What you need to know about Bed Bugs and Bed Bug treatments.
Bed Bugs are on the increase in Dorset and Hampshire, MBC Bird and Pest Solutions have been called out frequently in the past few months to treat and eradicate serious bed bug problems in the local area. The bugs always seem to be more prolific during the autumn months but are present all year round, If you suspect Bed bugs contact MBC for specialist Bed Bug Control treatments.
Adult: strongly depressed; oval body; reddish brown; length females: 4–8 mm; males are slightly smaller. They are normally mahogany red brown but become purple after feeding. They only have small wing buds but have well-developed antennae and compound eyes. The legs are clawed to allow them to climb rough surfaces.
Hiding places – head board and bed structure, mattress-buttons, seams, broken plaster, peeling wallpaper, crevices in woodwork, skirting, flooring joints, carpets, picture rails. They congregate in dry secluded places bonding the colony with an aggregation pheromone and are often around a bed in crevices especially wooden joints, beneath loose carpets, behind pictures and wallpaper. The bugs like rougher wooden surfaces. They are often found in the seams of mattress and under metal caps of the bed legs. Bed bugs feed at night and at a distance are able to detect host’s body heat and can crawl up walls and along ceilings and sometimes drop onto beds. Once they have found a host, they inject saliva to cause irritation and swelling. They then feed on blood for up to 10 minutes, ingesting up to seven times their own weight before retreating back to hiding places. Excrement stains and cast larval skins can be found. The bed bug also mates and lays eggs in the harbourage. Signs include- excretion speckling / cast skins, eggs and they have an almond like smell produced from the stink gland.
In the UK peak numbers are in autumn. In cold weather, egg laying ceases and nymph development slows down. They usually over-winter as adults, as they are hardier than nymphs. The adult Bedbug, adults and nymphs only feed when hungry. They are not present on the host in between meals.
Their eggs are slightly curved pearly white and 0.8-1.3mm long. They are laid in the hidden areas and cemented to the surface. Three eggs laid per day and approximately 200 over the lifecycle of the bedbug. They have an incomplete metamorphosis; they hatch into nymphs after 10/20 days. Five moults are normal and one blood feed is needed before each moult. Their development rate depends on the temperature and food availability: Egg to adult is usually 9-18 weeks (depending on room temperature). This period is shorter during warmer periods. They have 2-4 generations per year. If they have fed then they can survive for up to a year at low temperatures, without feeding. If humidity is low, however, then water loss is increased and survival is reduced.
It is important to carry out treatment of all known and likely harbourages. Inspect the affected area to establish the location and extent of infestation, and to confirm bedbugs as the infesting species. The area to be treated should be cleared of people, and any bed sheets or soft furnishings removed for cleaning. Prior to treatment we mix Digrain Bugs Control or Phobi Dose bed bug treatments at the standard dilution rate in a five litre compression sprayer. The areas to be treated will include all bed areas in the affected dormitory, and any dormitory or bedroom areas adjoining the affected area. Areas can be treated with a course spray to the point of run-off. Bedbug infestations are easier to eradicate at earlier stages of development. There is no need to destroy beds unless they are badly damaged and bed bugs are actually living inside the mattress. These should ideally be burnt.
Mattresses must be removed from all beds and lightly sprayed, paying special attention to seams and buttons. Bed frames also should be lightly sprayed, including all cracks and crevices. All surrounding areas should be treated including bedside furniture, door-casings, under windowsills, pictures and posters, under peeling wallpaper, in cracks and crevices in floorboards or skirting boards, in the seams of curtains, and any other similar place that may harbour infestation.
Inspect wardrobes and chests of drawers and dressing tables and treat as necessary. We use a pyrethroid spray-can to flush insects from harbourages.
Finally we lightly spray the whole carpet area of the room. If the dormitory/hostel/hotel room has to be used the same day, then it is to be treated in the morning to allow the area to dry by the evening, any occupants who have moved their luggage or other belongings will be advised to inspect all belongings thoroughly. Manager or owners should be advised that luggage and belongings are the most likely method of moving bedbug infestation from one place to another. Any personal belongings of occupants should not be treated with insecticide. Infestation must be removed by the owner by washing or dry cleaning. At the end of treatment, the manager / owner will be advised of all areas that have been treated, and the likely time before re-occupation can occur. All adjoining rooms adjacent to and around the affected bedroom must also be treated along with corridors or hallways. If there are valuable items of furniture, pianos, carpets, tapestries etc. do not treat unless permission is sought and obtain a signed disclaimer notice before commencing work. The technician must leave a signed report on site, detailing all work to be carried out and the pesticide used.
Switch boxes and wall sockets can be treated with a dusting powder. Bed bugs do not spread disease but do cause stress and blood loss. When laundering clean sheets / curtains at 60ºC for at least 10 minutes.
MBC Bird and Pest Solutions uses various treatments for bed bugs including the new Phobi Dose chemical insecticide which has been proven to kill bed bugs in a single treatment; however we recommend our SID treatment which is Steam, Insecticide and Dust
Steam: kills bugs instantly and is used on harbourages to have immediate effect.
Insecticides: are used to cover larger areas and harbourages and create a residual blanket to continue killing the bed bugs as they crawl over the insecticide.
Dust: diatomaceous earth is applied as a bed bug application, the dust filters through the hard shelled body of the bed bug. The tiny silicon particles suffocate the insect’s airways attacking their respiratory system. When the razor sharp particles come in contact with the insect it strips away their protective coating causing them to become dehydrated.
Although many pest controllers claim to kill bed bugs in one treatment or two we always recommend a third or possibly fourth over a period of 13 weeks,
Day one: Steam and Insecticide.
Day Seven: Steam, Insecticide and Dust.
Six weeks: Insecticide treatment and Steam if necessary
Six weeks on: Insecticide and or Dust
Bed Bug Control is a specialist subject and it is always advisable to seek professional advice as the Bugs are becoming increasingly more resistant to treatment. MBC have undertaken full training to enable us to deal with bed bug infestations rapidly and successfully.
Bed Bug Infestations are on the increase in Dorset and Hampshire due to movement of students and holiday makers visiting the area.
MBC Bird and Pest solutions guarantee a rapid response to all bed bug enquiries as we recognise the stress caused by infestations and the trauma of being continuously bitten by bed bugs which can lead to severe allergic reactions which can be quite painful. If you suspect bed bugs remember it is easier to treat during in the early stages rather than a large active infestation over several rooms.