Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to remove.
Many DIY methods fail to remove these small, somewhat intelligent, quick to reproduce critters, and professional intervention is the answer.
If you’ve spotted the signs of bed bug infestation, or want to remove them before seeking help then this article will talk you through what treatments are most suitable for you.
What are the signs of a bed bug infestation?
– Dark brown spots on the sheets, and mattresses;
– A musty odour, which comes from the scent glands of the bed bugs;
– Bloodstains on the bed sheets or pillowcases;
– Finding actual bed bugs within the bed
Bed bugs are small, brown, and brownish coloured insects that thrive on the blood of humans and animals. Adult bed bugs are flat and grow to the size of an apple seed. The bites from bed bugs occur at night when they feed for approximately 3 to 10 minutes before their bodies swell up and appear more reddish-brown. Their bite is painless and can go unnoticed, but usually cause itchy swelling.
What to do when you see signs of a bed bug infestation?
If you suspect you have an infestation or know for sure and would like to try DIY methods before seeking an expert follow these guidelines.
The first step is to wash all bed sheets, linens, curtains, and even your clothing in hot water and dry them using the highest degree possible. Items that are difficult to wash should be subjected to dry heat for 30 minutes. Dry cleaning is also an option for coats and jackets that can’t be washed in the normal way.
Use a strong, stiff brush to scrub the mattress seams to remove any bed bugs and their eggs.
Vacuum clean your bed and surrounding area and use a disposable vacuum bag which can be disposed of in an outdoor bin immediately after. Pay attention to any small gaps and crevices along the skirting boards where the bugs often hide. Also, repair any cracks you find, and glue down any wallpaper that’s peeling to prevent bugs from hiding again.
Remember that bed bugs can live for up to a year without feeding; therefore, use a tightly woven and zipped cover for your mattress and box springs to prevent any surviving bed bugs from escaping.
If your mattress is highly infested then it would be best to purchase a new one to have peace of mind, but only after your home is clean and bug-free, otherwise your new one will become quickly infested.
What not to do when removing bed bugs
It’s worth noting that certain DIY methods have proven to be ineffective. Bed bugs can develop a resistance to chemicals and natural ingredients. Avoid using pesticides or chemicals typically used for agricultural or garden purposes. These can be harmful to you more than the bed bugs themselves. Only use products that can be safely used indoors. Ensure that the label explicitly states that the product can be used on bed covers, otherwise avoid using it in this manner. Furthermore, alcohol or petroleum products won’t remove or deter bed bugs.
If the above steps fail to address the problem, it’s time to call in the experts.\
This article was written in conjunction with Zest Pest Control who provide domestic and commercial pest control services throughout Central Scotland.