Expert / 24 October, 2023 / My Baba
‘Goodnight, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite’ – once a playful goodnight said to your children before bed, now it’s a reality for many who are worried bed bugs will get into their homes.
There is nothing Lynsey Crombie AKA Queen of Clean doesn’t know about keeping your home clean, including how to prevent those dreaded bed bugs from entering!!
When you arrive home, check around for any bugs before unpacking. Look for reddish-brown bugs, white eggs and dark spots (which are normally their faeces).
Use the luggage rack, which is normally provided to keep your bags off the floor. Bed bugs tend to live in carpets. Do not put your bags or cases on the bed or chairs.
When you return from your trip away from home, do not take your suitcase upstairs and unpack it on your bed – this is literally the worst thing you can do! If a few bed bugs have found their way into your case, they will jump straight into your bed and start to multiply.
Unpack your bag on a hard floor in a well-lit area. This way, you can see any bugs that may have come along on the ride with you.
Pop your clothes straight into the washing machine, add a laundry cleanser or white vinegar and use the hottest cycle you can. IF you do notice bugs when unpacking, keep the clothes you aren’t washing in the case or a sealed bag and pop them in the garage/shed until you are ready to wash them. Do not leave them in the house!
Once your clothes have been taken care of, use a torch to thoroughly check your luggage and check the pockets and seams for bugs and eggs.
Vacuum inside your luggage and spray the inside with a disinfectant spray. Be sure to empty the vacuum canister into an outdoor bin to prevent captured bed bugs from re-infesting your home.
If you have a hard-shell case, you can wash this over with hot, soapy water, and if you have a soft case, break out the steam cleaner and give it a blast with hot steam.
Keep your bedroom clutter-free. Bed bugs love dark cluttered spaces and can easily hide in mess.
If you keep your laundry hamper in your bedroom, make sure you give it a regular clean. Bed bugs love the smell of dirty clothes and have been known to lay eggs in laundry hampers. Fabric hampers normally come apart and can be washed. Plastic ones can be washed over with hot, soapy water.
Regularly wash your bed sheets at a high temperature. When you change your sheets, vacuum the mattress and surrounding frame.
Keep your mattress clean. Deal with any stains as and when they occur. Hydrogen peroxide is the best mattress stain remover as it is a natural bleach. A few times a year, deep clean your mattress using an upholstery cleaning tool or a steam cleaner.
Try not to use the underneath or your bed unless you have an ottoman bed as a storage solution, as this will create clutter for them to live in. Avoid wearing shoes in your bedroom, and vacuum your carpet and rugs regularly.
If you suspect you have bed bugs, it is vital to address them promptly. Consult with a pest control company who will eliminate the problem. Early detection is key and will prevent a full-blown infestation.
Article by Lynsey Crombie AKA Queen of Clean is the UK’s No1 home expert, best-selling author and TV presenter.