They hitch a lift on luggage, clothes or furniture into your home and feed on your blood while you are sleeping. Bites can be a poor indicator of bed bugs as they can resemble bites from other insects or rashes, also some people do not react to bites from bed bugs at all. Learning how to detect them is the first step in preventing or containing an existing infestation, which is why we have put together a handy guide to help you beat the bugs.
Your first port of call is to know what bed bugs look like. They are flat, reddish-brown, oval insects about the size of an apple seed - up to 5mm long. After they’ve been feeding they can look fat and swollen, though they can survive for up to a year without a meal! They tend to be more active at night, when you are sleeping.
When changing the bedding, keep an eye out for rusty or reddish stains on the sheets from squashed bed bugs. Also look for tiny dark spots of bug excrement and tiny eggs. Bed bugs can shed a pale yellow skin which could also be found in your
Understanding more about where bed bugs can hide is your second step. Bed bugs prefer to hide in tiny, dark crevices usually fabric or wood, where they can safely hide from your attempts to remove them. Check:
- Seams and folds of mattresses and sofas
- Carpet edges
- Bedding, pillows, bed skirts
- Underneath rugs
- Skirting boards
- Knots or cracks in wooden furniture
- Screw heads
- Stuffed toys
- Storage under the bed
Invest in a heavy duty UV torch, magnifying glass and rubber gloves to thoroughly inspect the areas listed above. Using a credit card, comb over the suspected areas to see if any bugs are residing in them
Understanding the habits of bed bugs can make It a lot easier to identify them. Bed bugs are mostly active during the night and will travel between 5–20 feet to feed, their meals usually last anything between 3-12 minutes. Though they can live for up to a year without feeding, in order to produce eggs, bed bugs must feed at least once every 14 days and each female can produce up to 500 eggs in her lifetime!
Always invest in a good mattress encasement to prevent bed bug infestations.
For more information on getting a good night’s sleep, get in touch with our experienced, knowledgeable staff by calling 020 8731 0020 or email us via the Contact Us page.
Don’t forget, you can also stay updated by liking our Facebook page.