Nobody likes to sleep on a bed that has bed bugs. Getting bed bug bites can ruin a good night’s sleep and leave you itching for a long time. If you are worried about a bed bug infestation in your home, you have come to the right place. It is easy to avoid bed bugs in your home by following a few essential home care tips. The most important of these is that you keep the house clean.
You cannot get bed bugs by simply not washing your bed sheets. Dirty or unwashed bed sheets are usually not why bed bugs invade your bedroom. However, when there is a bed bug infestation, not washing your bed sheets would result in the bed bugs multiplying and making things worse.
Although a dirty bed sheet could attract insects and dust mites, there could be other reasons for a bug infestation. The bugs could land on your clean sheets when you dump books, headphones, earphones, laptops, laptop bags or soiled clothes on your bed. A few bugs could have latched on to these items and could pop onto your mattress when you put them on your bed.
There are many ways in which bed bugs can enter your home. They can be brought in with your luggage when you go on a trip or even when you bring furniture into your home. They stay on upholstery, furniture and curtains, or any linen not cleaned before coming into your house. They could multiply when you do not wash your bed sheets after the bugs enter them.
Even if your bed sheets have bugs, you can quickly remove them by washing them. Washing your bed sheets is a surefire way of ensuring that your bed is free from infestation.
What happens if you don’t wash your bed sheets when there are bugs?
It is common knowledge that you will end up with dirty, smelly bed sheets if you do not wash them. Therefore, washing bed sheets is essential. It becomes more important to wash and change your bed sheets when you have a bug attack. Organic cotton bed sheets are normally resistant to bed bugs and other insects because of the material, but it is always a good idea to ensure that you have clean bed sheets once you have noticed that bugs have made a home on your bed.
When you choose organic cotton bed sheets such as those from Blue Dahlia, you opt for bed linen resistant to dust and insects. The fibres of organic cotton bed sheets do not undergo any chemical treatment. Rather, they are treated with natural fertilizers and processes that make the organic cotton bed sheets resistant to bugs. Add to this a weaving method that ensures top-quality bed sheets, and you have bed linen that does not allow bugs to penetrate through the warp and weft easily.
Not washing your bed sheets allows insects to grow, accumulating dirt and creating an unhygienic atmosphere in your bedroom. Another drawback of not washing your bed sheets is that they could trap moisture and become the breeding ground for mold, fungi spores and even worms like ringworm.
Is it important to check only bed sheets for bed bugs?
You must check the bed sheets and bed linen for bed bugs. Bed bugs love cosy corners and tucks and folds where they can hide.
Checking for bed bugs is more challenging than it sounds. Especially with printed bed sheets, checking for bed bugs takes work, given their small size. Sometimes, they blend in with the colours and prints, and we cannot determine the reason behind the itchy rashes we seemed to have developed overnight.
Use a flashlight or a torchlight on the bed sheet to check for bugs. You can run your hand across the mattress to check if you can feel something other than the soft fabric of your bed sheet or mattress. When you remove your bed sheets for washing, remember to check your mattress and bed for the presence of bed bugs, cockroaches, or other insects.
Once you have confirmed that your mattress is free of bed bugs, check your bed frame:
- Look into every nook and corner of your bed frame to check if any bugs are crawling around, camouflaged by the colour of the wood.
- Check the headboard and legs of the bed.
- Check behind the headboard or frame if your bed is against a wall.
It is essential to watch for bed bugs during winter or cold weather. The bed bugs find mattresses warm and cozy and thrive in such a setting. This is the same for pillows, pillowcases, blankets, quilts and duvet covers.
So, when the temperature drops, keep an eye out for any creepy crawlies sharing your bed and check the covers before you wrap them around for extra warmth and comfort. We suggest you remove any covers that you tuck into the sides of your mattress and check every inch of the material. This is because bed bugs and other mites tend to ensconce themselves in wrinkles and corners.
Since these are more challenging to check than the flat surface of your bed, there could be a multiplication of insects before you even realize it. We recommend you check every corner of your sheet and the elastic band to see if it is a fitted sheet.
Are there any signs that there are bed bugs on your bed?
Yes, although organic bed sheets do not encourage the growth of mold or bugs on them, you might be unfortunate enough to get a bed bug infestation from an external source. However, there are many signs of a bed bug infestation that you can look out for to take the necessary action and keep your bed sheets in pristine condition.
If you live in a tropical country like India, chances are that you would wake up with red, itchy skin spots even when there is no bed bug on your sheet. This is because mosquitoes find ways to raid our bedrooms despite every measure we take to keep them out.
If you are wondering if the itchy red spot on your skin is because of a persistent mosquito or an unwelcome bed bug, here are some signs that can help you recognize a bed bug infestation early on.
- A musty odour characteristic of a bed bug infestation is your first sign. This smell comes from a bed bug’s scent glands. While you may think the odour is because you have not washed your sheets yet, take it as a sign to clean your bed sheets immediately.
- Brown spots, bug eggs or eggshells on your sheet or the corners of your bed. The brown spots could even be the excrement of bed bugs – not something you want on your sheets while you sleep.
- You could also wake up and see spots of blood on your sheet. These could be from the bites you have gotten during sleep or squished bed bugs—either way, not a good sign to wake up to.
How often should you wash your sheets to avoid bed bugs?
Many people face a dilemma about how often they should wash their bed sheets and duvet covers. Some vouch that cleaning sheets weekly or more often is the best way to ensure that you have a clean bed to sleep on, while others say it is only necessary to wash your bed once a month.
None of these calculations is appropriate when you have a bed bug infestation in your home. Instead, we would say wash the bed sheet with the infestation, and when you do, make sure to strip your mattress clean – change the pillowcases, the duvet cover, the quilt, cushion covers, and anything else that has been on the bed. While washing these items, do not throw any other piece of clothing into the washing machine.
Cleaning your bed sheets regularly and airing them out is a great way to ensure that the bed bugs do not return to stay. It is also important to air out the mattress as the bugs could stay hidden. Of course, this is easier said than done. How often you wash your bed sheets depends on the water availability and the weather that day.
Airing out your washed bed sheets or mattresses on rainy days is difficult. It would be ideal for washing your sheets every day until you get rid of the infestation. Then, create a weekly wash cycle to keep these parasites at bay.
We know that having bed bugs in our house can be an extremely unpleasant experience. Therefore, it is important to deal quickly with an infestation and to avoid any instance of having one in the first place. However, you cannot guarantee that you will never allow a bed bug to enter your house; quick action once you realize that an infestation will save you from itching, rashes and any possible diseases.