‘Sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite’. This phrase probably lost its meaning over time. Sadly it also does little to prevent those annoying creatures from having their way with you. Bedbug infestation can be a headache. It is one of those things that are more of a nuisance than they are a health hazard. Seeing that we are their primary source of food, our fight with them has just begun.
Bedbugs are often found in public areas such as hospitals, dorm rooms, and even hotels. Imagine going on vacation only to spend your time itching. Or even worse, you could carry bedbugs or bedbugs eggs from your hotel room. So to be on the safe side, here is how you check for bedbugs.
Mattress and Bed Seams
Bedbugs are notoriously known to hide along mattress and bed seams. This includes under the mattress. Pull the blankets and linens off the bed. Closely examine the folds of the mattress corners. Use a credit card or any other card to check underneath the folds of the mattress too. It is easier to examine all these with a flashlight. The bed frame joints are also proper hiding places for bedbugs. Once you are done, check the sheet surface for any blood spots because adult bedbugs will leave behind blood stains of earlier meals. You should also ensure that you check under the pillows too.
Hiding in dark corners is a bedbug thing. The seams and folds of furniture are as dark as they come. After all, we lose remotes in there all the time. Check the furniture just as you did the beds. Ensure you are very thorough with the inspection. If you find out there are bed bugs in your hotel room, ask to be relocated to another room that is not below or above the infested room. If the infestation is in your house, call a fumigator before they spread any further.
These annoying forces of nature have one striking ability that works for them- they spread like wildfire. This is facilitated by their ability to lay 3 eggs a day which takes 4 to 5 weeks to hatch. Take out any clothing out of the closet and inspect the clothes one after the other. If you are in the hotel, do not hang any of your clothes in the closet without checking first. Look for live bed bugs or bed bug eggs in the corners of the cabinets and closets. It is also advisable to keep your luggage away from the bed and cabinets before you check.
You may find bed bugs hiding under ornaments placed on the bedside tables. They can also be under the lampshades or hidden in the crevices of the sockets. Do a thorough sweep behind the picture frames and along cracks. Open all drawers while looking out for bed bug eggs.
How to get rid of them
Now that you have spotted those irritable parasites in your home or hotel room, you have to know how to deal with them. If you are in a hotel you should ask to be moved to a different room. If you find them in your house, don’t panic – here are a few remedies you can try.
- Use hot water- Once you spot bedbugs or bedbug eggs on the curtains, bedsheets or clothes, soak and wash them in hot water. If you are using a dryer, place all these items including stuffed toys into the dryer and leave it at the highest setting for about 30 minutes.
- Iron all your clothing and beddings- After your clothing, curtains and beddings are dry, iron them for a relatively long time. This way, any remaining resistant bedbugs can be killed in the process.
- Use of a steamer- For places such as the mattress and furniture a steam cleaner is advised. Bedbugs and their eggs die at high temperatures of about 120 degrees and thus the steam will be quick to end those little vermin lives. While steaming the mattress, use a mattress cover to ensure that the bedbugs do not escape and die in the heat
- Spray your bed and cabinets with pesticide or use powder. These two options kill the bedbugs hidden in dark corners of cabinets and furniture. The powder is a better option as it is more likely to stick on the bedbugs rather than the spray.
- Call an exterminator- If the infestation is serious, it is better to leave it to the professionals. Hire an exterminator and seek shelter elsewhere for the next 3-5 days to let the chemicals used during extermination to settle. If you are in a hotel room, it is safe to say you will need to switch hotels.
If you are curious to find out how a bedbug looks, check it out here. Knowing your enemy is the first step in fighting him. After all, you cannot fight the devil you do not know. It is also important so that you do not cause false alarms in hotels ruining your stay and the hotel’s reputation. Here are tips on how to control bedbugs by hand.