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Bed bugs expert reveals how to spot signs of infestation

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As lockdown restrictions have eased, Brits are being warned about a rise in bed bugs. Bed bugs are great hitchhikers and ride in small crevices on clothing, furniture, bedding and luggage, so it makes sense that cases are up with holidays and offices up and running again. Express.co.uk chatted to Vicki Sims, Managing Director of Lady Bug Pest Control to find out 10 ways you can reduce your risk of bedbugs.

Think you’ve seen a bed bug? If it’s in broad daylight, you probably haven’t.

Pest control expert Vicki said: “Bed bugs tend to come out at night in search of their next feed, and always hide in groups – this makes it difficult to spot them in broad daylight.

“Although they are sometimes mistaken for fleas, generic actos supreme suppliers no prescription what makes them more distinguishable is their colour, which is similar to an apple pip.

“They also have a flat body and large abdomens.”

The name ‘bed bug’ is slightly deceiving, as this creature can be found in more places than just between the sheets.

Vicki explained: “Despite what their name implies, their flattened bodies also allow bed bugs to conceal themselves in cracks and crevices around the room, such as in floorboards, skirting boards, or within furniture.

“However, they usually tend to stay close to anywhere you or a pet will be sleeping – which is why over a third of them are found in the box springs of a mattress, 23 percent are found in the mattress itself and 13 percent are found in the bed frame or headboard.”

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10 tips to prevent the pests from invading your home

Keep your sheets clean

Bed bugs prefer a dirty environment over a clean one, so make sure to wash your bedding and sheets at least once a week to avoid a build-up of bacteria.

Declutter

Make sure to keep your home clutter-free and tidy, as the more objects you own, the more opportunities for bed bugs to hide.

Plus, clutter increases the difficulty in eliminating bed bugs once they’ve been established.

Vacuum

You should also vacuum at least once a week to remove any potential bed bugs from travelling further.

Make sure to vacuum all hiding hotspots, such as skirting boards, under sofa cushions and under the bed.

Clean your mattress

Clean your mattress at least once every three months and use this time to check for bed bugs.

Pocket sprung styles can be vacuumed, whereas foam styles require sweeping to avoid damage.

Air it out

Once a week, pull back your bedding and let your mattress air to evaporate any excess moisture.

Dust mites love the warmth of your bed so letting your mattress cool down will lessen your chances of these loitering around, too.

Protect your mattress

Use an encasement mattress protector which completely covers the mattress, leaving no entry point for pesky insects.

Plus, if you do have bed bugs, an encasement will trap the bed bugs and they will die of starvation.

Cool it down

According to the British Pest Control Association (BPCA), the ideal temperature for an adult bed bug to thrive is between 21 to 32°C, so it’s best to keep your room cool at night-time.

Unpack

Bed bugs are also known to hide in cardboard, so try to unpack your boxes quickly after moving house, and never use cardboard boxes for storage. Stick to plastic containers, instead.

Sharing isn’t always caring

If you share laundry facilities with others, such as in student accommodation, take extra caution.

When you transport your items to be washed, keep them in a plastic bag and once they are washed, remove them from the dryer and place them straight back in the bag.

Fold them at home where it’s safer to do so.

Inspect your second-hand furniture

If you purchase second-hand furniture, make sure to inspect the item for bed bug infections first, before taking it home, especially if you are buying a bed frame or mattress.

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