Six signs you’ve got a bed bug problem

As Winter approaches and we begin to retreat into the sanctuary of our homes, London Network for Pest Solutions is reminding people to be on the lookout for bed bugs.

Roughly the size of an apple seed – up to 5 mm in length – bed bugs are brown, have flat, oval-shaped bodies and cannot fly. As with all bugs they feed on fluids and, in this case, their favourite foodstuff is human blood. Ordinarily, they feed every three to four days but can survive without food for up to 12 months in some environments.

Baby bed bugs, known as nymphs, require a feed before they shed their skin – five times before adulthood. In Winter, bed bugs tend to lay fewer eggs and so you will tend to see less evidence of the bed bug problem. However, it should be noted that use of central heating in our homes can negate this effect.

In any case, not seeing obvious signs of bed bugs, does not mean it has gone away!

Once you have an infestation, getting rid of it can be a difficult process and requires professional treatment. Treatments must be very thorough and use a bed bug-specific insecticide that should be applied to all the nooks and crannies bed bugs like to hide in – bed frames, mattresses, flooring, headboards, skirting boards, furniture and sometimes even behind power sockets and lighting switches. In addition, soft furnishings, clothing and bedding must be washed at the highest possible temperature (or dry cleaned). In very extreme cases, where an infestation has been left untreated, it may be easier to discard some bedroom furniture and just start again.

Do I have a bed bug infestation?

Here is our list of tell-tale signs you need to contact a professional pest controller:

  1. Small, red bites on your skin when you wake up in the morning – these are usually in a line or very close to each other
  2. An itching sensation that can, in some cases, lead to swelling
  3. Blood spots on your sheets in the morning – caused by you squashing a bed bug in the night
  4. Tiny white eggs in mattress crevices, tiny black spots (dried poo), or mottled shells (their discarded skins)
  5. A musty smell
  6. Obviously, live or dead bed bugs!

If these indicators ring a bell with you, call us today on 020 8430 4133 or click here.

Download our Bed Bug Pest Advice leaflet.