Ask the experts!
Here are the answers to the most commonly asked questions. If you need to know anything else just call us on 020 3285 7399 or email us.
Q: HOW DO I KNOW I HAVE BED BUGS?
A: Bed bed bites often make itchy red spots or blotches that can last a week or more. Often they are in groups of 2 – 4 bites. Quite a few people don’t react to bed bug bites at all, however, so you may have the problem without knowing it. Other signs are dark little dots that look like marks made with a felt-tipped pen. These are actually bed bug droppings and are often found around their hiding places. You may also find blood spots on your bed sheets. As the infestation increases you might also find translucent red-brown ‘casts’, which are empty shells of bugs discarded as they grow from one stage to the next. They go through five stages before becoming fertile adults, taking 30 days or more. Thereafter fertilised females can lay two or three eggs a day.
Q: IF I HAVE BED BUGS, WHAT SHOULD I DO?
A: Call us. Most over-the-counter bed bug pesticides or ‘bug bombs’ that are supposed to kill bed bugs don’t actually work. You might kill the odd one but you are much more likely to make the problem worse by irritating the rest and spreading them further around your home. Bed bugs are very difficult to get rid of and dealing with them requires a lot of expertise and professional-grade pesticides. Leave it to us.
Q: LOTS OF COMPANIES SAY YOU HAVE TO DO AT LEAST TWO TREATMENTS. IS THIS RIGHT?
A: Absolutely not. It’s true that bed bugs are easily the most difficult domestic pest to get rid of. But if you know everything about how they live, feed, breed and move around, and about which pesticides to use, getting rid of them is not that difficult. BED BUG EXPERTS only deal with bed bugs – no other pest – so we really know what we are doing. Almost all of our customers need only one treatment, even some with pretty severe infestations.
Q: DO I NEED TO DO LOTS OF PREPARATION BEFORE THE TREATMENT?
A: Some companies require you to turn your house upside down before the treatment. In almost all cases, this is completely unnecessary. BED BUG EXPERTS treatments are generally quite quick and we aim to keep disruption to an absolute minimum.
Q: SHOULD I THROW AWAY MY MATTRESS OR BED?
A: There is no need to. While bed frames and headboards are the most common places to find bed bugs, it’s very likely they will be living elsewhere in your home as well – under the skirting boards near your bed, or in the sofa, for example. So buying a new bed or mattress would be a complete waste of money. None of our treatments require any furniture to be thrown away.
Q: WHAT IF I SLEEP SOMEWHERE ELSE?
A: If you sleep in another room, the bed bugs will most likely follow you there and the problem will spread. If you move out altogether the bed bugs will enter a state of dormancy called diapause that can last well over a year!
Q: WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH MY CLOTHING AND BEDDING?
A: For most infestations you don’t need to do anything. For more advanced problems we do recommend action. Only a 90C wash is guaranteed to kill bed bugs and their eggs, but many clothes can’t take this temperature. The best solution is to pack your clothing and bedding into plastic bags in the room that they are in, so you don’t trail them through other rooms, take them to a launderette and tumble dry on maximum heat for 30 minutes. Thicker items such as duvets and pillows can take 45 minutes. After drying, place the items in fresh bags (throw the others away) and do not remove them until use.
Q: HOW DID I GET A BED BUG INFESTATION?
A: The simple answer is it’s just bad luck. You can pick bed bugs up on your clothes or belongings and they’ll tag along and make your home theirs. It really is that random. With growing reports of bed bugs in hotels, aircraft and even the London underground, the chances of bringing them home is increasing. Another cause is second-hand furniture. If you are buying any, it’s wise to check it very thoroughly before bringing it into your home. It’s also possible they could have come from a neighbouring property, particularly if the adjoining rooms have been vacated for a while.
Q: CAN I CATCH ANYTHING NASTY FROM BED BUGS?
A: While 28 different disease pathogens have been found in bed bugs, none have yet been recorded as being passed on to humans. The main health issues associated with bed bugs are infections caused by scratching bites, anxiety and sleep-related disorders.
Q: WHERE DO BED BUGS LIVE?
A: Most of the time bed bugs will be within 2m of the bed, particularly in the bed frame, headboard, mattress and bedside furniture. They can also be found behind skirting boards, on curtains, under floorboards and in the sofa. They have been known to travel over 10m from their harbourage to humans. They are extremely thin in profile and can squeeze into pretty much any space into which you can put a card.
Q: IF BED BUG EXPERTS TREATS MY BEDBUG PROBLEM AND THEY COME BACK, WHAT HAPPENS?
A: We have an extraordinary success rate and usually sort the problem out with one visit. However, if the problem persists, all our work comes with a 6 or 12 month guarantee depending on how many rooms we treat. We’ll make sure we get rid of your bugs, however many treatment it takes. That’s guaranteed!
Q: IS THERE SUCH A THING AS A GOOD BED BUG?
A: No. The only good bed bug is a dead bed bug.