Bed Bug Infestations – How to Identify and Deal With Bed Bugs
Bed bugs have been sweeping the nation in Paris and other parts of France, and it is feared that the pests may make their way over to the UK. According to some experts, the hardy Paris bed bugs may have developed an immunity to insecticides and could well survive the 2–3-hour trip through the Eurostar tunnel from Paris to the UK.
Many Londoners are currently avoiding the tube for fear that the bed bugs have already made their way over. Due to its location and the sheer volume of passengers, certain London tube lines are at extreme risk of infestation. Unfortunately, once bed bugs have made their way over, it can be very difficult to get rid of them. These pests are extremely hardy and difficult to control.
So, what do you do if you think you have a bed bug infestation in your home? Pest control expert Robert Collins at MyJobQuote.co.uk has created this guide on how to identify bed bugs and how to prevent and control an infestation.
How to Identify Bed Bugs
If you have a bed bug infestation, it’s always best to identify it early and act quickly to prevent the problem from spreading and getting out of hand. Treating a minor infestation is much easier and cheaper than controlling a large bed bug infestation.
However, it can be difficult to identify smaller infestations. There are some other insects, such as carpet beetles, which are often mistaken for bed bugs. It’s important that you properly identify bedbugs so that you can act accordingly as soon as possible.
There are some ways in which you can identify a possible bed bug infestation. When inspecting your bed, look out for the following signs of bed bugs:
Eggs and eggshells. These are tiny (usually 1mm) and pale yellow. The nymphs shed the shell as they become larger.
Reddish or rusty-coloured stains on the mattress or bedsheets. This is caused by bed bugs being crushed.
Small dark spots, tiny in size. These spots are bed bug excrement and can bleed on the fabric, similar to the way a marker pen would.
Live bed bugs
Quick Tips on Controlling a Bed Bug Infestation
If you believe you may have a bed bug infestation, it’s important to act fast. These critters are extremely hardy and spread very quickly. Below is a list of quick tips on controlling a bed bug infestation.
Wash your affected bedding or clothing in a hot wash of 60 degrees or more and then tumble dry them on a hot setting.
Put the affected clothing and bedding in a plastic bag and then put this in the freezer for around 3 – 4 days.
Clean and vacuum your home regularly.
Avoid keeping clutter around the bed.
Avoid bringing any second-hand furniture into the home without thoroughly inspecting it for bedbugs.
Avoid taking clothing or luggage in your home without checking it for bedbugs if you know that it has been close to somewhere where bedbugs are present.
In most cases, it’s best to call a professional to deal with a bed bug infestation, as they’re extremely difficult to get rid of.
How to Prevent The Infestation From Spreading
There are several things you can do to help stop the spread of bed bugs. Look at the following tips:
Seal any small hiding areas and cracks with caulk.
Place infested items in a sealed bag and treat them.
Place items that can’t be treated in a tightly sealed plastic bag and leave them for up to a year to ensure all the bed bugs are dead.
Seal your mattress in a protective cover that traps the bed bugs inside, where they will die.
Vacuum daily and, empty the vacuum into a sealed plastic bag and place this in the outside bin after each use.
If you can’t eliminate bed bugs, destroy, and dispose of your furniture.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Wash Your Bedding
Washing your bedding at high temperatures is a very effective way to get rid of bed bugs. Heat is a great way to eradicate bed bugs. However, it’s important to keep in mind that simply washing your bedding is not always a complete solution. It can definitely reduce the amount of bed bugs in the home. However, it is not always enough to completely get rid of them.
Strip off your bedding and put it straight into a bin bag. Then, take the bin bag to the washing machine and empty the bedding into the machine. Wash your bedding at a high temperature on a cycle that lasts for at least 90 minutes or more.
Freeze Them Out
Freezing bed bug-infested items is a great way to eradicate the infestation. As with many other home remedies, this also may not be a complete and effective solution for removing all of the bedbugs. However, it is a very effective way to reduce the amount of bed bugs in your home.
Simply place your bedding, pillowcases, and any other infested items in your freezer and leave them in there for around a week.
Vacuuming is also an effective way to control a bed bug infestation. Unlike some of the other home remedies, vacuuming can help to remove all bed bugs, including adult bed bugs, nymphs, and eggs. It is important to keep in mind that you’ll need to empty the vacuum in a sealed plastic bag and place it in an outside bin to help reduce the chances of the bugs returning to your home. Vacuuming won’t always completely eradicate the bed bugs. However, it is definitely an effective method to help reduce the numbers.
Vacuum the entire home thoroughly. Be sure to pay close attention to areas where the bed bugsare most prevalent. This may be places such as between wall joints and underneath furniture. After you’ve completed vacuuming, you’ll need to empty all of the contents of the vacuum into a plastic bag and place it in an outside bin.
Diatomaceous earth is seen as one of the most effective methods for getting rid of bed bugs. When trying to get rid of bed bugs, it’s always best to combine this method with some of the other home remedies for optimum results.
Apply a small amount of diatomaceous earth around the seams of your mattress, bed frame, and other furniture items. The diatomaceous earth will cause the bed bugs to perish from dehydration.
Use a Steam Cleaner
High heat will kill bed bugs and stop them in their tracks. If you don’t have one already, consider purchasing or hiring a steam cleaner. Use the steam cleaner on any infested pieces of furniture to kill off the bed bugs.
Make sure the steam cleaner is set to a high temperature. However, avoid using a steam cleaner with a forceful airflow, as this could cause the bed bugs to scatter.
Hire a Professional
Since bed bugs are so difficult to get rid of and spread so quickly, it’s always better to hire a professional to eliminate a bed bug infestation.
Professionals have the tools required to treat your entire home quickly and have the ability to control large infestations. If you’ve tried any of the above methods and haven’t found success, you should call a pest control specialist as soon as possible to prevent the issue from getting completely out of hand.