Bed bugs are typically associated with cheap and dirty hotels. The truth is however that these insects really don’t discriminate. Even five-star hotels have been known to have bed bugs and we’ve dealt with many an infestation in meticulously tidy homes.
Keeping your bedroom clean and changing your bedsheets on a regular basis can, of course, help to keep them at bay but the problem with bed bugs is that they’re excellent hitchhikers. They can very easily move from an infested site to a new home by traveling on furniture, bedding, luggage, boxes and clothing. Yes, that’s right, bed bugs can be found on almost anything, not just your mattress.
What’s more, bed bugs are particularly resilient – they’re capable of surviving up to a year without food. As with any pest problem, prevention is better than cure so below we have listed some simple ways to prevent bed bugs.
Inspect furniture before bringing it into your home
If you’re bringing any second-hand furniture into your home (such as beds, tables, chairs and sofas), make sure you inspect them thoroughly beforehand. Don’t wait until you’re home to do this because they can easily transfer into your car or other areas of your home. Instead, carry out your check wherever you’re purchasing the furniture from.
The most common signs of a bed bug infestation include:
- You can see them. Bed bugs are small and oval with brownish coloured, flat bodies and are about the size of an apple seed. After feeding, their bodies swell and they will become a reddish colour. You might not be able to see them at a quick glance but if you look close enough, you should be able to spot them.
- You’re getting bitten by something. Most bed bug bites are painless at first but later turn into itchy welts. They are most commonly found around the ankles or any other area of skin which is exposed while you sleep.
- There are blood stains on your sheets or pillowcases.
- Bed bugs tend to gather and hide in large groups so you may notice patches of faecal matter, egg shells or shed skins around the house.
- Bed bugs produce an offensive and musty odour so if there’s a strange, unexplained smell in the house, it could be this.
Keep the house clean
Even the cleanest of homes can fall victim to a bed bug infestation but you can dramatically reduce the chances of this happening if you keep your home as clean as possible.
- Remove as much clutter as possible because this reduces the number of potential hiding places for bed bugs.
- Vacuum frequently.
- If you do notice bed bugs, you will need to carry out a thorough clean. Everything from bedding, towels, and curtains to stuffed toys and clothing should be cleaned in the washing machine and then dried on the highest setting. Use a stiff brush to scrub your mattress and vacuum your bed and all the carpets in the house. Don’t forget to throw away the vacuum cleaner bag (outside) otherwise, they could crawl out again.
Call a professional
A professional pest controller isn’t just great when you have an outbreak, they can also provide valuable tips for preventing an infestation in the first place. Why not give Prokill a call today and book in for your free pest audit? Our friendly team will be more than happy to give you advice on getting rid of and/or preventing a bed bug infestation.