Bed bugs are small brown insects that live off the blood of humans and animals. Adult bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed and have flat bodies however, after they have fed their bodies swell and turn a reddish colour. Bed bugs are flightless insects, but they do move quickly over floors, ceilings and walls. Females are capable of laying hundreds of eggs the size of a spec of dust in their lifetime. Infant bed bugs, also known as nymphs need to shed their skin five times before reaching maturity and will have to feed on blood before each shedding. Bed bugs are capable of fully developing in just one month and produce three or more generations in just 1 year!
Where will I Find Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs and find their way into your home by hitching a ride on clothing, second hand furniture and luggage and other similar items. Due to their flat body shape they are able to fit into small spaces, a small as the width of a debit card! They tend live and hide in groups, they tend to hide n mattresses, bed frames and headboards so that they have easy access to people at night. However, over time they may scatter throughout the room and hide in any cracks or protected locations, they may even make it into other rooms nearby.
When do Bed Bugs Bite?
Bed bugs are most active at night, this is when they have easy access to people as they are sleeping. They pierce the skin and draw up blood through an elongated beak. These insects will feed for 3 – 10 minutes then go back to wherever they were hiding unnoticed. Most bites are painless at first but will eventually turn into itchy spots. Bed bugs will bite any area of exposed skin while you are sleeping.
Signs of an Infestation
If you wake up itching in areas that you never had before you went to bed then it is possible that you have bed bugs, particularly if you have recently bought second hand furniture around the time the itching started. Other signs you may have bed bugs include:
- Blood stains on bedding
- Dark spots on sheets and mattress (bedbug excrement)
- Musty odor from bed bug’s scent glands
- Shed skins or egg shells in places you expect bed bugs to hide
If you are unsure of identifying signs of bedbugs then seek help from a pest controller who will know exactly what to look for.
Bed Bug Treatments
- Clean places that bedbugs tend to live
- Wash bedding, curtains and clothing in hot water and dry them on a high setting
- Teddys, shoes and other items that can’t be washed can be put in the dryer on a high setting for at least 30 minutes.
- Scrub mattress with a stiff brush then hoover to remove bed bugs and their eggs.
- Hoover your bed and bedroom regular and empty the hover into a bad and put in the outside bin straight away
- Get rid of any clutter around the bed
- Repair any cracks in walls and peeling wall paper to reduce areas that they can hide
Bed Bug Control
Cleaning alone will not get rid of a bedbug infestation. Effective bed bug elimination requires the use of chemical treatments. As the use of chemicals and insecticide can be harmful it may be a good idea to call in a professional pest controller to get rid of them for you to ensure that the job is done correctly and safely.