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How to get rid of bed bugs in your home

Bed bugs a problem?

Bed bugs are a large source of irritation and distress, and they spread easily which allows a bed bug infestation to rapidly grow. Did you know that bed bugs can live a full year without a blood meal? Because of this, it is not always easy to get rid of bed bugs unless you seek professional help and call in the Rentokil pest control experts to assist.

Effects of bed bugs:

  • Bed bugs feed on the blood of humans and other mammals.
  • While it’s possible for bed bugs to transmit disease, this is a rare occurrence. Instead, the primary concern is skin irritation and distress caused by bed bug bites.
  • Bed bug bites do not hurt. It’s only the itchiness that results from the body’s reaction to them that causes discomfort.
  • Treating bed bug bites soothes the irritation, but it can still be very distressing when there are multiple bites as is often the case with bed bugs.
  • Multiple bed bug bites and contact with bed bugs can lead to an itchy rash or eczema. Consult a pharmacist for advice and a bed bug remedy if this occurs.

How to Identify Bed Bugs and Bed Bug Bites:

A partially fed bedbug drawing on human blood

The descriptions below will help you identify if you have a bed bug problem:

Identifying bed bugs:

  • Adult bed bugs are 5mm long. Before feeding, they are a flattened oval shape and light brown, but become rounder and darker after feeding
  • Bed bugs come out at night and are attracted to the warmth of our bodies and carbon dioxide in our breath.
  • They are usually found in bedrooms but hide in cracks and crevices during the day. The most common shelters for bed bugs are in the seams of mattresses, in crevices in the bed frame, behind furniture surrounding the bed (especially the headboard) or where the wall meets the floor.
  • An established infestation is associated with a sweet and sickly smell.
  • When you have a bed bug infestation, you will be able to notice cast nymphal skins, faecal pellets, and blood spots on your mattress.

Learn how to spot the signs of a bed bug infestation.

What happens when bed bugs bite me?

Bedbugs - Blood Drops on Sheets

It is important to look at the overall pattern and timing of bites and other factors to identify whether bites are caused by bed bugs.

Bed bug bites are unlikely to wake the victim and can occur anywhere on the body, but are often close to blood vessels near the skin. A single bed bug may bite more than once around the same area. However, bites in different parts of the body indicate being bitten by several bed bugs. Early in a bed bug infestation, the victim may not yet be sensitised to the bed bug bites and they may not feel itchy.

Small droplets of blood on the sheets will indicate the presence of bed bugs.

Consult our guide to biting insects for advice about how to treat bed bug bites.

How does a bed bug infestation occur?

  • Bed bugs enter a property by being carried on clothing or inside furniture.
  • The most common source of transferring bed bugs to your home, is by staying at a hotel with an infestation. Bed bugs or their eggs attach to clothing or suitcases and are then transported home.
  • If there are any signs of bed bugs when staying at a hotel, particularly being bitten when sleeping or seeing blood spots on sheets, take great care in bringing your personal belongings home.
  • Consult with hotel management to assess the risk - it may be necessary to launder, fumigate or treat clothes to ensure they are safe.
    The same applies in transferring furniture - Rentokil can treat furniture for bed bugs before bringing it into your home if there may be a risk

Take care not to spread Bed bugs

If your home has a bed bug infestation, please do not risk spreading it by taking clothes, suitcases or furniture to hotels or the homes of your friends and families.

Bed bugs can also migrate to adjoining properties through wall or floor cavities. If your home has bed bugs and you live in a flat or a terraced property, please be considerate to your neighbours and act promptly.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs and treat them:

High levels of hygiene, deep cleaning and the use of DIY insecticides will help to keep bed bug numbers under control, however professional bed bug treatment will be required to eradicate the infestation.

It is not always easy to spot the first signs if a bed bug infestation and it is necessary to call in the pest control experts to survey your premises and recommend a bed bug treatment.  Rentokil offers a call-out service to deal with bed bugs and other pest problems in the home. Our service is fast, effective and offers the highest level of safety for your family and pets.

Learn more about bed bugs and how the Rentokil experts can implement a bed bug treatment to get rid of these biting insects.

If you are concerned that you may have a bed bug problem and would like to arrange a visit from a Rentokil technician, call us free on +256 414 287 160 / +256 414 694 494 or email us.