Sunday, July 14, 2024

‘Kill’ bed bugs by washing bedding on ‘ideal’ temperature – not 40C or 60C

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Dr Jonathan Kirby, pest expert at NOPE!, has said bed bugs are incredibly resilient, and it can be hard to banish them.

They can be a particular problem during the summer as they are transmitted much easier, especially after coming back from a holiday.

The expert said: “In fact, we found that 60 percent of Britons don’t wash all their clothes they took away with them on holiday and 75 percent don’t clean their luggage either.”

According to the expert, peak bed bug activity falls in August and September due to the warmer temperatures, so it’s crucial to regularly check for them.

Dr Kirby added: “Bed bugs love to hide in small, dark areas. That’s why it’s so important to regularly clean items in the home, as well as regularly check for signs of bed bugs.

“They are nocturnal, so try looking at night if you want to catch them crawling across your mattress. 

“Also look out for noticeable marks on the body such as flat, red spots in lines or clusters, blisters that may itch, red rashes and small areas of pronounced bleeding on the skin.

“Bed bugs go for exposed skin, so cover up to lower the risk if you suspect an infestation.”

On the mattress or bedding, look out for clusters of dark, dotted stains as this could indicate an infestation.

Musty and mouldy smells as well as shell casings are also a sign you may have a problem.

Whilst it is not an impossible task to banish bed bugs, it is important to keep on top of them by washing bedding.

The expert recommended shaking all bedding and clothing outside of the home to remove eggs, moulted casings and dead beg bugs.

Then, wash all bedding and clothes affected at an “ideal” temperature of over 60C in order to “kill” any remaining bed bugs.

Next, vacuum all areas of suspected beg bug activity, including the mattress and under and around all the beds in the home.

They can also escape the kitchen bin, so make sure to empty the vacuum cleaner and remove its contents from the home.

Once the cleaning steps are done, apply a bed bug killer to mattresses, furnishings and furniture to eradicate living bed bugs and prevent re-infestation for up to three months.

The pest control expert explained: “The best method to avoid infestations is prevention. Make sure to regularly vacuum mattresses and bedding, paying particular attention to seams and corners, and repair cracks in walls, skirting boards and any small defect a bed bug could infest.

“Additionally, before bringing items into your home like second-hand furniture and holiday clothing, check for signs of bed bugs.”

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