Bed Bugs


Overview

Bed bugs are insects belonging to the Order Hemiptera. Adult bedbugs usually  grow to 4-6mm in length, they are wingless, rusty red brown colour and oval shaped. Their body shapes are normally flat­tened, but can be rather expanded and swollen after a blood meal.

Ecology

In infested premises, bedbugs may hide in cracks and cervices of furniture, behind skirtings, architraves, electrical devices, books and especially in bedding particularly the piping on ensemble mattress, mattress bases, and bedding frames.

Lifecycle

Female Bed Bugs may lay up to 200 – 500 eggs in her lifetime. The eggs will hatch in 7 – 30 days and the nymphs will need at least one blood meal between moults before reaching adulthood. Adult be­g bugs may live for over a year and are able to survive for several months without a blood meal.

Habits

Bed bugs are nocturnal blood suckers at all stages of their life cycle development. Higher temperature in a host will assist the bed bugs to locate their probable blood meal source. Their most important host are humans, but in some cases, cats and other animals may serve as alternate feeding and hosting source. Bed Bugs generally feed during the night, and become inactive during the day while digesting the blood meal. However, in serious Bed Bug Infestations they may feed during the day, if they have been starved for a period of time.

Health Risks

The activity of bedbugs is usually detected by the irritation caused to sleepers. Bedbugs have a tendency to “test bite”, which often results in a line of bites. For some people, the bite is painless, however, many people react with localised swelling followed by a mild to severe itching and irritation or rash. To date, bed bugs have not been implicated with any serious disease transmission.

Bed Bug Control

  • A Thorough inspection by a professional pest control manager to identify all harbourages.
  • Initial treatment to be carried out using non-repellent chemicals to harbourages, aerosols and dusts to cracks and crevices of the premises including bed frames, sofas, furniture, skirting boards, mattresses, carpets and electrical sockets.
  • After initial treatment follow up inspections will be required, often with repeated treatments to completely eradicate the pest.
  • Bed bug control is most effective with both chemical and non-chemical treatments are combined.
  • Non-chemical treatments- Regular inspections of mattresses and other harbourage areas are essential. If bed linen is infested, wash the affected areas in hot water and then tumble dry on high for at least 40 minutes. A steam iron may also be used on the seams of mattresses or other items where there is stitching or folds in material. The use of high temperature low vapour steam on other areas of harbourage can also be used. Do not move any infested item to another room as the problem can be transferred to other areas of the property. Movement of any infected linen should be bagged prior to removal. Thorough vacuuming of carpet edges, skirting boards and all cracks and crevices using a vacuum cleaner with a disposable dust bag is important for removing bed bugs and their eggs. Bug lock mattress and bed frame protectors are used to prevent bed bugs foraging for food and also prevents bed bugs infesting mattresses and frames.
  • Chemical treatments- A range of low toxicity products such as synthetic pyrethroids and carbamates are available for use indoors to control bed bugs. Pesticides do not kill bed bug eggs so residual chemicals are more effective than non-residual chemicals as this will help kill immature bed bugs once the eggs have hatched. Residual chemicals are known to be not very effective against bed bugs and therefore depending on infestation repeated treatments may be required.
  • Physical barriers- These are a great accompaniment to chemical and non-chemical treatments. Items such as Bed Bug mattress and frame protectors lock the bed bugs inside and ultimately they are unable to feed and starve to death. Also they prevent bed bugs from infesting mattresses and frames. Also there are interceptors which fit to the feet of bed frames and also bed bug tape which is placed on frames and mattresses.
  • It is recommended a 14-21 day follow up treatment and inspection is carried out due to bed bug eggs hatch in approximately 6-10 days. Depending on level of infestation repeated treatments may be required.

Preventing Infestations & Limiting Further Contamination

The best way of preventing an outbreak of bed bugs in an accommodation facility or large home is to stop bed bugs from entering the facility, arguably an impossible task. Short of inspecting all occupants and their belongings for bed bugs the best defence mechanisms are education and surveillance of rooms.

Education of everyone involved on the site is essential. Everyone needs to understand that bed bugs are unpleasant to live with, control can be difficult to achieve and that the earlier an infestation is detected and dealt with the easier it is to control.

A regular inspection of rooms is pivotal in detecting infestations prior to 12 weeks. An infestation detected within 12 weeks will be easier to control, result in less emotional trauma for the occupant and will enable a room to be brought back into use faster. It is recommended a room be inspected for bed bugs at a minimum of once a month by the housekeeping staff.

Once a room has been identified as having bed bugs the first task should be to contain the bed bugs to prevent contamination of other rooms. Ideally upon identifying an infested room it would be quarantined and no items removed from the room until The Pest Guys approves items for removal.

Unfortunately we do not always live in an ideal world and sometimes items must be removed from a room. The following list provides a guide as to what items can be removed and what preparation of those items is required. For more specific advice please talk to a member of our staff.

Clothing

Place into disposable bags whilst in room and subsequently put through a hot wash cycle (minimum 45 degrees Celsius)

Toiletries                

Bags must be left for inspection and treatment by your pest manager.

Suitcases& Bags-    

Must be left for inspection and treatment by your Pest Manager.

 Bed linen& Towels

Place into disposable bags whilst in room and subsequently put through a hot wash cycle (minimum 45 degrees Celsius)

Pillows

Pillow case as per bed linen. Pillow may be taken after thorough inspection.

Books & Magazines          

Must be left for inspection and treatment by your pest manager.

Electrical Items

Only essential items may be taken after inspection for bed bugs by your pest manager.

Furniture

Must be left for inspection and treatment by your pest manager.