Experts warn about the increase in bed bugs – this is how you can prevent them at home

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With lockdown restrictions eased, Britons are being warned of a surge in bed bugs – with one pest control company seeing 911 calls up 75 percent from last year.

The sharp rise is due to the fact that bed bugs are “big hitchhikers” that hide in small crevices and therefore can move between homes, hotels and offices by taking clothes, furniture, bedding and luggage with them, experts say.

Bed company MattressNextDay has drawn on the expertise of Vicki Sims, the managing director of Lady Bug Pest Control, who shared the top ten tips for preventing critters in your home.

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Here are the ten best ways to prevent bed bugs:

1. Bed bugs prefer a dirty environment over a clean one. So wash your bedclothes and bedclothes at least once a week to avoid a build-up of bacteria.

2. Be sure to keep your home tidy and tidy because the more items you have, the more opportunities bed bugs have to hide themselves. Clutter also increases the difficulty of getting rid of bed bugs once they are established.

3. You should also vacuum at least once a week to remove possible bed bugs from onward travel. Be sure to vacuum any hidden hotspots like baseboards, under sofa cushions, and under the bed.

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4. Clean your mattress at least every three months and use this time to check for bed bugs. Pocket spring models can be vacuumed, while foam models must be swept to avoid damage.

5. Once a week, pull back your sheets and ventilate your mattress to allow excess moisture to evaporate. Dust mites love the warmth of your bed. Letting your mattress cool down will also reduce the chances of it hanging around.

Regularly cleaning and cooling the mattress can help prevent bed bugs

Regularly cleaning and cooling the mattress can help prevent bed bugs

6. Use a mattress protector that completely covers the mattress and leaves no entry point for pesky insects. In addition, if you have bed bugs, the bed bugs will be trapped in an enclosure and they will starve to death.

7. According to the British Pest Control Association (BPCA), the ideal temperature for an adult bed bug to thrive is between 21 and 32 ° C, so it is best to keep your room cool at night.

8. Bed bugs are also known to hide in cardboard boxes. So try to unpack your boxes quickly after moving and never use cardboard boxes for storage. Instead, stick to plastic containers.

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9. If you share the laundry room with others, for example in student dormitories, be extra careful. If you are transporting your laundry, keep it in a plastic bag and after washing, take it out of the dryer and put it straight back into the bag. Fold them at home where it is safer.

10. If you are purchasing used furniture, it is a good idea to check the item for bed bug infections first before taking it home, especially if you are purchasing a bed frame or mattress.

How to spot a bed bug

Bed bugs tend to come out at night in search of their next food and always hide in groups. This makes it difficult to see them in broad daylight.

Although sometimes confused with fleas, they are more easily distinguishable by their color, which is similar to an apple core. They also have a flat body and a large belly.

Where bed bugs are most common

Despite their name, with their flattened bodies they can also hide in cracks and crevices in the room, for example in floorboards, baseboards or in furniture.

Most of the time, however, they stay close to where you or your pet sleep – that’s why over a third (35 percent) of them are in the box spring beds of a mattress, 23% in the mattress itself and 13% are in the bed frame or headboard.

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