Does the thought of bed bugs make your skin crawl? You’re not alone.
Not only do these blood-sucking insects cause unease and discomfort, they’re also a nightmare to get rid of. That’s why, with the number of UK cases on the rise, it’s more important than ever to be aware of such critters – and take a few simple steps to prevent an infestation in your home.
Hitchhiking bed bugs
People often assume that bed bugs are caused by dirty and unhygienic conditions – but it’s just a myth. In reality, they can reside in the cleanest and tidiest of environments. As long as they have food nearby (in the form of human blood) and a place to hide during the day, they’re happy.
So, where do bed bugs actually come from?
Nine times out of ten, it’ll be a hotel. Due to the high number of people coming and going, such establishments are a huge magnet for bed bugs. If the room is infested, they could potentially hitchhike their way back to your home, either by travelling on your clothes or in your suitcase.
The same ‘hitchhiking’ problem can occur in many other public places – including transport, nursing homes, schools, offices, cinemas and more – as well as on second-hand furniture. They’re not fussy. They will hitch a ride anywhere, at any time, in the hope of eventually reaching your home.
5 simple steps to help prevent bed bugs
Bed bugs can be pretty tricky to eliminate. But, thankfully, there are a few steps you can take to avoid the hassle and greatly reduce your chances of a full-blown infestation.
1. Invest in a latex mattress
There’s no such thing as a bug-proof mattress. But those made from natural latex – such as the Baker & Wells Silk 18000 Latex Mattress – can offer slightly more protection. Latex is a very dense material; therefore, compared to other types of mattress filling (e.g. foam, memory foam, gel), it’s much harder for the bed bugs to burrow into the deepest layers and breed.
2. Spot the signs
Noticing the early signs of an infestation is the best way to stop it – before it gets out of hand. Bed bugs are pretty easy to see with the naked eye. So, every time you change your bedsheets, it’s worth giving the mattress, bed frame and headboard a quick once over.
You should also look out for suspicious bites (particularly on skin areas that are exposed whilst sleeping), small dark blood spots on your bedding, and an unpleasant sweet smell.
3. Inspect your hotel bed
When entering a hotel room for the first time, be sure to check for the tell-tale signs of bed bugs. Start by pulling back the sheets and inspecting the mattress, particularly in the corners and around the headboard. You should also lift the mattress and examine the bed frame underneath.
Even luxurious 5* hotels can be infested – and, if you do find bed bugs, you should return to the reception and ask to be allocated a new room (in a different part or floor of the building).
4. Store luggage carefully
Never leave your suitcase on the floor of a hotel room. This makes it far too easy for the bugs to climb in and hitchhike back to your home. Either keep it on top of a desk or storage rack and, if you want to be especially cautious, wrap the suitcase in a plastic bin bag for the duration of your stay.
5. Check before entering your home
Before entering your house with a suitcase or a piece of second-hand furniture, check them carefully. It’s also worth giving them a quick vacuum. This is something that most people forget to do – but it’s one of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent bed bugs. If the odd sneaky critter has managed to hitch a ride, you can get rid of it before it has a chance to infect your home.
Speak to the experts at Dreamers Bed Centre
If you would like further advice on how to avoid bed bugs, feel free to get in touch. Our team of experts are always happy to help. Not only can they provide tips on how to prevent bed bugs, they can also recommend the ideal latex mattress to reduce your chances of an outbreak. Either give us a call on 01942 275 464 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you.