Getting Rid of Bed Bugs and identifying them?
Can I See Bed Bugs?
YES!! Bedbugs are small, oval, brownish insects that live on the blood of animals or humans. Adult bedbugs have flat bodies about the size of your little finger nail and they struggle to crawl through hair unlike fleas. It is for this reason that someone with more body hair, such as men don’t get bitten as much, unlike their partner who has less body hair. After feasting on blood their bodies swell and are a reddish adopting the colour of blood . Bedbugs do not fly, but they can move quickly over floors, walls, and ceilings when not fully fed. Female bedbugs may lay hundreds of eggs over a lifetime, each of which is about the size of a speck of dust making them difficult to find.
Juvenile bedbugs, called nymphs, shed their skins five times before reaching maturity and require a meal of blood before each shedding. Under favourable conditions the bugs can develop fully in as little as a month and produce three or more generations per year. Bedbugs tend to feed every 7-10 days however can lay dormant for up to a year without a blood meal. This is why we advise being vigilant and aware when moving into a new premises that hasn’t been lived in for a while.
Although they are a nuisance, they are not known to transmit diseases.
How Did they Get Here?
Bedbugs have numerous ways to enter a property. The mostly likely of which is that they have been brought in by you, either on your clothes or in your suitcase/bag. They may also enter on second hand furniture so be very vigilant when purchasing items, especially wooden bedroom furnishings. Bedbugs are flat and hard to spot but once in, they can multiply quickly. Bedbugs don’t have a single nest like other insects but will huddle in groups if in small numbers. As the infestation grows though, so does the space they occupy which may spread out throughout the bedroom or home.
Where do they like to hide?
Bed bugs are excellent at concealing themselves when in small numbers. They only ever really appear when a good presence of CO2 is in the room, which we breath out, and the warmth emitted by our bodies. This tells the bedbug that food is close by and a juicy meal is on the cards so the bed bug won’t stray too far from it’s potential meal. A BedBugs favourite hiding spots in our opinion are around wooden corner edges such as:
- Wooden slats the mattress sits on
- Wooden bed frames and draws below the bed
- Wooden head boards
- Wooden bedside draws
- Wooden wardrobes in close proximity of the bed
- Wooden skirting boards and floor boards
- Wooden picture frames in close proximity of the bed
Other areas of concern are:
- Mattress outer sewn folds
- Inside pillow sleeving
- in the spines of books
- floors edges between the carpet and the wall
What are the signs I have Bedbugs?
Bedbugs give off many signals with the most common being itchy bites. At night when you are sleeping and the coast is clear, under the cover of darkness the bed bug makes it’s way out of hiding, finds the host, which is likely a person sleeping, and starts to feed. Most people will have bites on their upper bodies for the simple fact, this area is usually the most exposed whilst in bed and easy for the insect to feed on. Several bits in a row is another common trait due to the bedbug being disturbed when feeding and releasing it’s bite and then immediately biting again.
- Red itchy bites
- bites in a line
- live sightings
- blood droplets on the bed sheets
- brownish dots around the mattress or bed frame (faecal matter)
- (exoskeleton) shedded skins in their nesting grounds
I found them!! What shall I do?
First remove all bedding and check it carefully for signs of the bugs or their excrement. Remove any mattress lining or topper and examine the seams as well as check any wood framing. Peel back the fabric where stapled to the wood frame and check for signs behind.
Check the area around the bed, including inside books, alarm clocks, bedside draws, the edge of the carpet, skirting boards and even in electrical sockets. Check your closet, because bedbugs can attach to clothing. If you are uncertain about signs of bedbugs, call PestGone who know exactly what to look for. When removing items from your bedroom be vary careful trapsing them through the property. Quarantine the bedding in a bin liner and unload once at the washing machine.
Bed Bug Treatment.
Getting rid of bedbugs begins with cleaning up the places where bedbugs live. This should include the following:
• Wash infested items at a temperature of 60’C or over
• For items that can’t be washed at high temperatures try using extreme heat such as placing dry items in the
tumble dryer for 30 minutes which should kill off all life stages of the insect
• Extreme cold temperatures will kill off all life stages of the bedbug so placing delicate items in a freezer for 72 hours will work
• Hoovering in and around the infested areas
• Mattress Encasement
• Repair cracks in plaster and glue down peeling wallpaper to get rid of places bedbugs can hide.
• Get rid of clutter around the bed.
While cleaning up infested areas will be helpful in controlling bedbugs, getting rid of them usually requires professional help using heat or chemical treatments.
Generally the safest and most effective way to get rid of the problem is to hire an experienced and professional pest control company such as PestGone.