Need-to-know methods for treating bed bugs.

Scientifically known as Cimex lectularius, bed bugs are small wingless insects measuring no more than a quarter of an inch long when fully grown. Just after moulting, bed bugs are an off-white colour and range from a light tan to a deep brown. They love feeding on warm-blooded animals, and us humans are perfect hosts. Bed Bug Bed Bug The evolution of bed bugs has meant they have become nest parasites, inhabiting places like bat roosts and bird nests, some have even adapted to nesting in our own homes, more specifically our beds, hence their common name.


Today bed bugs are increasingly becoming a problem, setting up their homes in multiple dwelling types, from cruise ship cabins to private residences. Signs that you may have an infestation of bed bugs can begin with complaints of bites that have appeared over night. Bed bugs seek out animals and humans during the hours of darkness while their victims are asleep; red mosquito like marks are caused because the bed bugs inject a small amount of their saliva into the skin when they feed. Repeated exposure to these bites over time can cause people to become sensitised to the saliva and prolonged exposure may even result in mild to harsh allergic reactions.

Bed bugs: what they look like and where they live.

 

Bed bugs only infest a small proportion of residences. If you suspect a bed bug problem, you should take action to examine your bedroom carefully, watching out for any signs that bed bugs are living beside you. Their flattened bodies enable them to conceal themselves very well; creases in bed linen, seams and mattress springs are all perfect hideouts for these pests. Be sure to also check curtain pleats, beneath any loose areas of wallpaper close to the bed, spaces between wicker furniture, corners of desks, laundry and any items on the bedroom floor. The eggs of bed bugs appear as tiny pale coloured poppy seeds, and bed bug droppings look like dark brown, slightly reddish spots of faecal matter - dense infestations will also give out a coriander like smell.

Bed bugs identification.

 

It is important to identify if you have uncovered a live infestation of bed bugs or are seeing signs of a previous contamination. To confirm that you have living bed bugs in your home, you should search for crawling insects and confirm their identity before taking action. If your identity check reveals bed bugs, you will need to plan carefully. Successful planning will see you remove the problem for the lowest price while limiting your exposure to insecticides.

Since these little critters can hide themselves in many different tiny places, they are not easy to exterminate. Managing the infestation requires a multi-faceted approach, which may include steaming, cleaning, modifications to room layout and insecticide treatments.

How to get rid of bed bugs.


First thing’s first, do not panic. Bed bugs are irritating, however they can be removed safely and with success. The number one approach to dealing with this problem should be to clean all infested rooms thoroughly, scrubbing all surfaces with a stiff wire brush will dislodge the eggs. The use of a powerful vacuum cleaner will remove bed bugs from cracks and crevices and dismantling furniture, such as bed frames, will expose more hiding places to attack. Seal all holes and voids such as electrical outlets, pipes and floorboard cracks to prevent more bugs from entering.

If you are the owner of the infested property and your problem persists even after your initial efforts,

Bed Bugsyou can take further action. You should contact a licensed pest control operator who will be experienced in dealing with bed bug problems. They will confirm your infestation and also apply all pesticide treatments that may be needed. An integrated pest management (IPM) plan should be requested which will propose the necessary removal methods and insecticides that may be used; it should also describe the expectations of the building manager and tenants.


Pesticide treatments should only be used when you understand in full what you are applying and the risks involved. Be sure to read the label before applying anything and only use the pesticide if you fully understand the instructions and if you have the necessary training and equipment. If you misuse pesticides or apply the products without a licence, you are legally responsible and liable. Landlords, owners and building managers can only administer certain types of pesticides so hiring a licensed pest control operator is best.

There are different types of insecticides; all should be used in different ways to achieve the best results possible.

Insecticidal dusts that usually consist of silica power and finely ground glass are used for all voids and hollow interiors like bed frames. The dust works by disrupting the insect’s waxy outer layer, which causes the bugs to dehydrate. Residual contact insecticides, which consist of one or more kinds of pyrethoids - such as synthetic samples of chrysanthemum flower extract - kill the bugs soon after they come into contact with them. They are used on surfaces like sofas and the inside of furniture. Insect growth regulators (IGR) are used to stunt the reproduction process of the bugs, it does not kill bugs quickly, and so it is used by pest control operators to supplement other kinds of insecticide treatments.

It is unlikely that the entire bed bug problem will be killed in one treatment. A thorough insecticide application will involve two to three visits from your pest control operator and each session will take 30 minutes to two hours per room, depending on the size.

Other pesticide-free methods that you may want to consider are heat and freezing treatments. Bed bugs and their eggs die within 90 minutes if they are exposed to 48 degree C heat and die immediately at 50 degrees C, they are also killed if their temperature drops to below -16 degrees C. Heaters can be placed around the home and set to high temperatures for eight to ten hours depending on the condition and size of your dwelling. Freezing the problem can be difficult as bed bugs are resilient, they have the ability to rapidly cold harden, therefore the exposure time may need to be increased.

So if you notice night time bites or tiny droppings on your bed, take the time to thoroughly search for live crawling insects in each crack and crevice. Confirm the specimen's identity against an image of a bed bug and take the necessary steps to rid your home of these annoying critters.