Preventing Bed Bugs In Your Static Caravan
“Night, night, mind the bed bugs don’t bite.” Unfortunately, preventing bed bugs in your static caravan or anywhere else takes more than a protective nursery rhyme. The good news, however, is that in reality it only takes a few simple measures to ensure that your static caravan stays free of these stubborn pests.
Knowledge is power when it comes to bed bugs
It is not enough to have a clean static caravan to prevent bedbugs. If you are unlucky enough to get an infestation, know first that it says nothing at all about your standards of cleanliness in your static caravan. Bed bugs can sneak in on clothes, luggage or even pet’s bedding and so, especially if you let your static caravan out to guests, there is no shame if you suffer an infestation.
Bed bugs are very good at surviving on very little sustenance. They usually feed about once every four or five days but they can hide out and survive for much longer without biting. Once they are established, they are very good at hiding in small crevices and moving from one room to another and even migrating from one static caravan to another. They are notoriously hard to remove and most people will seek professional help to make sure that they are well and truly gone.
A bed bug infestation is not an easy problem to deal with, so the tips here are designed to help you prevent bed bugs in your static caravan before you have to call in pest control.
Identifying bed bugs
It is important to distinguish bed bugs from other bugs and infestations. Identifying them early means you can move to eradicate them before they establish themselves in difficult-to-find hiding spots and the problem becomes worse.
Bed bugs are ¼ inch, brown, oval bugs with their legs tucked underneath. They lay tiny dark eggs and leave distinctive dark spots from their droppings. Also a distinctive, slightly sweet, sickly odour is associated with them. If you are unlucky enough to have an infestation, noticing this smell will help you to identify it and find them early.
Steps for preventing bed bugs
- Block their entry into your static caravan. New static caravans will be easier but it should be possible in most static caravans with a bit of work. One bed bug infestation may be all that is required to convince you it’s worth the effort.
- Fill all the gaps between pipes and the floor or wall where they pass through. Anything you can fit a credit card into will provide a refuge for bed bugs. Try and seal off or at least regularly vacuum these areas, wherever you find them.
- Fit sweeps and draft excluders to the bottom of doors to prevent transition from room to room.
- Declutter, paying particular attention to walls and corners where they congregate.
- Vacuum clean the mattress and floors regularly especially round the bed. Remember, when you have finished, to immediately remove the vacuum bag and dispose of it in an outside bin.
- Use vacuum bags to store clothes. This is also a good idea if you store some of your own clothes at your static caravan while you let it out to guests.
- Fit bed leg monitors – these are small trays that catch bugs trying to make it back on to your bed by climbing the legs. They are also a good detection device so you might want to use them for some time after an infestation to make sure the bugs haven’t returned.
- Treat your pets’ bedding – bed bugs like the warm crevices here too.
- Fit socket covers – bed bugs are good at finding paths between rooms and hiding out. They will use the electrical cables to travel along if they can.
- Wash clothes and bed linen in as high a temperature as you can allow. Bed bugs don’t like high temperatures above 50ºC. Sunlight can kill bed bugs, but in the UK the temperatures are not high enough to affect them.
- Fit mattress covers on all the beds. These should be special pest prevention covers which are difficult to rip and have zips with no folds. Regularly check this for tears and any signs of bed bugs. The lighter the colour of your mattress cover, the easier the bugs are to spot.
- Check your rooms regularly.
- If you are letting your static caravan, then make sure your cleaning schedule includes a bed bug check.
- If you are staying elsewhere remember to do a quick check of the mattress and around the bed. Their tenacious character means you really do not want the trouble when one quick check can avoid it.
Eliminating bed bugs
While these measures should cut down the chances of a bed bug infestation significantly, there is still a small chance that it will happen in your static caravan. If you are letting, this is a much greater likelihood. Rest assured that with readily available professional help it is a manageable problem.
Because of bed bugs’ ability to spread rapidly to other rooms and even other properties, it is important to get help to eradicate them immediately.
Call a professional
There are chemical and non-chemical solutions to bed bugs which are best left to professionals. There are commercial sprays and treatments available but calling a professional pest disposal removal service, who can guarantee their work for a time after they have visited, is the best option if you can afford it.
To find a reliable technician to help rid you of your bed bug problem, the British Pest Control Association is a good place to start.
This is a marketing article from My Holiday Home Insurance, a specialist provider of insurance for holiday homes, leisure homes, holiday lodges and static caravans. Our team of experienced advisers are always happy to help, so for more information call our Northampton office on freephone 0800 988 0890.