There’s almost nothing worse than that creepy feeling of insects crawling on your skin. The bacteria and germs that they spread is the reason why we flick them away as soon as possible. But what about when you’re sleeping? Bedbugs are the creepy crawlies of the night that pierce skin and feast on blood, often leaving big red, itchy welts on their human victims. So what do we do if we have bed bugs? And most importantly, how do we prevent them from ever entering the sacred walls of our bedroom?
What to do if you’re not sure if you have bedbugs
If you think you might have a bed bug infestation — especially if your city made the list of top cities affected with bed bugs — search your home for the common signs of infestation:
- Bedbug egg shells, shed skin or fecal spots
- Rusty or dark spots of bedbug excrement on sheets, mattresses, walls or clothes
- Unexplained blood stains on bed sheets
- Musty, uncomfortable odor from bugs’ glands
If you’ve noticed any of these signs, check to see if you can find the source. Look through every layer of bedding, the seams of your bed frame and anything around you bed, including clothing, radios, telephones and electrical ports.
What to do if you do have bedbugs
Bed bugs are one of the most challenging pests to treat, so it’s crucial to call an exterminator for help. You don’t want to risk the infestation spreading, and chemical elimination can guarantee to get rid of all remnants of the bug and avoid excessive damage to the property.
However, there are a few things you can do in the meantime. A detailed wash of all room contents is probably the first port of call. Wash clothes, bedding, curtains, shoes and stuffed animals in hot water and dry on the warmest setting. Other things you can do include scrubbing your mattress seams and doing a detailed vacuum of the bed and surrounding areas. If you do vacuum, be sure to throw the vacuum bag out as soon as you’re done to avoid the bugs escaping again.
What to do to prevent bed bug infestations
After that daunting experience of cleaning everything, calling the exterminator and paying for damages, the last thing you want is for it to happen again. Try following a few rituals that can prevent further infestations:
- Regularly vacuum your bed and surrounding areas. Be detailed by ensuring you get all the hidden corners and spaces where bed bugs love to hide.
- Encase you mattress and box spring with a zippered and tightly woven cover — and don’t change for at least a year. This keeps bed bugs out and any that may be in there will die within a year.
- Repair cracks in the wall or glue down ripped plaster where bed bugs love to hide.
Bed bugs, like many other pests, are annoying and can incur damage to your property and contents. But they are also able to be removed and avoidable. Follow these quick tips in case of an infestation and to prevent future ones so you can maintain the beauty and value of your home.