During the holiday season, most families would have gone overseas for a nice vacation. But when you get home, you might be unknowingly transporting some bedbugs with you. Most bedbug infestation usually happens in hotels.
Bedbugs are smart “hitchhikers” that can hide in your family’s clothing and luggage as a “carrier”. Its oval and flat size of just 5 mm makes it easy for them to do so. They can also be easily transported from person to person, from place to place, modes of transport.
Where bed bugs like to hide
They can hide at the back of headboards mounted on walls, mattresses, box springs and baseboards easily. They are fond of fabrics and upholsteries, such as curtains and sofas, and thus, these common hideouts are usually targeted in any hotel room.
What to expect when your room is infested with bed bugs?
The tiny bugs would hide in cracks and crevices in the day, and come out to bite your skin and feed on human blood at night. Bed bugs are attracted to the carbon dioxide we exhale at night. Besides humans, they can also feed on household pets.
Unfortunately, they are survivors by nature and can survive up to 2 months without a blood meal. A single bedbug can convert into a full infestation just within 10 weeks and females lay an average of 5 eggs per day, and up to 200 to 500 eggs in her lifetime!
How to spot for tiny bedbugs in the room?
You can spot the presence of small red to reddish-brown fecal spots, eggs or empty shells on curtains, sofa, bed etc. One might also experience severe red swelling and skin irritation, or experience an allergic reaction to their saliva being injected into the skin as they feed. As bedbugs have the ability to crawl more than 30 metres, it is important to also spread your checks across to adjoining rooms or units.
Things to do to check if your home is bed bug-free
- Check hotspots regularly for potential infestation signs
- Perform diligent housekeeping such as washing bedsheets, curtains and clothes in a dryer on high setting. Stuffed toys may also be placed in a hot dryer for 30 minutes
- Vacuum carpet or fabric drapes and upholstered furniture regularly (dispose vacuum contents immediately and carefully)
- Pull beds away from the wall
- Remove layer by layer and check for any bed bug on the sheets
Do not perform the following after returning home
- Place luggage on or near to your bed
- Place dirty and clean linens together. (Do quick laundry of the dirty linens)
- Move furniture or beds (to avoid moving and spreading the proximity of bed bugs)
Home maintenance should also be well looked after
- Seal any cracks and crevices to prevent any potential gaps for bed bugs to hide in
- Cover box springs and mattresses with zippered cover
- Seal any tears with duct tape
- Reduce clutter in your bedroom
- Avoid using wood, wicker or cane material furniture
- Wall coverings to be in good state
⇒ Related Read: How I Decluttered My Home The Marie Kondo Way
Let the experts help you
You can also engage a professional pest control service provider to perform diligent inspections, spot the warning signs, recommend suitable and affordable solutions and take quick actions before the problem turns into an epidemic.
An integrated program is usually performed; comprising residual spraying and steam treatment to eliminate adult bed bugs are the larvae for adequate protection. Monitoring and follow up inspections ensure the infestation is well controlled and eliminated for peace of mind assurance to your family.
This article is contributed by Rentokil Initial.
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