Learn how to get rid of pesky, nasty bedbugs using our handy how-to guide.
How to bash the bedbugs
Get rid of pesky bedbugs by using this handy how-to guide!
Bedbugs vs. Dust Mites
Ok time for a bit of biology study - bedbugs and dust mites are not the same! Bedbugs are nasty little bloodsuckers that makes you itch and dust mites are nasty little dead skin eater that make you sneeze. Urgghh, not much to choose between them then.
Do you remember when you were a child and your Grandma or Grandad used to "Sleep tight; don't let the bedbugs bite"? Well, you’ll probably find they had first hand knowledge of them because fifty years ago one in ten homes had bedbugs. Thankfully they are a lot less common these days, mainly due to modern, cleaner homes we live in.
How to tell if you have bedbugs...
So, now everyone is sitting reading this itching and scratching, how do you know if you have the little darlings? Well you only really know when they bite you. You’ll find you wake up with itchy white bites usually above your shoulders, around your neck. Although not pleasant, the bedbugs themselves don’t carry disease, but if you scratch the bites they can get infected through the bacteria on your fingernails. Another thing you’ll notice is like mosquitoes, when they have had lunch they are full of your blood, so they leave little red spots on the sheets.
It is unlikely that you’ll see your unwelcome guests as, like vampires they only feed at night, when you are asleep. During the daylight hours they hide around the bedroom, in cracks and skirting boards and behind loose wallpaper – oh, and in your bed!
The bad news...
The bad news is that they tend to live around 6 to 12 months, but put down 2-3 eggs a day – so when they’ve taken up residence, they tend to take over!
They aren’t opposed to a bit of sightseeing either, so they travel on clothes, luggage and inside furniture. This obviously means that hostels, hotels or other places with lots of people coming and going are more at risk from infection.
So how do you get rid of your uninvited guests? The only way is to call in pest control who will spray insecticide – the local authority should have an approved list, and in some cases, they may even help with the costs. Before they come, you should wash your sheets, soft toys and clothes at a minimum 60 degrees. The exterminators will need access to all potential hiding places, and you need to ensure kids and pets (especially fish) are out of the way. The good news is, that once you’ve been treated you get a housework break, as you can’t vacuum for 10 days!
The other little visitors we have are dust mites. No matter how spotless your house, there is a layer of invisible filth. Around 80% of dust in a house is made from dead human skin. Each person can lose up to 10g a week and this is a dust mite's Big Mac and Fries!
Whether we like it or not, the average house has between 100k and 10m of the little darlings. They are invisible to the human eye, translucent and only about 0.3 mm long. The good news is that you won’t have to call in pest control – you’ll never get rid of them completely, no matter how finickity you are about your housework. Most people don’t even know they have dust mites – unless someone with asthma, eczema or allergies visits.
The only way to control the numbers, is to reduce the dust they like to eat. They love bedding – a two year old pillow will contain around 10% dead mites and their droppings – you might want to consider new ones! Vacuum beds regularly – this really helps. Wash bed linen on the hottest wash and leave duvets and pillow out to air on the day you change sheets. Dust mites adore moisture but die in air and light.
If family members suffer from asthma, they will be aggravated by dust mites. Doing simple things like replacing carpets and rugs with wood or vinyl floor an really help. If this isn’t possible, vacuum every day and dust surfaces with a damp duster as feather dusters and dry cloths just move the dust from one area to another.
Wishing you peaceful dreams tonight – and don’t let the bed bugs bite will you!