Four easy steps to ‘eradicate’ bed bugs right away

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Pest expert at NOPE!, Dr Jonathan Kirby, explained: “Bed bugs are incredibly resilient, and you get them by unwittingly bringing them into the home.

“Unlike other pests like ants, though, it’s highly unlikely that they’d venture in through open windows or doors, so don’t worry about this during hot weather.

“In the summer months in particular, when families come back from holidays abroad, bed bugs can be transmitted far easier. In fact, we found that 60 percent of Britons don’t wash all their clothes they took away with them on holiday and 75 percent don’t clean their luggage either.”

This means infestations can set in once a family is back from their summer break, not just while they are on holiday.

According to the expert, bed bug activity peaks in August and September as they prefer warmer temperatures, so make sure to regularly check for them.

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The pest expert said: “Bed bugs love to hide in small, dark areas. That’s why it’s so important to regularly clean items in the home, as well as regularly check for signs of bed bugs.

“They are nocturnal, so try looking at night if you want to catch them crawling across your mattress. Also look out for noticeable marks on the body such as flat, red spots in lines or clusters, blisters that may itch, red rashes and small areas of pronounced bleeding on the skin.

“Bed bugs go for exposed skin, so cover up to lower the risk if you suspect an infestation.”

On the bed itself, watch out for clusters of dark, dotted stains on sheets, mattresses, bed frames, and nearby areas. 

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Musty and mouldy smells, bed shell casings and of course live bed bugs are also indications that you may have a huge problem.

Bed bugs are “notoriously” hard to get rid of, although not an impossible task, as long as four steps are taken to get rid of them.

1. Wash at high temperatures

The expert recommended shaking all bedding and clothing outside of the home to remove eggs, moulted casings and dead beg bugs.

Then, wash all bedding and clothes affected at a “ideal” temperature of over 60C in order to “kill” any remaining bed bugs.

2. Clean surrounding areas

The expert continued: “Vacuum all areas of suspected bed bug activity, including along mattress edges, under and around beds, and use a coarser brush to get rid of debris.

“Bed bugs can escape the kitchen bin, so immediately empty the vacuum cleaner and remove its contents from the home. Don’t forget to reach skirting boards or anywhere bed bugs could be hiding such as luggage.

“Start at the furthest edge of known bed bug activity and work inwards – this also helps minimise the accidental spread of bed bugs elsewhere in the home.”

3. Treat the area

Once the cleaning steps are done, apply a bed bug killer to mattresses, furnishings and furniture to eradicate living bed bugs and prevent re-infestation for up to three months.

Bed bugs hide inside cracks and gaps so ensure to thoroughly spray these areas to make sure they are all killed.

4. Prevention

The pest control expert explained: “The best method to avoid infestations is prevention. Make sure to regularly vacuum mattresses and bedding, paying particular attention to seams and corners, and repair cracks in walls, skirting boards and any small defect a bed bug could infest.

“Additionally, before bringing items into your home like second-hand furniture and holiday clothing, check for signs of bed bugs.”

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