THERE is nothing less relaxing than sleeping in a bed full of tiny biting insects.
So here is everything we know about how to rid yourself, your bedding and furniture of the bitty bloodsucking bugs.
What are bedbugs?
Bedbugs are small insects from the genus Climex that often live on furniture or bedding and feed on blood.
Their bites can be itchy and lead to skin rashes, but do not usually cause serious health problems.
Although they aren’t dangerous, they can cause extreme discomfort and stress if you are bitten by them.
Baby bedbugs, which are known as nymphs, shed their skin five times before reaching adulthood and need a blood meal before every shedding.
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How do you get bedbugs?
Stuart Halliday, 42, owner of Kill and Cure Pest Control, says peak travel times — like summer — are the most common periods for bedbugs to latch on to clothes, beds and belongings.
They are usually carried into the home before multiplying and causing an infestation.
Stuart told The Sun: “This [summer] is the exact time people pick up bed bugs, right around this time.
“During this time everyone's going to be jetting off to different countries — Spain, Greece and places like that.
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“Whether it's a hotel, a B&B or a hostel, if you’re not careful you’re gonna bring them all home with you.”
How to get rid of bedbugs?
It can be extremely difficult to get rid of an infestation, so your best bet may be to get professional help.
Once in they are your home, bedbugs can spread quickly from room to room.
If it takes too long to identify the problem, they could completely contaminate your home.
The NHS advises contacting your local council or a pest control firm that's a member of the British Pest Control Association or National Pest Technicians Association to deal with an infestation.
Here’s what you should do to get rid of bedbugs:
- If you suspect you’ve been infected, the first thing you need to do is strip your bed and wash the sheets and blankets in 60C water, before tumble-drying for at least 30 minutes.
- Better still get rid of them altogether by wrapping in bin bags and disposing in a bin.
- Make sure you either throw your mattress away, or thoroughly vacuum it, and your carpet under your bed. Then make sure you take the vacuum outside and dispose of the contents.
- Because 30 per cent of bed bugs live in your bed frame and headboard, it’s vital that you clean those thoroughly, too.
- While vacuuming will get rid of the bugs themselves, it won’t get rid of the eggs. To do that, you’ll need to wipe everywhere with a good pesticide.
What do bedbugs look like?
Bedbugs are typically brown, dark yellow or red in colour.
They are flat and oval-shaped.
The adult insects are small — around the size of an apple seed.
What do bedbug bites look like?
Bedbug bites are red in colour.
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If might notice spots on your body when you wake up in the morning, it could be a good indicator the bugs are lurking between your bedsheets.
Expert Nic Shacklock said: "The bites will often form a straight line across a part of your body — this is a hallmark bedbug trait."
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