Bed bugs are a common nuisance in many people’s homes and a bane within the hotel industry, yet many residents are not aware of these diminutive invaders.
More often than not we spot bed bugs bites before noticing the presence of the actual bug. This due to how well these critters hide; when they aren’t feeding on your body, bed bugs like to hide in small cracks and crevices in bed frames, headboards, wardrobes, sofas and skirting boards. Their small size (0.09 to 2.5 mm long bodies) makes them extremely hard to spot, and thus it takes a very well-trained eye to spot an infestation.
As mentioned before, one of the first signs that you have slept with a bed bug is the little bites you may see when you wake up. Though it is difficult to differentiate between a bed bug bite and a bite from any other insect, the trick is to observe the pattern of the bites. Bed bug bites are generally small bumps and may cause redness, swelling and itching. As bed bugs tend to bite the same area repeatedly when feeding, bites found on a different part of your body may indicate being bitten by several bed bugs.
Bed bugs may bite you anywhere on your body, but they tend to target areas close to your blood vessels. Bites on areas such as your neck, hands, arms and legs may be clear signs that you have a bed bug problem. They feed at night when we are asleep, and the bite is unlikely to hurt you as the pest injects an anaesthetic into your skin while it feeds on you.
Other Signs of an infestation
Other common signs of a bed bug infestation include dark stains on your bed, which are the bed bug’s excreta. The presence of bed bugs also results in a an unpleasant, sweet and sickly stench. Additionally, small faecal pellets can be spotted if you look keenly, and in some cases, blood spots may be present on your sheets.
How to Prevent Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are known travellers; they tend to be spread by us, either by hitching a lift in our luggage or on other items like our clothes, and this is one of the reasons why they are more prevalent in hotels.
One trick to prevent bed bugs from infesting your home is to wash your clothes immediately after travelling. It is advisable to use high temperatures (over 60 degrees Celsius) when washing to ensure the pest is eliminated. Ensure you leave your bag in the garage or on a tiled surface (bed bugs don’t like tiles) as it’s easier to spot them making a move as opposed to when they are on your carpet.
Regular vacuuming can greatly reduce the size of the insect’s population but unfortunately does not ensure total elimination of the problem. And you must ensure that you clean out the vacuum cleaner afterwards to prevent them from spreading!.
The best solution for preventing and treating a possible bed bug infestation is to get a professional pest control expert to inspect the problem. This is because they have the right skills to spot all the different signs of an infestation, and furthermore they can offer treatment solutions that you can’t get ‘off the shelf’, for example, heat treatment.
If you think you may have a bed bug problem I would recommend you contact Rentokil for a free inspection from one of their skilled technicians.