How to prevent getting bed bugs
Bed bugs aren’t usually related to bad hygiene, but thorough deep cleans can help prevent a bed bug infestation.
Here are a few tips and tricks to prevent a bed bug infestation.
Reduce the number of places bed bugs can hide
As a first step, it makes sense to reduce the number of places bed bugs can hide.
- Get rid of clutter, particularly around your bed.
- Vacuum often, particularly under, behind, and around your bed.
- Tighten loose electrical faceplates (bed bugs can hide in these) and remove or repair loose wallpaper.
- Seal cracks and crevices in bed frames, walls, floor boards, and skirting boards.
By cleaning up clutter, vacuuming, and sealing, you reduce the number of hiding places bed bugs can take up residence in. 🧹
Check everything that enters your home
Bed bugs won’t randomly appear - they have to be carried into your home.
- Check every item of furniture, regardless of whether it’s new or second-hand furniture, that you bring into your home.
- Don’t take mattresses or sofas from the pavement - you don’t know why these were thrown out, and they could harbour a bed bug infestation.
- Check your luggage and clothing if you’re coming from a bed bug area before you enter your home.
By checking everything that enters your home, you can prevent a bed bug infestation before it starts. ⌚️
Regularly wash and heat-dry your bedding and clothing
You should regularly wash and heat dry your bed sheets, duvet covers, blankets, and any clothing that touches the floor or your bed.
Bed bugs and their eggs can also hide in laundry containers, so remember to clean these as well.
Heat treatments are effective in killing bed bugs and their eggs, so you can stop an infestation in its tracks.
Regularly clean and air out your mattress
You should clean your mattress about once a quarter - this is the key to making it last longer, but it’s also a good time to check for bed bugs.
Bed bugs also like dark and cosy spaces, so remove your bedding once a week (when you should pop it in the wash anyway) and let your mattress air out.
This helps any excess moisture evaporate and creates a more hygienic environment.
Carefully vacuum carpets, floors, any upholstered furniture, bed frames, and under and around your bed.
This will ensure that if there are any bed bugs, they’ll be vacuumed up immediately.
Throw out the used vacuum bag by placing it into a tightly sealed plastic bag after each use to prevent bed bugs from escaping.
Keep your bedroom cool
Bed bugs thrive in temperatures between 21 and 32 ℃, so keeping your bedroom cooler than this - especially at night - can help. 🧊
How do you treat bed bug bites?
Bed bug bites are itchy and uncomfortable, but they’re typically not dangerous.
They should clear up within about a week, but you can take some extra precautions:
- Keep the affected area clean
- Avoid scratching the bites
- Put something cool, like a damp cloth, on the area
- Take antihistamines if the bites are quite itchy
- Use an over-the-counter steroid cream, like hydrocortisone, to help them heal faster
A severe allergic reaction is possible, but this is quite rare.
If the bites remain swollen, itchy, or painful, even after over-the-counter treatments, or if the pain and swelling is spreading, please see your GP or check the NHS for more information.
Can you get rid of bed bugs on your own?
While bed bugs are nasty and terrifying, the important thing is not to panic if you suspect a bed bug infestation.
If you spot anything out of the ordinary, spring into action immediately by taking a few of the washing and cleaning steps and trying home remedies.
But if you’re already spotting a larger bed bug infestation, don’t waste any time and contact your local council or pest control service as soon as possible to prevent the problem from getting worse. ☎️
Having bed bugs doesn’t mean you or your home are dirty - it simply means you’ve had a bout of bad luck.
A bed bug problem is nothing to be embarrassed about.