The name “bed bug” comes from the insects preferred habitat within the home, also known as wall louse, mahogany flat, crimson rambler, heavy dragoon, chinches and redcoat.
What are Bed bugs and where do they live?
Bed bugs are parasitic insects, they are a small, flat and oval shaped and of a reddish-brown color. Bed bugs feed on warm blooded animals; they are not strictly nocturnal but are active mainly at night. Bedbugs can measure up to mm in length.
Bed bugs hide in crevices within furniture, not just beds, they are known to also hide behind skirting boards, floor boards, behind lose wall-paper etc. Bedbugs can live for up to a year without feeding.
Bed bugs may be introduced from second-hand beds or furniture, or from personal possessions and clothing. Bed bugs are more commonly found within multi-occupancy buildings with a rapid resident turnover, for example hotels, hostels, holiday camps and blocks of flats, with increased travel bed bugs are on the rise with them moving from country to country.
What problems can bed bugs cause?
Bed bugs feed at night; they are able to detect a host’s body heat and will come out of hiding. Once they have found a host they will inject saliva to cause swelling and irritation, this also works to antiseptic to numb the area leaving the bugs to go unnoticed. They will feed for up to 10 minutes taking in up to seven times their own body weight before returning to their hiding place. Bites will the host with red irritation spots, people react differently to bites and some may end up with severe skin reactions and rashes.
Bed bugs DO NOT spread diseases, if left untreated bed bugs will quickly spread from room to room.
What can I do to reduce the chances of an infestation within my home?
If you are moving into a new home, check for signs of bed bug infestation; avoid second hand bedroom furniture unless you have good knowledge of where it has come from.
If you have stayed in an infested premise upon returning home check your luggage for bugs, there are a few ways to kill bed bugs, first of; machine wash all your clothing that may be infested on high heat (60 °C) or tumble dry them at a ‘hot’ setting for at least 30 minutes. Bed bugs can not survive in temperatures above 50 °C and this will kill them all.
Dry cleaning will also have the same effects, if none of these options are available you can place clothing in a bag in a deep freezer for at least 3 days, bed bugs can not survive in temperatures any lower than -32°C but most freezers do not go this cold.
What are the signs of a bed bug infestation?
If you notice red, irritating bites often in rows typically but not limited to the neck, shoulders and arms.
Small blood-smears on the bed sheets or headboard.
Clusters of dark spots, approximately mm in diameter typically on the bed frame or around the edges of the mattress.
Finding small brownish insects on the mattress, headboard or on nearby bedroom furniture and on walls near the bed.
What should you do if you suspect an infestation of bed bugs in your home?
When dealing with these hardy pests it is important you gain professional help and advice as thorough searching and investigation is required. Failed treatments will occur if the accurate knowledge of the bed bug is absent. Give us a call; all our technicians are specialist trained in fumigation services designed to eradicate bed bugs.
We advise visiting your local pharmacist or GP for advice on medication for bites.