Bed bugs are usually brought into a home carried on clothing, luggage or second hand furniture. This is usually as a result of staying in infested accommodation. Hotels and aeroplanes are places where bedbugs are often found. They are often associated with bad hygiene and poor cleaning standards but bedbugs don’t distinguish between clean and dirty homes. Because frequent travel is common today, infestations of bedbugs can occur even in properties that are exceptionally clean. Another common misconception is that throwing out a mattress will get rid of an infestation. This is not the case as they also hide out in bed frames, on headboards, under or on skirting boards, between wooden floorboards, behind peeling wallpaper, bedside cabinets and electric sockets.
If you aren’t familiar with the other signs of bed bugs then bites may be the first indication that they are present. The bite itself is painless because they inject an anaesthetic when they pierce the skin. Bedbugs do not carry diseases but when they are injecting you this can cause a reaction. Not everybody reacts to the bites and marks on your skin can vary in appearance from person to person. Other signs of bedbugs are black spots on the mattress and the surrounding area, this is the excreta of the bedbugs. Adults are only 4-5mm long but it is possible to spot live bedbugs and shed skins. Bedbugs are usually found in bedrooms because they feed on human blood and are attracted to body heat and CO2 from sleeping humans. Over a two month period bedbugs lay 200-500 eggs and can survive months without feeding.
Bed bugs can be difficult to control so it’s important to act as soon as you have noticed evidence of activity.