Bed bugs - washing machine with pink textiles in it
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Bed bugs in Leed’s hotel

 

Leeds named as a UK bed bugs hotspot with people leaving bed sheets unwashed for nearly 3 weeks … 

…. screamed the Leeds Live headline. 

I reckon Leeds Live may be mistaken. Let’s be clear. The cleanliness or otherwise of bed linens has no bearing whatsoever on a bed bug infestation. Bed bugs simply travel the world with us. They travel in luggage, bags, clothing and second hand furniture.

There has been an increase in bed bug infestations over the past 10 years. In the main this is down to how much more we travel and how often we stay in hotels. Cheaper travel has resulted in bed bugs spreading all over the world. So if you get them in your home, it’s nothing but bad luck!

Bed bugs - washing machine with pink textiles in it

Appearance of bed bugs

Adult bed bugs resemble a small brown disc, measuring up to 6mm in length. They’re wingless but the legs are well developed and they can crawl up most vertical surfaces. Their elongated eggs get cemented in cracks or crevices close to the hosts (and for bed bugs that’s humans). The early stages of the bed bug (nymphs) are tiny making them hard to detect with the naked eye. They become more visible as they grow.

Why control bed bugs?

Bed bug bites cause red, irritating marks/ lumps. Not everyone reacts to the bites. But some people develop a more severe skin reaction and can experience disturbed sleep.

Bed bugs are not known to spread diseases but they can cause irritation and distress. Bed bugs can also ruin an organisation’s reputation. If clients and customers experience a Bed bug infestation in the premises you manage, they are likely to complain and request a refund, report on your company negatively and be unlikely to want to do business with you again.

A bug - possibly a bed bug
This drawing may not be an exact representation of a bed bug – but it’s something like.

Are they preventable?

It’s impossible to prevent a Bed bug infestation as they are generally spread through bad luck. But there are some things you can do to reduce your chances of getting an infestation:

1. Before staying or moving into accommodation, make sure you check for signs of bed bugs.

2, Avoid taking home any second-hand bedroom furniture without giving it a thorough check.

If you’ve stayed in an infested room, upon arriving home, immediately check your luggage and clothing for bugs. If you find bed bugs, to remove the bugs and eggs your luggage, clothing and bedding there are a few things you can do. Either:

1. Wash everything at a hot (60°C) temperature setting then tumble dry at a hot setting for at least 30 minutes
2. Dry clean everything or place everything into a bag and then in the deep freezer for at least 3 days.

For some businesses, hotels for instance, a proactive monitoring regime by a professional pest control organisation like Krypton Environmental can help detect early signs. Also, training your staff in what to look for when they’re cleaning and working within the rooms will mean you can detect a problem before a guest does.  And that will protect your reputation.

If you think you might have bed bugs, please do give us a call on 01793 780600 and we’ll be happy to help.

Or send us a message via our web form here.