Winter pest problems: getting rids of bed bugs

Finding bed bugs in your home can be very distressing, but unfortunately their numbers seem to be increasing. This is probably due to more people travelling between countries and infecting the places they visit. It is known that bed bugs can travel in clothing, luggage, and even furniture.

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Recognising a bed bug infestation

It is not always easy to know when you have bed bugs in your home; however, the first sign will often be finding bites on your body in the morning. Look for signs such as blackish stains from their excreta on the bed and small dark spots of blood on your bedding. You may also notice an unpleasant sweet smell around the area and find cast skins.

According to the Journal of Medical Entomology, bed bugs seem to prefer red and black colours and dislike green and yellow. It is unclear whether changing the colour of your bed linen could help to deter bed bugs.

Getting rid of bed bugs

It is possible to manage the infestation yourself to some extent; however, professional treatment will probably be needed to ensure the bed bugs are completely eradicated. Using a DIY spray and deep cleaning the area will kill some of the bed bugs, but it is best to contact a member of the British Pest Control Association, such as These companies offer a wide range of pest control options, from nuisance bird management services to advice on dealing with rats or mice.

Bed bugs can hide in many places, such as gaps in bed frames, under carpets, behind skirting boards and behind peeling wallpaper; in addition, they can hide in furniture, such as chests of drawers and wardrobes. They are usually found in the bedroom because they feed at night and need a source of blood. The heat of bodies and carbon dioxide from breathing also seem to attract them.

A pest control company will confirm the presence of bed bugs by searching these areas and will treat the affected areas with a residual insecticide. If necessary, secondhand furniture can be treated to eradicate bed bugs before it can infect anything else.

There is no need to feel embarrassed if you have bed bugs. They occur in clean homes and can be brought home after spending a night in a hotel with an infestation.