1300 Pest Control is not trained in bed bug management. Contact a pest company that has a bed bug specialist.
Pest Information – Insecta Order Hemiptera
What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?
Bed bugs are tiny, crawling, blood-sucking insects frequently found in our bedrooms.
Their bodies are around 5 mm in length, oval and slightly flattened (similar in size and shape to a match head).
They are reddish brown in colour, but after gorging themselves on blood they appear a much brighter red.
Bed bugs cannot fly, with only a tiny pair of wing buds visible on their backs.
How Do Bed Bugs Breed?
Mating in bed bugs is brutal! The females lack a proper genital opening, so the male punctures the side of her abdomen to inseminate her. The female uses a transparent glue to attach her eggs to rough surfaces, such as mattresses and back boards. She lays an average of 350 eggs in her life time, but this may reach up to 500 if conditions are favourable.
Bed bugs have an incomplete lifecycle. Upon hatching, the nymphs closely resemble their parents in appearance and will moult their skins 5 times to reach adulthood. Adults can live for up to a year.
Where Do Bed Bugs Live?
Bed bugs are considered to be a common household pest in most countries around the world.
They are often associated with poor sanitation and low socio-economic areas, but the truth is that even the most prestigious five-star hotels have experienced infestations. During the day bed bugs prefer to shelter in places with rough surfaces such as:
• Baseboard of bed
• Bedstead (framework of the bed including headboard and springs)
• Nearby cracks and crevices
• Curtains and drapes
• Bedside tables and drawers
• Window sills and frames
Feeding occurs as night, usually just after sunset and again at dawn. Once you are in bed, they use signals such as the warmth from your body and the carbon dioxide from your breath to locate you and move in for a feed.
How do Bed Bugs Feed, What Do Bed Bugs Eat?
The blood of warm-blooded animals is the only food bed bugs will consume. Blood is needed between moults for the growing nymphs and females must feed before eggs can be produced.
Bed bugs have piercing-sucking mouthparts and use a tube called a rostrum to penetrate your skin and slurp up the blood. It takes only 5 minutes for them to fully engorge and they can increase their body weight by five times during feeding.
Are Bed Bugs Dangerous?
Bed bugs are cryptic, feeding while we sleep and retreating to their hiding places before we wake. But they do leave behind evidence of their nocturnal feeding and can have significant effects on our homes and health including:
• Staining of bedding with brown dots or smears (the fecal deposits of partly digested blood)
• Itchy red lumps where you have been bitten
• Allergic reactions to bites
• Secondary infections from scratching itchy bites
• Daily feeding can cause anemia in infants
• Unpleasant odours (a mixture of smelly scents released by the bugs and a build-up of excrement)
Bed Bug Prevention
How to Prevent Bed Bug Infestations?
There are many steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of infestations.
• Be vigilant. Take a few moments to search for bed bugs whenever you change your bedding. Run your fingers along seams, check the bed frame for the tiny black spots of faeces and inspect sheets for any blood or faecal stains.
• Reduce hiding places for bed bugs by clearing your room of any clutter, particularly areas close to your bed
• Seal any cracks and crevices
• Use a powerful vacuum to remove bed bugs from surrounding carpet, curtains and bedroom furniture
• Use a stiff brush to dislodge eggs from your mattresses and vacuum well, paying particular attention to any seams and edges
• Move bed frames away from the wall and ensure sheets are tucked up from the floor, cutting off their access to your bed
• Invest in a protective cover for your mattress – 1300 Pest Control can arrange to have one supplied and fitted when they come to do a bed bug removal job
• Beware of hitch hikers! When travelling, bed bugs can crawl into your luggage and you can bring an infestation home with you. Store luggage on provided luggage racks or in cupboards and avoid putting your suitcase on the bed. Wash bags thoroughly and leave in the sun to dry.
Bed Bug Treatment
How to get rid of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are tough little critters to get rid of. They can survive for over 200 days without feeding, can adapt quickly to new environments and can be extremely difficult to eradicate once they have settled. As a single female is capable of laying up to 500 eggs, they have the potential to completely take over your home!
1300 Pest Control treatments are environmentally friendly, child and animal safe and can be specifically tailored to suit your needs.
Bed Bug eradication is not an easy process. All harbourages need to be identified and treated, clothing and soft furnishings need to be addressed, prevention methods such as special mattress protectors MUST be installed and follow up is always necessary. It is one pest that an intergrated pest managaement approach must be adhered to in order to properly rid yourself of bed bugs.
Treatment is therefore more costly than the average General Pest Control service but is far more laborious and final elimination of bed bugs is a much more intense process. Definitely ask questions, not all Pest Control operators are understanding of Bed Bug Elimination. Ensure you are dealing with someone who is fully licensed and insured and has undertaken specific bed bug elimination training.
Did you know?
Written by Michelle Gleeson, Bugs Ed. www.bugsed.com
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