6 Signs You Have Bedbugs On Your Mattress (And Everywhere)

Haha help.

When we picture getting all cosy in bed, we want to envisage a loved one, a pet, nice things – not creepy crawlies like bedbugs joining us under the covers.

Sadly, bedbugs are a real issue in UK homes and depending on where you live, your bed could be more at risk of being infested by the critters – especially as they can migrate through apartments and terraced houses.

The good news is that they’re not dangerous (phew!) but their bites can be quite itchy and – let’s be honest – having pests in your bed is going to be annoying and gross.

The bad news is that if you spot one, you’ll probably have to call pest control to come and get rid of them. According to the NHS, it’s very difficult to get rid of bedbugs yourself because they can be hard to find and may be resistant to some insecticides. Ah great.

What do bedbugs look like?

So, first of all, let’s outline what they look like. According to Web MD, “bedbugs are small, oval, brown insects that feed on the blood of animals and humans”.

Adult bedbugs have flat bodies – about the size of an apple pip – and after they’ve had a nice big feed on you they’ll swell and turn a reddish colour. Lovely.

They are also capable of flattening their bodies as thinly as a credit card to get into small places, so long as there is food available.

Signs you have a bedbug problem

So how can you tell they’re causing havoc in your home? Here are some key signs bedbugs are lurking nearby:

  • Small, itchy bites on your skin – often the arms and shoulders;
  • Blood spots on your sheets or mattress;
  • Bedbug poop – black dots about the size of a full stop;
  • Discarded bedbug skin – they shed it and it looks a lot like the bugs themselves;
  • White, oval eggs that are about as big as an apple seed;
  • A sweet, musty odour around your bed.

Bedbugs can be found on mattresses, in the seams of cushions and curtains, in the joints of drawers, in electrical outputs and can even migrate from one place to another.

So, make sure that when you’re looking for them, you’re checking all the nooks and crannies.

How to prevent bedbugs

So, now that we know how to spot them, let’s try to keep them out of our beds and homes, ideally.

According to Heathline, we can prevent bedbugs by:

  • Checking secondhand furniture for signs of bedbugs before bringing into the house (fun fact: bed bugs can live a year or more without food).
  • Putting a protective cover on your mattress – preferably a light-coloured one so you can spot bedbugs easier.
  • Being careful and vigilant if using shared laundry facilities.
  • Vacuuming frequently.
  • Reducing clutter (so they have fewer places to hide).

BRB, I’m off to flip and hoover my mattress.