Signs of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are small, flat, reddish coloured insects of about 6 mm long – the size and colour of an apple pip. Bed bugs are becoming an increasing problem across the UK and Stevenage is no exception. Bed bugs do not spread diseases but they are unpleasant, and their bites can, in some cases, cause severe irritation. Anyone can get bed bugs and their presence is not an indicator of poor hygiene.
Bed bugs typically bite at night and tend to bite areas that are exposed when you are sleeping, often the head, neck, shoulders, or arms. Other signs include:
- severe skin reactions in which case a doctor's appointment should be made
- small blood smears on the bed linen or headboard
- sleep disturbance
- dark spots on the bed frame or edges of the mattress
- small brownish insects (dead or alive) on the mattress, headboard, bed frame other furniture or near the bed.
If you suspect that you have bed bugs, you should act immediately before the problem gets worse.
- Contact us online to request a bed bug treatment, see contact details below.
- Contact a professional pest control company for advice and treatment.
- If you rent, inform your landlord as they may be able to help.
- See your pharmacist or GP for advice on medication for bites.
Our pest contractor treats bed bugs. This is a free service for our tenants (and for the occupiers of leasehold flats in certain flat blocks). However, for homeowners, private tenants, housing association tenants etc. it is a chargeable treatment. See Environmental Health Fees and Charges for the costs for this service.
Preparing for a treatment
It is very important your home is properly prepared for the treatment to allow the insecticide to get into the cracks and crevices where bed bugs may hide.
Dial A Pest, the specialist domestic pest treatment division of SDK, have produced a factsheet about bed bugs.
After the treatment
The treatment will be more successful if the insecticide is left undisturbed for 14 days so do not vacuum/sweep or mop the floor but do live as you normally would and follow the advice of the pest contractor.
Reducing the chances of infestation
Before moving into accommodation, you should check for signs of bed bug infestation:
- Avoid taking in second hand furniture such as beds, mattresses, sofas or other soft items of furniture.
- If you stayed away in infested premises, check your luggage for bugs.
- Vacuum mattresses, behind the bed and edges of the floor often.
- Use a mattress protector that fit tightly.
To remove all bugs and eggs, clothing and bedding should be either machine washed on a hot (60°C) setting or tumble dried on a hot setting for at least 30 minutes. Alternatively, items can be placed in a bag in a deep freeze for at least three days or dry-cleaned.
Environmental Health and Licensing
01438 242908 / 242916