With the increasing number of holiday rentals within the occupants, bed bugs are on the rise again. It’s possible that while you’re in Paris, just like with all big cities, there will come a time when you will face bed bugs. No need to panic: here are our tips to get rid of and prevent these pests!
What are they?
Bed bugs are annoying nocturnal parasites. They are roughly the size of an apple seed and they feed on the blood of sleeping humans. Unfortunately, they are quite common but don’t be too afraid as they cannot transmit any diseases to humans, they are merely irritating. These parasites don’t need to feed every night, nor every week. They cannot jump or fly either. As such, they are transferred by clothing and the luggage of travelers. They can also arrive at yours through second hand books and clothing.
How to find them?
If you think you might have bed bugs, you’ll first need to do a thorough search to be sure. If you see one, you have them for sure, as they reproduce at an alarming rate. In the same way, if you see little bites from bed bugs on your body, or small spots of dried blood on your bedding, it’s a sure sign you have an infestation.
If you’re still not sure and want to double check, have a look around for the shedding of shells or for eggs, which resemble small grains of rice, and are translucent. It is important to know that you can equally find bed bugs in your furniture, they don’t only live in your bed! Check especially any furniture made of wood.
How to get rid of them?
It is recommended to avoid using chemical products to get rid of bed bugs as, after all, that is where you sleep! Chemical insecticides can do you more harm than bed bugs can, so it’s a better idea to follow natural methods to get rid of these pests. First, take your vacuum cleaner and vacuum everywhere. Immediately after, throw away the vacuum bag, tightly sealed to make sure no bed bugs escape. If your mattress is infected, you are best off just throwing it out, it’s safer than trying to clean it. It’s also recommended that you use a steam cleaner around the entire interior of your apartment. Then, wash all your clothing at a heat higher than 60 degrees and dry it in a dryer at the highest heat setting for 30 minutes. If you continue to have problems with bed bugs you will need to contact a professional exterminator.
How to avoid bed bugs?
Washing your clothes at a heat higher than 60 degrees helps avoid bed bugs attaching themselves to your clothing. If you ever buy second hand furniture or fabric, inspect them thoroughly and disinfect them before bringing them into your apartment.
Every time you visit and apartment, a holiday home or a hotel, check everywhere to ensure there are no bed bugs. Remember they could easily come home with you! Keep your personal belongings in airtight bags while you’re travelling to ensure they cannot be contaminated.
You can also buy bed bug heaters, which are large boxes in which you place your belongings before bringing them back inside yours. These boxes heat your belongings to a fatal temperature for bed bugs, so that you can sleep in complete calm, knowing that bed bugs haven’t come home with you.