What are bed bugs?
Bed bugs are around the size of an apple pip; they are a flat, small oval, brownish insect. But swell up after feeding when their bodies can appear a reddish colour.
They can move very quickly, are unable to fly, but can move along the walls, ceilings and floors.
If they have the perfect conditions to breed, they can develop fully in as little as a month and produce three or more generations in a year. Just one female bed bug can produce over 300 adults. Bed bugs can cause health issues if not addressed as soon as possible, they do not transmit any diseases but can feed of house pets. However, humans are their preferred host.
The bed bug bites are painless; they can appear like a rash, small, flat or raised bumps on the skin; these are the most common signs. Other signs can be itching, swelling and includes redness.
Although they are called bed bugs, they can be found anywhere in the home. They are nocturnal (mainly at night). They can be found in sofa, chairs, tiny crack in the wood of your furniture, even behind your wallpaper!
Apart from spotting live bed bugs, you may also see rust coloured dark spots, from faecal stains, even egg cases and shredded skins.
Be vigilant when going away, even placing your luggage on a hard-uncarpeted hotel floor can have bed bugs just waiting to crawl into your luggage, ultimately bringing them home! So always check for any potential signs.
How to get rid of bed bugs?
Getting rid of these pets is not an easy process. In almost all cases, an exterminator or a pest control expert will be needed. A bed bug can survive for up to a year without feeding.
It is imperative you get your duvet, pillows, bedsheets and any curtains, including any soft furnishings, treated once an expert had applied insecticides.
Washing at least 60°C will kill some of the bed bugs, but it is the heat of drying that will kill any remaining bugs or eggs. Always check the labels as you need to use the highest heat setting possible.
Freezing bed bugs is another alternative. However, you must use a very low temperature (0 degrees F or colder), for at least four days for the freezing method to be effective. Your freezer may not even be cold enough, as the centre of the item, such as bedding or duvets, the cold must reach the centre of the infested items to be a successful treatment.
Separate “Dry cleaning only” items as these should not be made wet but may still be placed into a tumble dryer on a high setting.
For the dry cleaning items, that can be placed into a dryer, put the setting on a medium to high setting for 30 minutes. Finally, bring the dry cleaning to us at Farthings Dry Cleaners Cambridge, we can professionally clean and press your items.
For your all other items that do not require dry cleaning, wash on the highest temperature possible, then the tumble dryer on at least a medium to high setting.
Remember to keep all infested items bagged and airtight once discovered. Otherwise, they may escape and infest other areas of your home, even your car when transporting the items to us.
It is imperative to act as soon as possible when you see the first signs of bed bugs, as the infestation will only worsen over time.
At Farthings Dry Cleaners, we can offer an excellent service to clean all items with an infestation, including curtains, rugs, bedding and any of your clothing.
If you have any queries regarding this matter or any other questions regarding dry cleaning, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on 01223 755180 in Cambridge or 01223625310 in Trumpington.