Bed bugs expert reveals how to spot signs of infestation
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The creepy crawlies can hide in numerous places, including bed frames, mattresses, clothing, furniture, behind picture frames, and loose wallpaper. Sneaky, agile, and blood-thirsty, these tiny pests can cause a right nuisance. Their bites can be itchy and, in some people, might cause painful swellings, WebMD confirmed.
Not only that, they’ll be nearly impossible to get rid of without professional assistance.
During their life cycle, bed bugs shed their skins five times before reaching maturity.
Each time they shed their skin, bed bugs require a blood meal – and you’re likely to be the victim.
WebMD assured that having bed bugs are “not a sign of a dirtiness”, but a heavy infestation can cause a “musty odour”.
If you find bed bugs on your mattress, first you need to get rid of the current infestation and it’s recommended to buy a new mattress.
Pest control company Orkin warned: “If you miss just one pregnant female bed bug you can be re-infested with over 300 adults and 1,000 new eggs in three months.”
Within six months, a bed bug infestation can multiply into 13,000 or more insects in your home. What do bed bugs look like?
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Orkin described the insects as small, wingless, and oval-shaped bodied.Adults are brown in colour – although they redden after a blood feed.
They can grow up to 5mm in size, meaning they’re detectable with the naked human eye (when grown).
Nymphs (i.e. baby bed bugs) may be difficult to see, as they’re typically the size of a pin head.
Young nymphs can be white or tan in colour (until they feed on human blood, when they too gain a red hue).
To address the infestation in the home, the NHS recommend washing affected bedding and clothing on a hot wash (60c).
For added protection, then tumble dry the garments and bedding on a hot setting for at least 30 minutes.
It’s also important to clean and vacuum regularly to spot a further infestation early.
Moreover, don’t keep clutter around your bed, as this gives the bed bugs more opportunities to hide.
Bed bugs can be transported to other people’s homes by hitching a ride on luggage, suitcases, purses, gym bags, and items kept close to sleeping areas.
Another company dedicated to pest control, Fantastic Pest Control, gave a travel tip on how to prevent a re-infestation.
As the bugs can be found in various accommodations, including hotels, it’s best to check the room you’re staying in for an infestation.
“Instead of unpacking, place your luggage in the bathroom and check the areas that are most likely to be infested (bed linen, headboard, mattress, box spring) before spending the night in the room,” the Fantastic Pest Control insisted.
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