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Unfortunately, there are a variety of suspect things that share our bed whilst we’re sleeping. Some are completely harmless, such as dead skin and bacteria, but certain lurking pests can make your skin crawl – literally!

Bed bugs are small insects that live in the crevices of your bed. They’re nocturnal, so they crawl out at night and bite exposed skin, feeding on your blood. Although they’re not usually harmful, being bitten by bed bugs can cause annoying irritation and itching.

In this guide, we’ve shared how you can spot bed bugs in your home and remove them from your mattress:

How to spot bed bugs on mattresses

If you’re heading to bed with clear skin and waking up to find small blisters or red rashes on your body, it could be bed bug bites through an infestation in your mattress.

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However, it’s possible to still have bed bugs without noticing any kind of skin irritation. To find out if your bed has them, take a close look at your sheets and mattress surface.

Bed bugs leave little specks of black faeces where they live but because they’re so small, it may only be obvious on pale bedding. There may also be an unpleasant smell or you could see small spots of blood on your sheets.

The insects also lay eggs. These can be spotted by looking within the cracks of your mattress for small white particles. Keep in mind that they may be easier to identify by using a torch.

How to get rid of bed bugs

Depending on the severity of the bed bugs infestation, you may need a professional pest removal service to get rid of them. Special treatments such as insecticide, a steamer or rapid freeze system may be used to exterminate the bugs.

However, not all bed bug removals have to be done on a large scale. If you’ve just spotted the signs of them potentially living in your mattress, you can try the following DIY treatments:

Washing bed linen

The simplest way to get rid of any bed bugs that could be living within your bed is to wash all of the items on it. A cycle set to 90 degrees will kill the insects, followed by a blast in a hot dryer for 30 minutes.

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Vacuum your mattress

If you’re able to see the bed bugs wriggling around on your mattress, it’s a good idea to vacuum the surface. This can be done by using the hose section of your vacuum cleaner and disposing the contents into a sealed bag to prevent further spreading.

Use bedding protectors

Once the pesky infestation has been removed, protecting your mattress will help prevent them from returning. A plastic cover that encases the entire surface should be used after you’ve taken the steps to remove bed bugs from your mattress and can be slept-on when covered with a bedsheet.

Bed bugs are extremely common in the UK and as you can see, it doesn’t always require a complete overhaul. However, some infestations aren’t spotted until it’s too late.

For that reason, it’s a good idea to throw away any mattress or furniture that’s heavily infested and invest in a new mattress. Not only will this make sure that your bedroom is free from the pests, but you’ll get a relaxing (and itch-free!) sleep in no time at all.