Ever felt as though you’re being bitten in bed?
Ever woken up in the morning with large, reddened and itchy welts that later fade to little red spots on your arms, shoulders, legs & back?
Do you travel a lot or have you had someone stay with you that’s travelled recently?
You might have bed bugs! Time to call in the bed bug exterminators.
What are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are small, wingless, nocturnal insects capable of piercing skin and sucking up blood – the real world albeit smaller version of the mythological vampire.
Bed bugs live exclusively on blood, preferring human blood to other mammals, although they won’t hesitate to bite another mammal if a human host isn’t readily available. They require blood for nutrition and development, typically needing at least five feeds between nymph and adulthood.
Bed bugs are oval in shape and normally quite flattened, which enables them to crawl and squeeze into the smallest of cracks and crevices – as well as hide from all but the most expert bed bug pest control treatments. They are light brown in colour, changing to rusty red following a blood meal. Post-feed, the insect’s body expands and becomes more egg-like in shape. Bed bugs are usually between 4-5 mm long and have a varying life span from as short as 45 days to as long as over a year, depending on conditions. They can also survive several months without a blood meal, so you need a proper bed bug treatment to get rid of them.
They are also expert travellers, hitching a ride into your home from furniture, luggage and even on your clothing! If you think you have a bed bug infestation, it’s important to not spread the infestation from one room to another by moving bedding, furniture etc. A minor infestation can become a major problem from a simple chance transfer from the infected room before you call the bed bug exterminator.
What Attracts Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are nocturnal bloodsuckers that are attracted to body heat and expelled carbon dioxide, both of which they use to seek out a host.
When we sleep, we are confined to the one space, usually our beds, and in our rooms where we typically remain all night. Our body temperatures are kept relatively even and warm from our sheets and blankets, and our rooms build up with the carbon dioxide we breathe out.
Our body temperatures and the expired carbon dioxide in the air signal to bed bugs that a blood meal is close by. At night they emerge from their hiding spots in your bedding and mattresses to tuck into the tasty blood feast which is any part of your body they can get ready access to. This is why the first place your bed bug control expert will check is the bedroom.
Bed Bug Bites
Bed bugs have advanced piercing mouthparts. During feeding, the insect’s feeding organ (the proboscis) swings forwards and downwards, piercing the skin of the host. Their saliva, which contains an anticoagulant, is then injected into the skin. It is this injection of saliva that causes the itchy, swollen and reddened weal allergic reaction in some people, whereas there are others who don’t react at all. A bite is otherwise painless.
Everyone reacts differently to being bitten. If you think you’re being bitten but your partner is looking at you as though you’re making it up, don’t worry. Your partner may be one of those people who just doesn’t react to bites. The only way to know for certain is to give us a call and book in an inspection and bed bug treatment to exterminate them for good.
Bed Bug Hiding Spots & Tell-Tale Signs
Bed bugs get their name as they’re typically found in and around beds, bedding and mattresses (where their food typically spends 6-10 hours of every day). But don’t let that fool you - they can be found literally anywhere in your room: the bed frame, power points, behind picture frames, amongst books and even behind wallpaper!
Because of this, your bed bug exterminator will need to check the whole room (and probably the rest of the house) to confirm the infestation.
Tell-tale signs of bed bug activity include:
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs – Treatment & Management
Our bed bug treatment follows three steps:
A room by room inspection of your premises
Targeted treatment of the affected rooms
Follow up inspection of treated rooms and areas
Bed bugs are often thought to be the source behind bites and welts on the body when, in fact, carpet beetles, fleas, mosquitoes and bird mites cause similar reactions. At Defender, we conduct a thorough inspection of your property as part of our pest control program to correctly identify the nuisance pest, determine the extent of the infestation and which rooms are to be treated. Identifying the extent and level of infestation is key to exterminating bed bugs.
Bed linen should be washed on a hot water cycle (40 degrees plus) followed by a hot dryer. Sensitive fabrics and materials can be placed in the freezer. To be effective, the entire item must reach the temperature of the freezer. DO NOT return the washed or frozen items to the affected rooms without first sealing them in plastic bags, as even after your bed bug treatment there is a chance that they will return. Where possible, it’s best to leave these items out of the affected rooms for a 7-10 day quarantine period.
A follow up inspection should be conducted 7-10 days post-treatment. A reapplication may be necessary at this stage if further live bed bugs are found.
So if you ever find yourself scratching away in bed, or wake up to a series of bites, give us a call!
Good night, sleep tight, and don’t let the bed bugs bite!!!
Revenge of the great Australian tradition "The Hard Rubbish Collection". Note to all; do not take a fabric bed head from the side of the road (no matter how perfect it looks.) My life will never be the same. 4000 billion bed bugs came out in the night and as I moved from bed to bed they followed. I bombed them with flea bombs; I sprayed with termite spray and still every morning I was covered in new bites. I rang around and Kaiz came to the rescue. The spray treatment is not cheap due to the price of the chemicals, however Kaiz was certainly not the most expensive... On time; lovely man and great job.
Thank you Kaiz.
Fiona, Aug 2018