If you find yourself waking up in the mornings covered in red, itchy bumps, or you find that your allergies are suddenly getting worse, then you may be harbouring bedbugs in your home. The bedbug, also commonly called ‘khatmal’, is a small brown parasite that thrives in warm conditions, such as beds, and feeds off human blood. It’s important to take action if you suspect they’re living in your home.
There’s no need to be embarrassed about having a bed bug infestation. Many of us blame our own cleanliness, or lack of it, for parasites – but bed bugs aren’t attracted to dirt. They’re often brought into the home on your body when you’ve visited a public place (such as a cinema, for example) where there are lots of people sat in close proximity, and plenty of opportunity for bed bugs to transfer from one person to another. They can also be brought into the home by wild animals that sneak into your house when you’re not looking – like a stray dog or cat.
How to Spot Bed Bugs
It can be very difficult to spot bed bugs because they’re so small, and they tend to be most active at night when they can feed on us without us realising it. In most cases, determining whether you have bedbugs is based on guesswork. If you can answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then you might want to start taking precautions:
- Do you wake up with a red rash, or red bite marks on your body?
- Have you spotted any small blood marks, or even small droppings in your bedding?
- Is there a strange smell in your bedroom, similar to that of mouldy fruit?
It’s time to take charge, before the infestation gets any worse. Keep reading for our comprehensive guide on how to kill bed bugs.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
There is one major problem when it comes to killing bed bugs – they’re resilient little creatures. When considering how to remove bed bugs in our homes, many of us would assume a pesticide would work well. Pesticides can work wonders on parasites, but you could also use hot or cold treatments to kill the bugs.
- Luckily, there has been enough scientific research into these nasty creatures that we know how to get rid of bedbugs without pesticides: The Medical and Veterinary Entomology journal reports that they can be killed in temperatures of around -16 degrees Celsius. Since most household freezers can be set to -18 degrees, you can use your freezer to kill bedbugs. Wrap your bedding in sealed bags and place in the freezer for an hour, ensuring you keep your food separately. Wash as normal afterwards to make sure all traces of the bugs have gone.
- You could also kill your bedbugs with heat. Washing your bedding at 46 degrees will kill around 80 percent of the pests, and washing at 48 degrees will kill almost every last one. You’ll get better results when using a high quality detergent, which will help remove any traces of blood that might attract new parasites.
- One last way to remove bed bugs is to vacuum your bedding regularly. Every time you vacuum your floor, just strip the top cover off your bed and give everywhere a good clean. You’ll be surprised at how many of the bugs you can suck up!
Remember that you need to thoroughly clean your bedroom if you have a bed bug infestation in the mattress. You will need to clean the mattress, bedframe, and surrounding area thoroughly and repeatedly to make sure that all the bedbugs have gone. This is a task that may best be left to a professional – ask them for advice and suggestions.
It’s important we take precautions to protect ourselves and our families from bed bugs. It’s not hard to do: just try your best to maintain a clean home, and wash your bedding at a high temperature with a good quality detergent like Surf excel liquid detergent.