If you’re unfortunate enough to encounter bedbugs, then you’ll also know how elusive these tiny creatures are. They feed on blood and are excellent at going undetected…until you see their bites that is! If they’re infesting your bed, then your first thought will be how do I get rid of bedbugs?
Bedbugs are quite small; an adult is about the size of an apple seed with a flat, brown body. Their bite can cause extreme itching and a tell-tale red rash of spots.
Have I got bedbugs?
This is the million-dollar question and many people struggle to work it out. The reason bedbugs are tricky to eradicate is that not only do they hide during daylight hours but they can live for months without food. So if you’ve bought or inherited old furniture which has had a previous infestation of bedbugs, then there’s every reason to suspect they’re still in there. Even if they have no food source, they lie dormant for months.
The first sign of bedbugs is an itchy, red rash usually found on waking up. This is due to the bedbugs feeding on you during your sleep.
Are bedbugs dirty?
One myth about bedbugs is that they infest dirty homes; this isn’t true. They’re not attracted by poor hygiene, they’re attracted by people…or other mammals which they can feed on and they reproduce at a worrying rate so if you do find that you’ve been unlucky enough to suffer an infestation, it’s important to eradicate them quickly.
How to get rid of bedbugs from a mattress
So you’ve got bedbugs. You need to act quickly. The first thing to do is to vacuum and clean your room paying special attention to cracks, corners and areas where bugs might hide.
Then turn your attention to your bed. Here’s what to do;
- Strip your bedding from the bed and boil wash it with a good detergent.
- Throw away your pillow. Place it in a plastic bag and seal it before disposing of it.
- Isolate your bed from the wall of your bedroom.
- Vacuum the entire mattress on both sides using a nozzle attachment, paying special attention to the edges where there are seams in which bedbugs could be hiding.
- Do the same to the bedframe.
- Ensure that you empty your vacuum cleaner outdoors and put the contents in a plastic bag.
- Place a bug-proof mattress encasement on your mattress. This is a special case which is designed to provide such a tight seal that no bug can penetrate it, not even through the zip.
- Use bug interceptors on the legs of your bed. These are double cups which are filled with insecticide and which trap any bedbugs as they try to leave or enter your bed.
These steps should ensure that your bedbugs are eradicated. You must leave the mattress encasement on for 12 months as should you miss a bug or two, they may emerge when the encasement is removed.
To avoid bedbugs, think very carefully before bringing second-hand furniture into your home. If you do want to purchase a piece, check it thoroughly for signs of bedbugs which include dark spots the size of a pinhead, remains of eggs and eggshells and small rusty stains on paler wood.
Clean and vacuum any furniture which you do bring into your home.
Remember, bedbugs can live for many months without food so it’s important to be aware of them if you’re moving house. A property which has lain empty for months may still be infected and bedbug populations are on the rise globally.