You may have heard on the news that bedbugs are on the rise across the UK. Rentokil has increased the number of visits it makes to help people with bedbugs by 65%.
Although bedbugs can be upsetting and stressful to find, they aren’t dangerous and don’t carry any human diseases. Most people don’t develop any serious skin reactions so there is no need to worry if you find them. However, it is a good idea to understand more about bedbugs. It is important to act quickly if you think you may have a bedbug infestation.
What are bedbugs?
Bedbugs are small, reddish-brown insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals. They have a flat, oval shape and are about the size of an apple seed. Bedbugs tend to hide in cracks, crevices and bedding during the day. They become active at night to bite and feed.
How common are bedbugs?
Bedbugs can be found in homes, hotels, flats and public places like cinemas and buses. They need people to move from place to place. Anyone can carry them into a building on their clothing, personal belongings and in things like used furniture. They are excellent hitchhikers which makes it easy for them to spread to new places.
How to deal with bedbugs:
If you think you have a bedbug infestation it’s important to act quickly.
What you can do:
- Isolate all infested items in sealed plastic bags. This will keep them from spreading to other parts of your home.
- Do a thorough wash and dry. Wash bedding, clothing, and curtains using hot water and a high heat drying cycle. This will help kill any bedbugs and their eggs.
- Declutter your home. Bedbugs love a hiding spot, so by decluttering there will be fewer places for them to hide.
- Seal cracks and crevices. Take a good look around your home for cracks and gaps in walls and furniture. Make sure they are sealed so there are fewer hiding spots for bedbugs.
- Vacuum your home regularly. Vacuum thoroughly, paying extra attention to spring mattresses and furniture. Go outside to empty your vacuum canister or throw away the vacuum bag straight away.
- Use bedbug-proof covers. These covers for your mattresses can help stop bedbugs in your bed.
- Avoid DIY pesticides. It’s not a good idea to try ‘do-it-yourself’ pest control for bedbugs. Professional pest control services are the experts and have specialist treatments to stop bedbug infestations.
- Follow professional advice. Follow the guidance of pest control professionals on preparing your home for treatment. This may include washing, bagging, and moving items.
- Stopping reinfestation. After treatment, be on your guard so that you can help stop a reinfestation. Be cautious when buying used clothes or furniture. If you’re travelling, carefully inspect the room that you will be staying in.
Pest Control services
Finding bedbugs early and acting quickly is the key to keeping them under control. Contact a professional pest control company for help.
Be aware, that using a pest control service can be expensive. Also, your normal home contents insurance does not cover the cost of pest control or for replacing furniture after an infestation.
If you would like this extra cover, you will need to speak to your home insurance company.
Tell us if you have bedbugs
If you think you have bedbugs, contact your housing officer on 0117 942 4600 to keep us updated.