Sleep with Bed Bugs? No Thanks!
Bed bugs - nobody likes the thought of them, but the reality is that they exist and could be unwelcome visitors in your bed if you’re not paying attention. These small, oval, brown, wing-less insects hitchhike their way into your home and hide among your most prized possessions - your clothes, your luggage, and your bedding.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Centres for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) classify this insect as a common household and public health pest.
As you can tell by their name, their favourite place to make themselves at home is the bedroom. They burrow themselves into your bedsheets, duvets, pillows and mattresses. While you sleep, these pests feast on you. Yes, you read that correctly. Bed bugs primarily get sustenance from warm-blooded animals, including humans.
If just thinking about them is making your skin crawl, then this article is for you. We’re going to list the top tips you need to make sure all of your bedding essentials stay bug-free for good.
5 Tips to Keep Your Bedding Essentials Bug Free
The only way to keep your bedding essentials safe is by taking proactive steps to keep them bug-free. These steps include knowing how to identify a bed bug infestation, cleaning your bedding regularly, using a bed bug mattress protector, and removing clutter from your home.
Let’s look at the best tips for keeping bedbugs out of your bedroom for good.
1) Check Your Bed for Signs of Infestation
There are many ways to decipher whether you are sharing your bed with some unwelcome critters. One of the most common telltale signs is if you wake up with red, itchy skin or bite marks that weren’t there when going to sleep.
Other signs of a bed bug infestation include:
- Bloodstains on your pillowcases or bedsheets
- Dark brown or rusty spots on your sheets or mattresses. These spots are usually bedbug fecal matter or the skin that they shed
- Ivory coloured eggshells. These often are hard to spot due to their light colour and small size
- Sometimes you can spot live bed bugs as they roam around your pillows, duvets and mattress. They are easier to spot once they’ve fed as they will be redder and swollen in size.
If you suspect that you may have pests in your home, remove all bedding and check it carefully for the signs mentioned above. It’s also important to check box springs, the seams in wooden bed frames, and the area around the bed. Unfortunately, if you believe that there is a bed bug infestation in your mattress you will need to get rid of this item and replace it.
2) De-Clutter Your Home
The fewer places for bed bugs to hide, the fewer chances of having to deal with these pests. When keeping your home free of bed bugs, it is essential to keep clutter to a minimum. This means throwing out cardboard boxes straight away and using only plastic for storage.
These insects also enjoy hiding in your closets and suitcases. Make sure to always unpack your suitcase immediately after coming home from a trip and wipe the inside down before storing it away. For your closet, keep your clothing rails and shelves clean and only put your folded clothes away once they are clean.
3) Vacuum Often
You should aim to vacuum your bedroom at least every few days. We aren’t just talking about your bedroom floor - quite the opposite. To make sure that bed bugs stay far away from your duvet and pillows, you should use your vacuum on your mattress, bedding and any soft furnishings including decorative throw cushions.
Begin by vacuuming elevated surfaces and work your way down paying particular attention to any cracks in floorboards or in the walls. When you’ve finished, remove the vacuum bag and discard it outside of your home.
4) Wash Bed Linens, Duvets & Pillows Regularly
There is nothing more that these pesky insects enjoy than nesting themselves in your bedsheets, duvet and pillows. That is why it’s vital to clean these bedding essentials regularly.
When it comes to your bedding items, ideally you should wash and dry them on high heat if you have a bed bug infestation. High temperatures of 45-degrees and more have been known to be able to kill infestations when exposed for over 90 minutes. However, always check labels to make sure that fabrics can tolerate hot water and tumble drying.
For more in-depth instructions, check out our guides on how to wash pillows and how to wash duvets properly.
5) Monitor Your Pets for Potential Critters
Although bed bugs don’t like to stay in your pet’s fur, it is one way that they can make their way into your home. If you have dogs or cats that like to nap on your bed during the day or sleep in the same room as you, make sure to check for these critters and others in their fur before letting them on any furniture, especially if they spend time outdoors during the day.
Why Choose a Bed Bug Mattress Protector
While all the tips above will guarantee that you’re prepared for both dealing with and protecting against an infestation, the best way to make sure these insects never make into your bedding essentials is to use a bed bug mattress protector.
Here at Westex, we manufacture a selection of mattress toppers and pillow protectors that act as a barrier against dust, stains, dirt, bacteria and bed bugs. For example, our Quilted Cotton Pillow Protectors are constructed using a cotton sateen fabric and offers cozy comfort combined with protection against allergens and pesky critters.
If you are looking to keep your bed bug-free, these bedding essentials are a necessity.
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