Being Bothered by Bed Bugs? Here's How You Can Get Rid of Them!

woman in a bed with a duvet

None of us like the idea of being infested with critters of any kind, least of all, in our beds! If you have your suspicions that you've been cosying up with these little insects at night then it's time to take action. While they don't spread infectious diseases, bed bugs bites can result in a skin rashes, itching and allergic symptoms which is obviously not nice at all- and something all of us want to avoid. Here's what you need to know about identifying and getting rid of bed bugs. 

How do you end up with bed bugs?
Finding out you have bed bugs can make you feel incredibly dirty, but it's more than likely not down to your cleanliness habits. As they can spread so quickly bed bugs enter your home incredibly easily, Even to the point where if you live in a block of flats you're more likely to get them as they can spread from apartment to apartment. They have a flat body, and this makes it possible for them to fit through tiny gaps. As they can hitchike on things like clothes and bags you or other family members can unwittingly bring them into your home. And any piece of furniture or soft furnishing you've purchased from someone else could potentially be harbouring them. They live in groups across hiding places and they do not have nests. The main hiding place remains box springs, mattresses, bed frames as well as headboards where they can get access to people easily and can bite during the night. They can also scatter through the bedroom and can spread in the nearby rooms and apartments. 

What to do when they bite? 
All bed bugs are active in the night, which of course is when people are asleep. They feed by piercing the skin and drawing blood up blood, typically feeding from about three minutes to ten minutes and crawl away before you notice. The bite might be painless at the beginning, but it could turn into an itchy welt. They can bite on any area of the skin which is exposed when you are asleep. You'll know it's not a flea bite as it won't leave a red spot like a flea bites do. Jordan Larson from Custom Bed Bug explains that the most accurate way to know if you have a bed bug infestation, is through the use of certified and trained canines. Incredibly, they're able to detect even the beginning of an infestation. 

Treatment options 
First and foremost, you need to clean up the place where bed bugs live. This should include throughly cleaning your bedding, curtains, linens as well as clothing in on a boil wash setting on your washing machine. Vacuum carefully, before disposing the contents into a double bagged bin liner to stop them from spreading somewhere else. You can hire carpet cleaners like the Rug Doctor which will rinse out your carpets too. There are ways you can salvage your mattress and bed, but it's advisable to get rid of it if you can. Bed bugs can remain alive without feeding for one year so you need to be so careful, only when you're absolutely sure you've got rid of them should you purchase a new mattress. 

Prevention is of course better than cure, so here are a few things to bear in mind. If you're staying over somewhere other than home, when you return put your clothes and everything you've worn into a hot wash. Hotels and things can look clean, but you never know. Avoid buying things like sofa and beds second hand as they could be harbouring the bugs and cleaning them is difficult. If you're buying things like cushion covers, rugs or clothing second hand then again, put them into a boil wash before using them in your home.

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