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In the UK it’s fair to say that the majority of us don’t really get along with bugs or insects, so it’s also reasonable to add that we’d definitely not feel too comfortable with the idea of thousands of them being in our bed!
Unfortunately, that prospect is becoming more and more likely with a rise in bed bugs now starting to take hold in most parts of the country. Whilst their name and popular opinion may suggest you’ll only find these critters in your bed, they’re actually happy to live in any area of the home that you spend plenty of time in.
They like humans as our skin is more exposed than our pets, meaning an easy and quick meal!
If you’re therefore thinking about the environment a bed bug could and would thrive in you’d be looking for somewhere that has a lot of people spending a lot of time. Aside from our own homes, holiday cottages provide the perfect breeding ground for the bed bug, so here’s how you can prevent bed bugs in your holiday let and stop these creatures calling your holiday home their own.
De-clutter to reduce nesting spots
Bed bugs thrive in small places, nooks and crannies, so ensur that there’s as little clutter as possible for them to live and breed. If they do begin breeding the average female is able to lay as many as 500 eggs in a lifetime.
Hoover the mattress on a regular basis
We wash and change the linen, but one thing we might not do quite as often is hoover the mattress. Be sure to get into any lips or seams that the mattress has – as we’ve mentioned above, these smaller areas can be the ideal breeding ground for a bed bug.
Use protective covers on your mattresses and divan base
You can stop bed bugs infecting your bed by encasing your mattress and divan bed base in a plastic protective cover. While you may already have a protective cover on your holiday home mattresses, adding one to your divan bed base will eliminate any additional hiding places.
Reduce the average age of your mattresses
The longer the mattress is there, the longer it has to become a playground for bed bugs. Replacing mattresses can be an expensive business, but once bed bugs have gotten into your bed, it’s extremely difficult to tell how many are in there, figure out exactly where they are, and get them out.
Vacuum carpets and rugs
If we’re working on the basis that a bed bug loves a small space to hide in then rugs and carpets are a dream for any wanting to take up residence in your holiday home. Make sure you’re hoovering these on at least a weekly or more regular basis.
Using essential oils to prevent bed bugs
We might not like bugs, but it turns out that bugs don’t like essential oils! There are a number of scents that can repel bed bugs which include cinnamon, lemongrass, clove, peppermint, lavender, thyme, tea tree, and eucalyptus. Add 6-10 drops of pure essential oil to a small spray bottle filled with ¼ cup of water and spray it around your holiday home. Adding a few drops to a washing cycle has also been proven to help.
Don’t wait until you have a problem; the most effective treatment of bed bugs is to prevent them from arriving and breeding in your holiday home, so always make sure you’re taking the right action to stop that from ever happening.
Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. Need an insurance quote for your holiday let? Give us a call on 01237 429444 and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.