Chances are that when you were a kid, you heard the saying: ‘Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite’. Maybe you’re a parent now and are uttering the same famous phrase to your kids! Well, we’ve all heard the saying, we all know what it means, but the vast majority of us have never been worried about the bed bugs actually biting. But you’d be wrong to think that just sleeping tightly keeps them away. Bed bugs, especially during the Christmas season when family and friends are travelling to and fro from one place to the next, are more likely to become our undesired bed companions. Here’s how to prevent opening the door these unwanted holiday guests.
We don’t want to be the ones to dampen your Christmas cheer, but bed bugs are a serious problem, especially around the holiday season. In fact, in the last few years there has actually been a resurgence in bed bug activity. The banning of certain chemicals, pesticide resistance, and the fact that some countries remain lax on bed bug extermination, have all contributed to this. But the main reason is international travel. Like us, bed bugs love to travel, so as Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year for travelling make sure you don’t bring home an unwanted gift in your luggage. Bed bugs are notorious hitchhikers, but there are a few important things you can do to stop them from hitching a ride and ensure you have a pest-free Christmas.
CHECK IN AND CHECK IT OUT
It's inspection time. First, when you enter your room – hotel, motel, bed & breakfast, hostel, camp, wherever – don’t place your suitcases on the bed. Instead, leave them by the front door or put them in the bathroom until you’ve had a chance to check the bed. Remove all bedding and take a minute to look around the bed, mattress and (especially) the headboards for tell-tale dark sports. If you see anything suspicious report it immediately and demand another room. Keep your suitcase zipped until you’re sure the coast is clear. Bed bugs love to travel; and what better way than in your luggage. Yes, a bed bug infestation is hard to spot, but it’s still worth a look. Bed bugs don’t discriminate and unlike other insects and vermin are not attracted to hotels with poor hygiene standards. Inspect any bed side tables and dressers, because furniture near the bed is an excellent place for bed bugs to take shelter between visits. For the same reason, never place belongings in the hotel furniture. It is best to place luggage and clothing in the closet, as it is typically away from the beds.
IDENTIFY THE FOE
Bed bugs don’t spread disease; they’re just after your blood, The vampiric little critters are oval-shaped and reddish-brown in colour. They are about the size of an apple seed and swell in size after feasting on a meal of blood. You may notice blood smears on your bedding for this reason and a rash of itchy red bite marks on your body. Bites can range from two to four, with more if your hotel has a serious infestation. Something else bed bugs have in common with vampires is that they rarely venture out in the day, preferring to feast at night while you sleep. But unlike lice or ticks, bed bugs don’t like to stay on human skin, which is too warm for them. They instead prefer to lurk nearby in objects. Bed bugs aren’t contagious, and you won’t ‘catch’ them from another human.
COOK ‘EM DANO
Pesticides can be toxic and, what's more, they don't work properly because over the years bed bugs have developed resistance to them. Therefore, the most effective way of killing bed begs is through heat. Using high temperature heat treatment has proven to be the best and only truly complete method for bed bug extermination. Raising the temperature to the thermal ‘kill zone’ quickly kills all bed bugs and their eggs. The process takes only a few hours and your home is left bed bug free. Don't try this on your own home; leave heat treatments to the professionals.
If you have experienced any symptoms of bed bugs such as bites, blood spots, or you have seen a bed bug, call your friendly neighbourhood exterminator right away.
Bed bugs are an annoying but preventable occurrence. So follow our advice and show bed bugs a ‘no vacancy’ sign this Christmas. If they’re stubborn and take up residence anyway, give us a call. BugMaster has the skill, expertise and equipment to remove any pests from your home (family members don’t count; you have to deal with them yourself). If it’s creepy and if it’s crawly, we can handle it. And after we’re done, there’ll be no more creeping and no more crawling. The bug stops here.