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Bed bugs hide themselves in mattresses, within bed frames, under bed bases, within bed headboards, behind loose wallpaper, within paintings, wall sockets, behind wall partitioning, suspended ceilings, skirting boards and on clothing or furnishings - anywhere with a dark crack that provides cover.

Bed bugs are not known to carry disease. However, they feed on human blood, usually at night whilst people are asleep in their beds. These bites cause irritation and itching. Some people are particularly sensitive to the bites and experience an allergy and inflammation, especially to the arms and shoulders - this can be quite severe and require medical attention.

The presence of bed bugs in a room can be detected by the following:

  • blood spotting on bedding
  • brown dropping spots close to where they live and on bedding
  • white-ish un-hatched and hatched eggs
  • in heavy infestations, a sweet almond smell is common
  • bed bugs are not normally seen during the day

How can you get rid of bed bugs?

High standards of hygiene and house-keeping ensure that the presence of bed bugs is revealed at an early stage. Bed bugs can thrive where hygiene standards are poor and house-keeping is sloppy.

It is difficult to treat bed bugs yourself - you should seek professional help.

Portsmouth City Council's Pest Control team provides a service - treatment consists of the application of an insecticide, usually in a wettable spray form, in and around the infested areas. These insecticides are the safest available and do not pose risk to people. After the treatment you will usually notice a reduction in the number of bed bugs within 2 to 3 days. The treatment is very effective and continues to take effect for around six weeks.

Before we visit:

  • Please strip all beds in infested rooms and wash in the hottest temperature the fabric will allow
  • the floor area will need to be cleared to allow the operative to treat the room
  • take care when removing items from the room as you could spread the infestation
  • the bed will also need to be treated so do not put the contents of the room on the bed
  • vacuum carpets and dispose of the bag in the bin
  • make sure people and animals do not enter the room after treatment for at least 2 hours
  • cover fish tanks until treatment is completed
  • after treatment do not vacuum the room for a minimum of 14 days or longer if possible
  • after the treatment has ended and the room is dry, please re-occupy the room and sleep in the bed - the bed bugs need to be enticed to come into contact with the insecticide

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