour, dark spots on walls, bug shells, worn or aged upholstery, white spots on furniture and bites on your skin.

A spokesperson for MattressNextDay said: “If you do suspect there might be some unwanted guests in your holiday bed there are a few things you can look out for to be sure of the situation before you take it up with the hotel manager.

“It’s important to spot the signs early so that it doesn’t ruin your holiday and ultimately it doesn’t affect your health.

“If you do spot signs of bed bugs when you arrive at your hotel or apartment then it is best to notify the appropriate staff immediately.

“More often than not you will find that they will be very accommodating as customer care should be their number one priority.

“We’d advise anyone who is genuinely worried about bed bugs to take a small bug spray with them in their suitcase, just as a precautionary method.”

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