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A grim warning is being given to those travelling to relatives homes this Christmas to look out for dormant infestations of bed bugs in spare beds, which can be woken by their body heat.
“Infestations of bed bugs have been lying dormant in cold beds all year, and the fear is that Christmas will lead to an explosion in bed bug cases, as previously undiscovered dormant infestations wake up and feast on Christmas guests”
Adult bed bugs look like tiny apple pips and tend to hide in cracks and crevasses in mattresses and headboards near their potential feeding sites. They react to temperature because they are cold blooded – when a human warms a bed, they wake up and feed on their sleeping bed mate.
“The problem this year is a sudden influx of new visitors staying in once occupied beds in cold houses, an increase in temperature to 18 – 29 degrees is ideal for bed bugs to wake and feed, laying eggs and promoting hatching”, adds Rathbone.
Under the right conditions a female bed bug can lay between one and five eggs a day, and up to 400 eggs during a lifetime. Eggs develop into adults in 3 weeks, quickly multiplying, causing serious infestation problems.
Pest.co.uk advises all travellers this Christmas to inspect beds before sleeping and take the following precautions:
“It might be best if staying at your “Christmas Bubble” home this year to strip the bed first and give it a proper check over because bed bugs can survive up to 6 months without a meal and hibernate for up to a year if your host has had the heating low all year”, concludes Pest Controller Jenny Rathbone from Pest.co.uk
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