Bed bugs are becoming an increasingly common household nuisance in the United Kingdom. Their spread can be attributed to various factors, including increased travel and difficulty eradicating them once they infest a location.
We’ll show you the best ways to stop these pesky bugs from spreading. We’ll also share some tips to help prevent bed bugs from coming into your home in the first place.
How Do Bed Bugs Spread?
Knowing how they travel is crucial to preventing the spread of bed bugs to others. These creatures circulate in two ways: active dispersal and passive dispersal. Active dispersal is when the bugs travel through building structures. Because they can’t fly, they travel indoors by crawling on walls, pipes, wires, ceilings, and other surfaces. Passive dispersal happens when the parasites travel by clinging to others. The insects stick to clothes, purses, bags, or luggage people use when commuting.
Bed Bug Resurgence
Bed bugs disappeared for over 40 years because of the proactive steps taken to rid homes of them. However, reports of bed bug infestation have been rising in recent years.
So, if you’re experiencing red, itchy skin bites, seeing tiny blood spots on your sheets, and finding small excrements on your bedding, chances are you’re dealing with a bed bug infestation.
How Do You Stop Bed Bugs from Spreading?
Thankfully, there are several methods you can use to minimise or prevent infestation. Here are some of the most popular and effective techniques to combat bed bugs:
Strip Your Furniture Sheets
These insects typically hide in and under the surface of fabrics. In that case, you can try stripping the infested bed or sofa and isolating them.
- First, take off the fabric from your bed or sofa.
- Place the fabric directly into a double plastic bag to reduce the chance of spread.
- Wash the bedding for 30 minutes before drying it for another half an hour.
- Use a vacuum cleaner on the dry bedding to remove seated bed bugs and eggs.
- Lastly, ensure to throw the vacuum content outside of your house.
Don’t forget to use sealable plastic bags when disposing of materials after a bed bug clean-up. Apply insecticide spray on your bed or sofa frames to eliminate remaining bugs.
Encase Your Furniture Fabrics
How to stop bed bugs from spreading to other rooms? Try encasing the infested bed’s mattress and box spring with sealing material to trap the bugs inside. You can use special zippered sheets for this method. These anti-bed bug sheets encase the mattress or box spring, locking any particles and parasites. Once sealed, the bed bugs will have no way of escaping or feeding. And, as with most parasites, cutting their sustenance will eventually kill bed bugs.
Apply Heat to Your Sheets
Washing with hot water is an effective technique to clear bed bugs off your furniture sheets. Do this the moment you spot signs of infestation. For the best results, launder your sheets or clothes with detergent and hot water. Then, dry the washed clothes and sheets using the hottest setting on your drying machine. Studies have found that bed bugs die when exposed to an environment of 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) or above. Temperature above 60 degrees Celsius kills bed bugs in all life stages.
Freeze Your Clothes
As with heat, you can also kill bed bugs through cold temperatures. However, it requires freezing conditions before this method works. Terminating bed bugs by freezing needs -18 degrees Celsius (0 degrees Fahrenheit). It can also take days before the cold penetrates the fabric and kills the bed bugs and their eggs. Placing your infested clothes in the freezer for four to five days could do the trick. Leaving them outside your home during freezing temperatures is another excellent method.
Tips to Prevent Bed Bug Infestation
Ridding your home of bed bugs takes considerable effort. So, here are some practical tips to control and prevent bed bug invasion:
A clean and tidy home will have fewer spots where bed bugs multiply. Regular cleaning and washing will considerably reduce the chance of these parasites from invading.
Vacuum is a handy tool to minimise the bed bug population. So use it as frequently as possible, focusing on areas where they can live or hide, such as under beds or sofas.
Regular inspection is necessary if you travel regularly. Carefully check your travel outfits, bags, and shoes for these bugs, and avoid mixing them into your home clothes.
Bed bugs are house pests that plagued beds for thousands of years. Parents, then and now, have always been wary of these parasites. Keeping bed bugs from infesting your home can be challenging. However, knowing the appropriate measures can go a long way in keeping your home safe from these pests.
If you are facing a severe bed bug infestation in your home, don’t try to get rid of them by yourself. The optimal choice is to immediately reach out to bed bug treatment professionals for effective eradication.
Sleep tight, and don’t let the bedbugs bite!