Bedbugs (Cimex lectularius) can easily infest a home, hotel or hospital very easily without taking proper precaution. Feeding on blood, bedbugs are attracted by your body heat and the carbon dioxide you expel, crawling out at night from the cracks and crevices they live in.
Skin reactions developed by a bedbug bite is often mistaken for a mosquito bite. However, while a mosquito bite tends to be in a random pattern, bedbug bites occur more often than not in a straight line.
Media reports have shown a significant increase in the number of bedbug infestations in both UK homes and hotels. It is said this is largely due to the amount of tourists, and the growing resistance to insecticides from the bedbugs.
Although bedbugs are not dangerous and do not transmit any human diseases, their general presence can be distressing and action towards an infestation should always be taken.
Bedbug fact: The average adult bedbug is ¼ ich long
How do I know if I have an infestation?
- If you have any unexplainable skin rashes or itchy bumps (be aware that not everyone will develop this)
- Check your linen for blood spots where the bedbug may have been squashed after it had fed
- Look for mottled shells that bedbugs may have shed
- Inspect your mattresses and linen for black spots – this could be their dried faeces
- Examine all the cracks and joints of your furniture using a torch to see if you can spot any bugs
Where can I find them?
Due to their flat bodies, bedbugs can squeeze into the smallest crevice making them very difficult to find. Often preferring fabric or wood over plastic and metal, they like to hide near where people sleep.
Be sure to check the seams, creases and folds in your box spring and mattress, plus anything stored under your bed.
Not only do they like your bed, but they will also hide between the folds of window coverings such as drapery or curtains.
Do take into account that they will travel more than a few feet if need be to reach you, so they can hide away from the bed in other parts of the bedroom furniture where they will not be disturbed during the day.
How do bedbugs spread?
Once bedbugs have managed to get themselves into your hotel, they can very easily move from room to room, floor to floor. Although they cannot fly or jump, don’t underestimate the amount of ground they can cover as they can crawl very quickly.
Invading a whole hotel is not a problem for bedbugs as they can reach different floors via the holes in walls or pipes. Not only can they do this, but they can also be transported in luggage, clothing bedding and furniture.
This makes it very easy for travellers to accidentally spread bedbugs, creating a much larger problem.
Bedbug fact: 1 bedbug can become 37,710 bedbugs in only nine months
Getting rid of those pesky bedbugs
It can be extremely difficult to get rid of a bedbug infestation, especially in a hotel with many guests arriving and leaving on a daily basis.
- Using a dryer – If clothes or bed linen have become pest-ridden, put them in a dryer on a hot setting for 30 minutes to kill the bugs
- Dismantle furniture – Closely inspect your furniture with a bright torch after dismantling it and proceed to suck up any bugs with a vacuum cleaner. You may find it very hard to get them all, and it will be even harder to tell if you actually have. Do remember to dispose of the contents of the vacuum cleaner in a sealed and marked bag.
- Insecticide – There are plenty of insecticides specifically designed for bedbugs. Be sure to always read the label and never use directly on your clothing, linen or mattresses. Bedbugs are seemingly building a resistance to insecticides so results may vary.
- Anti-allergy bedding – Kit out your hotel beds with specially made anti-allergy bedding that has tightly woven pores to prevent bed bugs from penetrating through. This will cut off their food supply and eventually cause them to die.
- Transferring to Nautilus – Nautilus Mattresses prevent any bedbugs from imbedding themselves into the mattress itself. This can prove to be a huge cost-saving investment.
- Throw away – Be prepared to throw away any mattress if it appears to be greatly infested with bedbugs.
- Call the EXPERTS – If all else fails, call the experts. A technician may take a few hours to inspect the building and will resort to using a steamer or rapid freeze system if an infestation is found.