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BED BUGS

Bed BugsIdentification & Biology of Bed Bugs:

 

  • Flat, reddish brown in colour
  • Swollen after a blood meal
  • Oval in shape, up to 5-7mm long

 

 

 

Female bed bugs can deposit up to 5 eggs a day & lay as many as 500 eggs in her lifetime. With normal room temperatures & an adequate food supply, they can live for more than 300 days. The eggs hatch to produce a nymph just over 1 mm long, which needs one full blood meal before moulting to the next stage. Growth from egg to adult is in accordance with temperature and the readiness of food. At 18 – 20°C nymphs feed about every ten days and the adults weekly. In cold rooms whereby the temperature drops below 13c in the winter, egg laying and feeding ceases & the population drops as eggs and young nymphs die. Their lifecycle from egg to adult can take up to 5 weeks under favoured conditions.

Where bed bugs live & how they affect you:

Bed bugs are small nocturnal wingless insects that feed on human blood & that of other warm blooded sleeping hosts. In cool conditions bed bugs have been known to stay dormant for up to a year without a meal. They are to be found in cracks & crevices, including mattress seams, sheets, behind head boards, picture frames, furniture & electrical outlet plates. They are often associated with hotels, whereby they can travel from room to room at ease in visitors’ luggage etc.

There are many signs to be noted of bed bug activity. The first & most important would be seeing the bed bugs themselves. Another sign would be case skins, as the juvenile bug grows, it sheds it skin. Bites will further indicate bed bugs, but further investigation is required as other sources can cause this too. Not everyone will react to a bed bug bite. Bite swill often appear on the face, neck, hands or arms. It can take 3-12 minutes for one bed bug to feed. They will travel 5-20 feet from their harbourage to feed upon a host.

Bed bugs also have a distinctly sweet yet unlikable smell. They will leave faecal smears on mattresses & furnishing which is a further clue to a bed bug infestation. After feeding they return to their harbourage to hide.

 

Control measures for bed bugs:

It is a reality that you can pick up bed bugs from almost anywhere. You can help reduce your chances of infestation by catching the problem early. At KNOCKOUT PEST CONTROL we offer a FREE survey of affected rooms or premises & will prepare & discuss an on-site report with the client. Once the client has agreed to the necessary action of vacuuming & laundering (see details below) that they will to undertake to help to eliminate bed bugs, treatment will commence. Using fumigation techniques, residual sprays will be applied to the affected areas & adjoining rooms, up to 3 visits will be necessary to gain complete control of the population.

Things we require you to do before & after bedbug treatments:

Bed Bug Preparation List

  • Bed sheets need to be removed, empty any divan drawers, head boards and base sections need separating.
  • All cabinets, chests of drawers, cupboards and wardrobes need to be emptied, and the contents sealed in strong plastic bags.
  • All items on the floor need to be picked up.
  • Pull any furniture away from the walls.
  • Computer equipment needs to be unplugged and the cables tidied.
  • Please vacuum all floor areas, particularly under beds.
  • All clothing, bedding, cuddly toys and textiles need to either be cleaned in a 60 degree wash, put through a tumble dry cycle, be dry cleaned or be placed in a deep freeze for at least 3 days.
  • Any cleaned items must not be put back into wardrobes or drawers until after treatment.
  • Untreated items must be kept sealed and separated.
  • Bed bugs can be harbouring in any object - the customer should discuss any items of concern for the pest control operative to inspect.
  • Customers can not be present in a room while it is treated

 After Treatment

  • Surfaces are safe once touch dry.
  • Do not vacuum or mop for 14 days
  • As bed bugs do not feed every day, it can be up to a week before some come into contact with the insecticide.
  • Treated rooms should be used to entice the insects out.

Bed Bugs - Helpful Hints

Travelling

If you are traveling, use the acronym S.L.E.E.P. to help you remember the following action steps to avoid bringing bed bugs home with you.

  • Survey surfaces for signs of an infestation, e.g. tiny rust-coloured spots on bed sheets, mattress seams, & bed valances.
  • Lift and look for bed bug harbourage places, including underneath the mattress, bed frame, headboard and furniture. Characteristically, they emerge at night to feed, but during the day they are more than likely to be found within a 1.5 meter radius of the bed.
  • Elevate your luggage on to a luggage rack, keeping it away from the bed and wall. Bed bugs frequently hide behind headboards, artwork, picture frames and electrical outlet panels.
  • Examine your luggage thoroughly while repacking and once you return home. Always keep luggage off the bed.
  • Place all your clothing from your luggage straightaway in the dryer if possible for at least 15 minutes at a high setting upon returning home from travel.

In the House

When at home, follow these useful tips to help keep bed bugs at bay.

  • Clear your home of clutter as this makes finding bed bugs easier.
  • Wash and dry your bed linens frequently using the hottest temperature allowed for the fabric.
  • If buying second hand furniture, closely inspect it for bed bugs before you bring it into your home.
  • Inspect your home regularly e.g. after a move-in, a trip away, when a service worker comes in or guests stay overnight.