Bedbugs are tiny, but the problem they cause can be huge. As their name suggests, they love to lie in wait in mattresses, bedsheets, duvets, and other similar items. These blood-sucking insects are annoying pests due to the itchy bites they cause.
Usually, they enter the home through objects that people bring home from other places. For example, a luggage bag can bring bed bugs from a hostel room to your home. Another common scenario is when people buy second-hand furniture like sofas or cushions.
If you have been suffering from interrupted sleep and itchy spots on your body, it might be a sign of bed bugs. Here’s how you can determine if bed bugs are the culprits:
- Itchy red bites on the body
Many bug bites can leave itchy, red bites. However, bed bug bites can be recognised by a few distinct traits. Bed bug bites typically occur on exposed areas of the skin like the arms, legs, and neck. They tend to occur in a zigzag or line, because the bed bugs usually bite along the line where the body meets the mattress. These bites occur during the night, so you should notice them while you are sleeping, or when you wake up.
- Traces of bed bugs
Bed bugs are usually very tiny, but they swell in size after feeding. You might find some traces of bloodstains in the form of rust-coloured spots on your bedding, or egg cases in the crevices of your bedframe. Bed bugs also shed skin several times in their lifetime, so brown specks may be a sign of them. As they are small and good at hiding, it might take some effort to detect their presence.
- Bad odour
Bed bugs produce pheromones which give off an odour. When they exist in large numbers, the smell can become distinct enough for humans to smell it. It is said to smell like coriander or mould, with some people likening it to a wet towel. If you detect any such smells for no apparent reason, you can suspect that you have a bed bug problem.
What to do if you have bed bugs at home
- Clean your bedding
If you find bed bugs in your home, you can try to remove them using home remedies. The most common method is to give your bedsheets a wash in hot water, and then put in the dryer on high heat for 30 minutes. You can also use a brush to get bed bugs and their eggs off the seams of your mattress, and then vacuum them up. However, if the problem is very serious, you might be better off discarding your old mattress and getting a new one.
- Enlist professional pest control services
If the bedbug problem is too widespread or elusive, you might need to call for professional help. Pest control companies are usually well-trained to deal with bed bug problems as they are a common issue in homes. The bed bug control method involves a thorough inspection of the affected area, and a pesticide residual spray over the vulnerable and affected areas.
Now that you know how to recognise bed bugs and how to deal with them, hopefully you can sleep without worries of those itchy red bumps anymore!