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Bed bug bites: Signs to prevent and how to get rid of infestation
Published On: Thu, Oct 11th, 2018

Bed bug bites: Signs to prevent and how to get rid of infestation

Bed bugs are tiny blood-sucking insects that live in the cracks around beds, and crawl out at night to feed, said the NHS.

They’re oval-shaped, flat insects, and they can be up to 5mm in length.

While they aren’t particularly dangerous – and don’t spread diseases – some people can have a reaction to their bites, it added.

But you can prevent bed bugs from ever reaching your home by using protective covers that encase mattresses, it’s been revealed.

The protective covers cut down the number of hiding places for the bed bugs to live in, and also makes them easier to see, said the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“Be sure to purchase a high-quality encasement that will resist tearing and check the encasement regularly for holes or a cover that has been pre-treated with pesticide to control bed bugs,” it said.

Reducing the clutter in your home could also eliminate a number of hiding spaces for the bugs, meaning they’re less likely to stick around.

“Bed bugs are great hitchhikers,” said EPA. “They can move from an infested site to a new home by travelling on furniture, bedding, luggage, boxes, and clothing.

“Vacuum frequently to remove any successful hitchhikers. Check secondhand furniture, beds, and couches for any signs of bed bug infestation before bringing them home.”

It’s best to make sure a bed bug infestation doesn’t happen in the first place, as they can be quite resilient.

Bed bugs can live without feeding for several months, so getting rid of them can be difficult, it said.

There’s no quick fix to getting rid of bed bugs, but you could use heat treatment to try and treat the infestation.

Try using a clothes dryer on a high heat after washing your clothes. If you don’t have a dryer, pop them all in a black bin bag and place them outside in the sun.

Steam cleaners can get into the cracks of the bedding, carpets and bed frames.

Carefully check for bed bugs every few days after the initial clear out.

You could have a bed bug infestation if you find small, tiny white eggs in the crevices of your furniture.

The bites themselves are another key warning sign. Look out for small red bumps on the skin.

The bumps, which can be itchy, are usually found on the face, neck, hands or arms.

The bites usually fade after a few days, but antihistamine tablets could help to relieve itchiness if you’re struggling.

Speak to a GP if you develop signs of a skin infection. These include pain, swelling or redness.

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Bed bug bites: Signs to prevent and how to get rid of infestation