Here’s a guide to this creepy crawlies in case you ever have the misfortune of them moving into your home.
Bedbugs can grow up to 10mm, have oval brown, broad, flat bodies, and a short, broadhead. After a bedbug has fed, it will darken in colour and become plumper. Bedbugs do not fly, and therefore, are wingless. That doesn’t stop them from moving around quickly and spreading throughout a house in very little time.
Bedbug eggs are about 1 mm long, white in colour, and very hard to see on surfaces. The eggs have a sticky coating around them and are laid in cracks and crevices, behind pictures, woodwork, and any hidden area. The female bedbug can lay at least 200 eggs in her lifetime. That works out to about 2 to 4 eggs a day and can take 6 to 17 days to hatch.
How they feed
Bedbugs are nocturnal bugs; they come out at night to feed and hide during the day. They are attracted to the carbon dioxide we exhale and feed on our blood as well as animal blood.
Newly hatched bedbugs will start to feed as soon as a food source is available to them. Bedbugs can live for several weeks and up to a year without feeding, making starving them out pretty much impossible in a residential home.
They will hide in areas close to you at night to make the trek to feed short and sweet. They can flatten themselves and hide behind wallpaper, picture frames, inside box springs, mattress pads, and even electrical outlets.
There are no diseases that are known to be spread by bedbugs. However, their bites can be very bothersome. Generally, you do not need to seek medical attention.
A bedbug bite will leave you with an itchy red welt. Like any itchy bug bite scratching the bite puts you at risk of breaking the skin and possibly developing a bacterial infection.
Some people have gone to battle with a bedbug infestation and are left with anxiety and insomnia. These are conditions that need to be seen by a doctor.
How long do they live?
Bedbugs have a fairly long-life span for a bug. Generally, they live around 10 months, but they can live for a year or more if the conditions are right. If a bedbug colony lives in a home with a temperature ranging between 21° – 28 °, they can live for a year or longer.
How do you get rid of them?
A bedbug infestation can be tricky to eradicate. Calling a pest specialist is your best chance of killing off these pests as quickly as possible. A good treatment for bedbugs is a whole house heat treatment. The pest specialist has special equipment to raise the temperatures to deadly heat for bedbugs; 118 ° for a few hours will do the trick.
A heat treatment needs to perform correctly by a professional to monitor every room in the house. If as little as one bug is missed, you will have a reinfestation.
There are sprays available for bedbugs. They are not as effective as heat. Killing all the bugs in one heat treatment will get the nightmare of a bedbug infestation over a lot quicker than any spray you will find.
How to make sure they don’t come back
Once the infestation is treated, it is important to watch for signs that all the bedbugs were not killed during the treatment. It happens, remember we said they could be tricky to treat.
A few things to implement and watch for after treatment.
- Invest in a quality mattress cover that is designed to keep bedbugs out. You could even wrap your mattress in plastic wrap. Be sure it’s snug, and no bugs can get through.
- Invest in bed leg interceptors to catch any bugs trying to crawl up the legs of your bed. This is a good indication of reinfestation and keeping them away from you. You could even use double-sided carpet tape around the legs of your bed to catch them as they try to climb up.
- Switch to light-coloured bed sheets so you can spot them easier.
- Paint your furniture white or a lighter colour to see them easier.
- Vacuum daily. Even if you think they are all gone, vacuum daily for a few weeks after treatment. Emptying and disposing of the vacuum bag right after vacuuming.
Precautions to take while travelling
Bedbugs are very good at hitching rides home with people. If you travel, taking a few precautions could help to stop you from bringing home unwanted house guests.
- Leave your pillow at home. It’s nice to bring some comforts from home when you’re travelling but bringing your pillow along will give bedbugs a perfect spot to crawl into and come home with you.
- Inspect the room before bringing in your luggage. Check the sheets and the mattress for stains that the bedbugs leave behind.
- Bring a flashlight to inspect inside the closet, including cracks and crevices where pests may be hiding.
- When you get home, inspect your luggage outside for any bugs that may have come home with you. Light-coloured luggage is helpful for this purpose. The bedbugs stand out more and are easier to spot.
- Whether you find a bedbug or not, as soon as you take your clothes out of your luggage, put it all in the washer, and wash in water as hot as possible—even clothes you didn’t wear.
- Vacuum your luggage.
- You can rent or buy a portable heat treatment tent and place your luggage and clothing in the tent once you get home. Letting the heat kill off any possible hitchhikers.
Bed bugs are indeed a pest problem and can be very difficult to exterminate. If you find yourself struggling with them, it’s important to call pest control in London to administer the proper treatment plan.
A small infestation can get out of hand very quickly and needs to be handled by professionals. Either heat treatment or chemical treatments, contact our emergency pest control for your residential or commercial property today to ensure a professional bed bug extermination and pest-free home.
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