Bed Bugs Common Bedbug (Cimex lectularius) How do you know if you have them? Bed bugs conceal themselves very well although visible to the human eye. Remain at most times undetected retreating into a range of cracks and crevices in its environment your abode! A very good method of gauging if you have bed bugs is applying very sticky double sided or carpet tape on all sides of your bed frame, thereby catching them or even as a temporary measure to help against immediate biting as the host sleeps. Generally black dots closely bunched together are signs of bed bug faeces. Surprisingly bed bugs also hide under your carpets. These insects need to be where a host is going to be, for an extended period. If in the bedroom, they will come out at night while the host is sleeping, from hiding places such as the frame and headboard of the bed, behind any loose or peeling wallpaper, cracks in wood-work or plaster, from behind ward-robes or bedside cabinets. In the lounge area, they favour soft furnishings and are often found around the arm joints of armchairs and settees. Adult bedbugs are 4 – 5 mm in length, wingless and uniformly mahogany brown in colour. They have long well-developed walking legs with efficient tarsal claws for clinging on to the host during feeding. Prominent antennae project from the head adjacent to the compound eyes. You will be bitten! The initial warning of a growing infestation is from actually being bitten. The resulting irritancy of the anti-coagulant chemical around the bite site can be severe, particularly to people with soft sensitive skin. Scratching is difficult to resist but this can cause infection of the bite area. If this is a likely problem, you should consult a Doctor or Chemist to obtain appropriate medication. Bedbugs are more active at night, and infestations occur mainly in the bed-room and lounge areas. The bedbug feeds on the host by finding a bare patch of skin, through which it forces the feeding tube of its mouthparts, whilst at the same time injecting the host with its saliva. The saliva contains a chemical that prevents the blood from clotting. It is this substance that causes the itch and swelling associated with the ‘bite’ The bite from this insect can be very irritating. If they are allowed to multiply unchecked, numbers could become such, that the host/s may become anaemic through blood loss, although this is rare. How do we control bedbugs? A thorough inspection should be made to determine the extent and source of the infestation. Bedbugs can be introduced via second hand furniture, been brought in by the resident or entered the building from adjoining premises. Treatment for bedbugs is detailed and complex. We would normally carry out three visits against bedbugs. Our initial treatment consists of a dual insecticide treatment to the entire premises apart from the kitchen and bathroom. Before the treatment commences the residents are asked to vacate the premises and cannot return for four hours. The follow ups We would need to carry out two follow up visits at weekly intervals after the initial treatment and the premises are treated in exactly the same way as the initial visit. Once our work is completed our technician will fill out a detailed inspection report and discuss ways of preventing re-infestation.