Experts agree on the best natural method to ‘kill bedbugs’

Ryan Fowley, pest removal expert and COO at Excel Pest Services, described what bed bugs look like so that you know what to look out for.

“Bed bugs are around 5mm in length, reddish-brown and leave behind rust-coloured stains, especially on bedding, clothing and furniture,” said Fowley.

“The bugs also release pheromones, and if there are a lot of them in a given space, they can cause a nasty odour.”

The smell is likened to a “combination of sweat and dirty laundry” and the creatures can hide in bedding, for example.

One of the best ways to get rid of bed bugs on bedding, for example, is to put them on a “very hot water” wash.

In agreement, Jeannette Hudson, furniture expert at Online Sofa Shop, said “the blood-sucking bugs – about the size of an apple seed – can be eliminated by washing your clothes and bedding in hot water [60C]”.

Hudson elaborated: “This can help kill any potential bedbugs or their eggs.”

Another top tip is to “make a habit of regularly vacuuming”, Hudson said, paying particular attention to potential hiding spots for bedbugs.

Examples include secondhand furniture, sofas, the bed, bedding and carpets, which could harbour an infestation.

Hudson added: “Dispose of the vacuum bag immediately to prevent any potential infestations.”

An additional sign of a bed bug infestation includes a cluster of itchy, red welts or bites on the skin.

Navin Khosla, a pharmacist at Now Patient, said: “If bitten, apply a cold compress to reduce inflammation.

“Also be sure to disinfect the area with salt water or disinfectant wipes to reduce the risk of infection.”

Khosla added: “You also should try your best to not scratch or break the bitten skin, utilising sting cream and anti-histamines can help here.

“If you have experienced a more severe reaction to a bite, contact your GP for advice as it could be an allergy, infection or something else entirely.”

While putting on a hot wash is recommended for a minor infestation, if the issue is rather large, professional pest control is the best option.

The British Pest Control Association (BCPA) recommended using a BPCA member company to handle the infestation for you.

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