No one wants to be that person who has bed bugs in their furniture, especially if you’re one to invite guests over. Bed bugs are small insects that can bite, and can be itchy, but do not usually cause any other health problems. They’re just annoying, and unsanitary.
Make sure it’s bed bugs
Bed bugs can be dark yellow, red, or brown and adults can grow to be around 5mm long which is visible to the naked eye. Bed bugs can be found in many places across the home:
- Under loose wallpaper
- Behind picture frames
- Furniture and soft furnishings
- Bed frames
If you notice bites on areas exposed while sleeping (such as the face, neck and arms), spots of blood on your bedding which can be from the bites themselves or from squashing a bug, or small brown spots on bedding or furniture (bed bug waste) then these may be signs of bed bugs.
Preventing bed bugs
It’s important to keep your living areas clean. While bed bugs can be found in both clean and dirty places, keeping on top of cleaning your home will help you spot them early. Hoovering, mopping, and using the correct cleaning wipes, sprays and liquids is recommended.
If you are concerned your bedding or clothing has been affected, you can wash the fabrics in a hot wash (60ºC) and/or tumble dry on a hot setting for at least 30 mins. An alternative to a hot wash is to put the affected items in a plastic bag, and leave in a freezer (-16ºC) for at least 4 days.
Do not keep clutter around your bed, and do not bring second hand furniture indoors without carefully inspecting it first. If you have come from somewhere you know or suspect there were bed bugs, do not take luggage or clothing into your home.
Bed bugs can be resistant to some insecticides, so it’s important you contact your local pest control service if you find it difficult to get rid of the bed bugs by yourself.