Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are blood feeding parasites of humans, bats, chickens and sometimes even domesticated animals. They are suspected carriers of Leprosy, Q Fever, Oriental Sore & Brucellosis but have never been proven in the spread of these diseases to humans.

Mature Bed Bugs are between 1/4 – 3/8 inches long, rusty red/brown to mahogany coloured, oval, wingless insects. Their bodies are flattened with well developed antennae and small compound eyes. However after feeding, Bed Bugs become swollen, longer and dark red to dark brown in colour.

Facts about Bed Bugs

  • Bed bugs are bloodsucking parasites of man and also feed on some domestic animals.
  • A Bed Bug bite is painless. It is the Bed Bugs saliva that causes irritation, swelling and redness.
  • Bed Bugs tend to feed at night but may feed any time if the room is dark.
  • Bed Bugs live in bed clothes, mattresses, springs & frames, soft furnishing, cracks & crevices & under wallpaper.
  • A Bed Bugs entire life cycle can take roughly between1 & 4 months, dictated by temperature & availability of food.
  • Female Bed Bugs lay between 200-500 eggs in batches of 10-50, on rough surfaces such as wood or paper.
  • Their eggs are white, sticky, about 1/3 inch long, laid in cracks or crevices but never on human beings.

Methods of Control

Heat Treatment for Bed Bugs

The latest innovation in the control of insects is Heat Treatment. This is a well established treatment and it is quickly becoming a major consideration when treating multiple occupancy properties such as Hotels, Care Homes, Social Housing Schemes and Private homes that require Full House Treatments. They can often be carried out without the use of toxic chemicals and therefore ideal for food processing and storage areas.

Traditional Insecticidal Spray and Dust treatment for Bed Bugs

To successfully treat Bed Bugs a comprehensive treatment is key. A quick spray never cured this type of problem, no matter how cheap, you will be wasting your money and possibly making the infestation worse. A correct treatment involves both owner/ housekeeper and the pest control company with the owner ensuring that all washable or cleanable items are removed and cleaned appropriately. The company treating should carry out a thorough initial assessment and create a plan of action followed by treatment to all infested areas and all adjoining rooms and corridors. Treatment should take in carpets, wallpaper, wooden furniture, electrical fittings and appliances such as televisions and radios. This should then be followed up with further assessments of the results until satisfactory control is gained.

Home/Amateur Treatment for Bed Bugs

Treatment for Bed-Bugs really is a job best left to the experts as there are no shortcuts and amateur treatments invariably fail, due to the lack of both experience and an understanding of the comprehensive way in which a treatment must be carried out. Specific tools are often required to access the areas they may be inhabiting. Furniture, carpets, bedding and mattresses may require treatment or renewing. Repair cracks in walls, wallpaper, windows and doors as these are just some of the areas Bed Bugs use for harbourage.

Tips to Help Prevent Bed Bug Infestations

Again its housekeeping, with attention to detail, that will help to prevent new infestations. This should involve regular changes of bed linen, certainly every time a new occupant is to use the bed ( you would be amazed at how many hotels and guest houses do not change bed linen between guests! ). If you are a Commercial operation ensure that all members of housekeeping are able to identify problems and as part of their duties check for these.

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