You know the old expression “sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite”? Well, it really is an old expression, because the cimex lectularius, or the common bedbug, has existed for thousands of years.
They are rather tiny insects belonging to a species that is typified by its need to have blood meals to survive. Their victims are primarily human, but at a pinch, animal blood will do.
Adults bedbugs can measure as much as 5mm (about the size of an apple seed and much the same colouring), and are easily visible to the naked eye if you are up to catching them. Because the bedbug gets its name honestly, seeking out victims in the dark of night, their victims are usually in bed.
They are not spawned, nor attracted by dirty environments however. This is a very common misconception. What really draws them is a source of warmth and exhaled carbon dioxide. The cleanliness of a room, bed or entire home, really has nothing to do with their presence. The bedbug will crawl into the bed, feed off its host, and return to their dark lairs for the daylight hours, although under especially appealing circumstances, they will emerge in daytime. A well-fed bedbug can survive up to a year and a half without eating again, but their instincts usually lead them to seek a meal, every 6-12 days.
Bedbugs exist in most temperate climates, however they virtually disappeared from Australia during the first half of the last century, due to the high toxicity of such chemicals as DDT. But the substances used by many pest control companies today, are primarily meant for cockroaches, and do not have the residual effects that the older formulas did. In fact a mistake many pest controllers may make is to use insecticides that are highly repellent. This has the effect of keeping the Bed bugs away for a couple of weeks, but you can count on them returning when the area is safe once again.
If you are discovering itching spots or raised bumps during the day, particularly if they occur in groups of three (or more), you may have bedbugs. A good way to check is to put plain white linen on your bed. Set the alarm for an hour before it gets light, then turn on a flashlight and inspect under the covers. What you could see are small black specks scurrying away from the light. If you have rolled on them and squashed a bug that has fed, there will be tiny smears of blood on the sheet.
Home pest control is an â€˜iffyâ€™ thing, due to the lost art and the fact that most of the proprietary products and supermarket insecticides are repellent. There are many homespun remedies and recipes for spraying in the places bugs will hide, such as baseboards, carpet, under dressers and between the mattress and box spring. While attempting to destroy the pests, you should take other measures with the bed. Place the legs inside dishes of water, and grease the legs with petroleum jelly. Bedbugs do not jump or fly, and their only way up onto the bed, is by climbing.
With severe infestations, you will need professional help. Be sure to check and see if the pest control company you contact has any experience with bedbugs.
Be prepared that the exercise may be relatively costly. The reasonable measure of an experienced Professional Pest Manager is the time they will take to both survey the problem and carry out the treatment. It will not be a 30-minute exercise, but may take several hours and will likely cover additional rooms, as well as those where the bed bugs have attacked.
As Bed Bugs hide in the most difficult places, the treatment can be disruptive and you will have tasks to attend to, both before and after the treatment. All clothing must be washed in hot water where possible, or stored in sealed black plastic bags and then exposed to direct sunlight for several hours to kill any hidden, live bed bugs and to destroy any eggs that may be in the clothing.
Anticipate that at least one return visit will be needed and ensure the cost of the return visit has been factored into the initial treatment price.
Warranties are often a difficult area. As Bed Bugs are very transportable, a brand new batch can be brought into the home the very next time you stay at a motel, hotel or van park.
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