Bedbugs, about the size of an apple seed when fully grown, lurk in the smallest cracks and crevices within the home or property. Having lived on human blood for centuries, these parasites are stubborn creatures to get rid of; many people think that they can effectively deal with bedbugs themselves but, as you will learn in this article, it takes more than washing the sheets and vacuuming the mattress.
Professional help is nearly always required but you first need to identify if it is bedbugs that are the problem, an idea of their habits, followed by the measures needed to get rid of them.
Flat, round and reddish brown, some people liken them to a lentil-shaped creature measuring around 7mm in length. The ones that cause problems for humans are the common bedbug, Climex lectularis, and the tropical bedbug Climex hemipterus.
True or false? - Bedbugs cannot be seen with the naked eye?
FALSE! Adults are the size of an apple seed, with nymphs resembling poppy seeds; eggs can be more difficult to see, with the use of a magnifying glass often needed.
Up until 2000, bedbugs in more developed countries such as the UK were somewhat of a rarity. However, numbers and incidences of bedbug infestations in the UK in counties from Kent to Shropshire and beyond, along with other countries such as America and Canada, have been on the increase.
There are two reasons why people believe bedbugs in the UK are becoming more common;
Many people are obviously distressed and uncomfortable at the thought of sharing their bed with a small bug.
Bedbugs, although they do not fly, can quickly become established in the home; they can move quickly over floors, walls and ceilings. The female bedbug can lay around 500 eggs during their lifetime (which can be several years; they can survive over a year without feeding!), all the size of a speck of dust.
Immature bedbugs are called nymphs and they will shed their skin up to 5 times before reaching full maturity. Before each skin shedding, they will need a heavy meal of blood and, in the right conditions, the speed of this growth from nymph to adult can take around a month.
However, even though you may have itchy bites, the good news is they do not transmit diseases or infections.
True or false? – not everyone has a ‘reaction’ to bedbug bites?
TRUE! Not everyone will have an itchy lump or two after being bitten by bedbugs and may only know they have them in their home.
Understanding their habits means that eradication can be made slightly easier – professional pest controllers know where to look and some of these places may seem unlikely hiding places…
Bedbugs are around the width of a credit card, hence they can fit in the smallest of places and, unlike other insects and bugs. They do not nest, preferring to live together in groups, hiding in places such as mattresses, bedframes and headboards.
Many people are embarrassed to ‘admit’ they have a bedbug infestation but, there really is no need. Bedbugs live off human blood; they will live anywhere where they have access to humans. They can be found in the cleanest hotel rooms and the cleanest homes across the UK.
In order to access a blood meal, they will obviously need to pierce through human skin. They are more active at night, feeding for between 3 and 10 minutes until they become engorged, swollen with blood and then scuttle away unnoticed.
Initially, these bites are painless but, as they happen over and over again, they can begin to develop in to itchy welts. Flea bites tend to be similar in look, but they tend to be around the ankles; bedbugs bite on the areas of exposed skin whilst we sleep and, bedbug bites do not have the red post centre characteristic of flea bites.
Many people find that they have bedbugs when they wake with red itchy bites in the morning, whereas they had none the night before!
There are other signs too, such as;
Confirming it is bedbugs is something that a professional pest controller can do but, you can check yourself by carefully checking all the nooks and crannies of your bed, including the mattress and bedframe.
Bedbugs can hide in all kinds of places, from clothes in the wardrobe to skirting boards and electrical sockets. A professional pest controller will know exactly where to look!
Effective eradication is a two part process – using insecticides treatment as well effective, deep cleaning…
However, whilst cleaning and washing at high temperatures are a way of controlling bedbugs, getting rid of them requires some kind of chemical treatment. Over-the-counter chemical treatments will not be as effective or as strong as those used by SOS Pest Control.
The safest and most effective solution to becoming bedbug free is to call SOS Pest Control in Kent today! We offer a free no obligation survey and treatment plan.
Canterbury & Whitstable
Folkestone & Hythe
Tonbridge & Sevenoaks