Bed Bugs

What do they look like

Bed Bugs are oval shaped, flattened and about 6mm long. When unfed they are pale brown in colour but become reddish brown to mahogany when full of blood. Young bugs (nymphs) are nearly colourless, becoming brownish as they mature. The legs are well developed and they can crawl up vertical surfaces of wood, paper and plaster. 

Life Cycle

Egg – Nymph – Adult
The female may lay up to 200 eggs in small numbers of 4-5 per day, glued in
crevices and harbourages. The eggs only hatch above 13°C.
The resultant nymphs resemble in miniature the adults and develop through a
series of moults (usually 5) to reach full development. There is a wide
variation in the time taken to reach maturity (few weeks to many months),
depending on food supply and temperature. The adults are wingless and
flattened unless recently fed and about 6mm long.

Where do they live?

Bed bugs are usually found in areas such as in floor cracks, under carpets,
behind loose wallpaper, wall pictures, loose skirting boards and door frames,
and in the seams of bed mattresses etc. They will usually reside close to a
food source.

What do they eat?

Bed bugs feed exclusively on blood, generally only in darkness. Although
human blood is preferred, they can survive on other blood from rabbits,
rodents etc. Bed bugs can survive extremes of starvation, and have been
known to survive for up to 12 months without feeding.

Pest Status

Disease Transmission

Bugs are not thought to transmit any serious illnesses to humans. However, the bite can cause considerable irritation and may result in loss of sleep and lowering of general health. Heavy infestations are characterised by a distinctive odour.

Control of Bed Bugs

You cannot successfully treat bed bugs yourself and all householders are advised to employ professional help to eradicate an infestation. Normally, more than one visit will need to be made due to the life cycle of the insect and the ease with which they hide in inaccessible cracks and crevices. Should you require a follow up treatment this will be carried out 3-4 weeks after the initial application to allow any eggs that may have hatched to come into contact with the insecticide. A treatment may therefore last over a number of months.

The standard treatment for infested premises will include the application of a residual insecticide. The insecticide is applied to cracks and crevices where bed bugs could be hiding, including the seams of mattresses, bed frames, flooring, skirting boards etc. If you arrange for Falconry Services Pest Control to treat the infestation, you will be given advice on the nature of the treatment and pre and post visit steps that you can take to help eradicate the infestation.

Specifically:-

Prior to the treatment, clear the bedroom floor area of items, (including children’s toys) by placing them in a sealed bag such as a refuse bag. Keep the bag in the bedroom to avoid infesting other areas. This is to allow easy
access to a ll areas and to save time on the day of treatment. All walls should be clear of pictures and mirrors and placed in a bag as detailed above. Electrical items in the bedrooms such as TV’s, videos, computers, alarm
clocks etc should also be placed in a bag as detailed above. All bedding should be stripped from the bed and put through a hot wash on the day of treatment. For beds with drawers, the contents should be removed
and laundered in the same way. Where possible, clothes in bed side cabinets, chest of drawers and wardrobes should also be laundered. You will need to vacate the property after treatment for a period of 3 hours. After the treatment, you will be asked to refrain from vacuuming the floor carpet for 3-4 weeks after treatment. This is to ensure the residual effect of the insecticide used is maintained.

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