Mom holding bucket and mop

Do you wake up in the mornings to find yourself covered in red, itchy bumps? Or do you find your allergies beginning to worsen? Then you may have bed bugs in your home.

Since bed bugs are keen travellers, it’s pretty easy to pick them up, and they are known to hitch rides on clothing and luggage. There is nothing to be embarrassed about having a bed bug infestation. Many of us blame a lack of cleanliness for parasites – but bed bugs aren’t attracted to dirt.

Here are some tips for identifying and tips for how to get rid of bed bugs if you do happen to have an infestation:

So what are bed bugs?

Bed bugs are small insects that thrive in warm conditions such as beds and couches, and unfortunately, they feed on human blood. They can be brought into your home on your body when you visit public places or sit on contaminated surfaces.

Cinema or restaurant chairs and couches that are contaminated are also high-risk areas as there are plenty of opportunities for the bugs to transfer from contaminated surfaces. Stray animals can also bring in these little critters, so be aware.

The key to getting rid of these little pests is taking action as soon as you suspect you may have them living in your home.

How to spot bed bugs

It can be tough to spot bed bugs because they’re so small, and they tend to be most active at night. In most cases, determining whether you have bed bugs is based on guesswork.

  1. Is there a red rash or red bites on your body when you wake up? It can be tough to tell the difference between bed bug bites and other insect bites, so don’t be alarmed if you notice one or two marks. Bed bug bites usually happen in small clusters.
  2. Do you find small blood marks or rust coloured marks in your bedding?
  3. Have you noticed a lingering sweet, sickly smell or odour in the home?

If you answer ‘yes’ to any of the questions above, then you may have a bed bug infestation, and it’s time to take action to get rid of them.

How to get rid of bed bugs

Getting rid of bed bugs is an intensive task that you might want to leave to a professional, but there are some steps you can take at home to deal with a bed bug infestation. It pays to be thorough, so make sure to clean all surfaces as meticulously as possible and wash any bedding and clothing at a high temperature to help get rid of bed bugs.

There is one major problem when it comes to killing bed bugs – they’re resilient little creatures. But you don’t need to default to chemical pesticides. There has been enough research into getting rid of these little critters without pesticides but instead using extreme temperatures. So here are some tips to help you along:

Tip 1 – Give them the cold shoulder

Temperatures of around -16 degrees Celsius will kill these bugs, and since most household freezers can be set to -18 degrees, you can use your freezer to kill bedbugs. Simply, wrap your bedding in sealed bags and place in the freezer for an hour, ensuring you keep your food separately. Wash as normal afterwards with a good quality laundry detergent to make sure all traces of the bugs are gone.

Tip 2 – Show them the heat

You could also kill your bed bugs with heat. Washing your bedding at 46 degrees Celsius will kill around 80% of the pests, and washing at 48 degrees Celsius should kill them all. You’ll get better results when using a high-quality detergent.

Tip 3 – Suck it up

Another way to help you remove bed bugs is to vacuum your mattress regularly. So as a reminder, each time you vacuum your floor, head to the bed and give it a good clean as well. Simply strip the top cover of your bed, clean the vacuum head and give your mattress and base a good vacuum.

Tip 4 – It’s not just the bed 

Do not forget that you need to thoroughly clean your furniture and clothing using the above tips as well since bed bugs tend to spread throughout your home. You will need to clean the mattress, bed frame, couches, clothing and surrounding area thoroughly and repeatedly to make sure that all the bedbugs are gone.

We must take precautions to protect ourselves and our families from bed bugs because there can be long term health implications if left unattended. It may not be possible for you to avoid getting bed bugs. Still, with a thorough cleaning regiment and good quality home cleaners such as Handy Andy and Domestos Thick Bleach and laundry detergents such as OMO Washing Powder and Surf Handwashing Powder, you can prevent it from getting worse and then get rid of them.

Key points: 

  • Vacuum your bedding and mattress regularly to get rid of bed bugs.
  • Wash your bedding regularly to keep it clean and free from bed bugs.
  • Kill bed bugs with extreme temperatures.