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Bedbugs are small insects that live on blood, using their elongated beaks to pierce the skin and feed for up to ten minutes.
Adult bedbugs look similar to an apple seed – small, brown, oval and rather flat. Like mosquitos, their bodies swell and turn red after a meal.
Thankfully they do not transmit diseases, but they are a horrible nuisance and though their bites are painless at first, they quickly turn to itchy welts.
Bedbug bites are often attributed to other insects, like mosquitos or fleas from pets. To confirm that the bothersome bites are from bed bugs (so you can efficiently get rid of them), you must find the bugs themselves.
Initial evidence includes:
The first place to check should be the bed and wider bedroom. As bedbugs feed at night, this is mostly likely to be where they thrive. Strip your bed of all sheets, pillowcases, covers and even the mattress to check for signs, as well as carefully searching even tiny gaps like the box springs, the seams of wooden bedframes, and any grooves or patterns on the headboard. You should also check nearby items like books on your bedside table, clothes in your closet, rugs on the floor and even in plugs and sockets.
It’s a common misconception that bedbugs are only found in dirty places. They feed solely on blood, so cleanliness, or lack thereof, is of little concern to them. They can be found in five-star hotels just as they can in hostels, and they are very good at being carried from place to place.
Although they cannot fly, they can move quickly and latch onto items undetected. Because they are so tiny with flat bodies (the width of a credit card), they can squeeze into tiny gaps unnoticed, including on suitcases, on clothes, and in crevices of furniture. Always check second-hand furniture thoroughly, as well as your luggage when you’ve stayed in a hotel, before bringing it into your home.
The first step is to remove clutter from around the bed, and anything that can be washed on a high setting should be washed immediately.
SCRUB AND VACCUM THE MATTRESS (OR DISPOSE OF IT ENTIRELY)
Scrub mattress seams hard with a stiff brush before vacuuming, though note that it is often best to get rid of the mattress entirely. Minimise, as much as possible, places where bedbugs can hide.
CALL IN AN EXTERMINATOR (LIKE US!)
Bedbugs can be extremely challenging to get rid of.
They can go without food for up to a year, so infestations can seemingly “return” months later, and because they are so good at hiding it sometimes feels impossible to find all of them.
The most effective treatments are chemical, and the safest and quickest way to do this is to get a professional exterminator like Pest.co.uk
We are able to spot bedbug hiding places that you may not even notice, and can advise on further bedbug prevention – call us on 0800 234 3140
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