Why COVID isn’t the only ‘bug’ set to make our lives miserable this summer and what you can do to keep yourself infestation-free

Australians wishing 2022 will be a year of improved health and less suffering will be in shock – bed bugs have increased 5,000 percent across the country as warm weather and travel return.

This is what bed expert Darren Nelson from bed manufacturer Solace Sleep says, who says that bed bug infestations are most common in December, January and February.

Check out the video above to see bed bugs in action

The hotter weather and increased travel help them spread from vacation homes and campsites back to the bedroom.

“The best way to fight bed bugs is to keep your bedclothes and bedding clean, as bed bugs are twice as likely to be found in dirty bedding and clothing than clean ones,” said Nelson.

“Most people wash their sheets every week or two – but forget their pillow and Doona, and months, if not years, pass between washes.”

Pillows, doonas, and other bed accessories play a key role in bed bug breeding and nesting and can become a hotspot if these items are not washed.

Bed bug infestations - warmer weather and increased travel have caused the numbers to explode.  File image.
Bed bug infestations – warmer weather and increased travel have caused the numbers to explode. File image. Credit: Matteo Lanciano/Getty Images / iStockphoto

“This is not just a breeding ground for bed bugs, it’s also a breeding ground for dust mites,” said Nelson.

“Bed bugs and dust mites feed on the dead skin cells you shed while you sleep … you could fill a trash bag with the dead skin cells you lose in a year.”

Since 60 percent of the dust mite population in your home nest in your bed, especially the crevices of pillows and doonas, Nelson recommends washing them every six months.

“There could be tens of thousands of dust mites in a single pillow,” he said.

“Sleeping on dirty bedclothes and bedclothes often leads to health problems such as allergies, as well as skin irritations and acne.”

In addition, symptoms of a dust mite allergy can include sneezing, runny nose, itchy nose, and nasal congestion. In asthma sufferers, this can lead to a particularly uncomfortable reaction that causes more wheezing and chest tightening.

This can especially happen at night when you are lying in a dust mite-infested bed.

Bed bugs live and breed in sheets, pillows, and doonas.  File image.
Bed bugs live and breed in sheets, pillows, and doonas. File image. Credit: Getty Images

“Pillows and doonas can be machine-washed on a delicate cycle, soaked in detergent, and blasted hot in the dryer,” said Nelson.

“The hot temperatures kill dust mites, but bed bugs are much harder to get rid of.”

According to a recent Australian study, the average person changes their sheets every 24 days – not enough to maintain optimal hygiene and eradicate dust mites and bed bugs that want to make themselves comfortable.

Mr Nelson’s tips for avoiding bed bug and mite infestations this summer:

  • How often should bed linen be cleaned: Most people can get away with washing their linens every week or two when they get clean in their beds. If you have allergies or sensitive skin, consider washing more frequently.
  • Cleaning sheets: Wash sheets separately from clothes and towel, clean stains and stains before washing. Use hot water and a hot dryer if mites are present.
  • Cleaning other bed linen: Duvets, duvets, and blankets that have less skin contact can be washed every one to two months.
  • Getting rid of bed bugs: Because their eggs are difficult to see and have a long incubation period, clearing your home of a bed bug infestation can be difficult. A combination of non-chemical and chemical treatments may be required.
  • Know when it’s time to replace: Pillows and doonas should be cleaned every six months and replaced every two years.


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