Bedbugs are wingless insects, roughly oval in shape, 4-5mm long when fully grown, and are fast runners. They are rust brown in colour and change to a deeper red brown following a blood meal. Bedbugs are flattened and being thin means that they can hide in narrow cracks and crevices, making detection often very difficult.
There are five juvenile stages known as nymphs, which are miniature versions of the adults in appearance. Each nymphal stage requires at least one blood meal to moult to the next stage and it takes 5-10 minutes for complete engorgement to occur. The entire nymphal development takes 6-8 weeks, while the adult bed bugs can live on average for 6-12 months. All nymphal stages and adults of both sexes require blood for nutrition and development. After mating, each female lays 2-3 eggs a day throughout her lifespan. The cream coloured eggs (1mm in length) are cemented on rough surfaces of hiding places, and will hatch within around 10 days at room temperature, but longer in cooler conditions.
The mouthparts of bedbugs are especially adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood. Like most blood sucking arthropods, they inject saliva during feeding, which has anticoagulant properties. Bedbugs respond to the warmth and carbon dioxide of a host and quickly locate a suitable feeding site. They tend not to live on humans and the only contact is for a blood meal. Most blood feeding occurs at night and in the early morning, and they generally seek shelter during the day and become inactive while digesting the blood meal. However, bedbugs are opportunistic and will bite in the day especially if starved for some time. They can survive for long periods without feeding. While their preferred host is human, they will feed on wide variety of other warm-blooded animals including rodents, rabbits, bats, and even birds.
Being a cryptic species, bed bugs shelter in a variety of dark locations, mostly close to where people sleep. These include under mattresses, floorboards, paintings and carpets, behind skirting, in various cracks and crevices of walls, within bed frames and other furniture, and behind loose wallpaper. Bedbugs tend to stay in close contact with each other and heavy infestations are accompanied by a distinctive sweet sickly smell. Blood spotting on mattresses and nearby furnishings is often a tell tale sign of an infestation.
Bedbugs are one of the great travellers of the world and are readily transported via luggage, clothing, bedding and furniture. As such, they have a worldwide distribution.
If bedbugs are suspected call Evergreen Pest Management.
The aim of the treatment by your Evergreen Pest Manager is simple.
All harbourages must be located, treated and eliminated.
It is the implementation that is difficult and may need your assistance.
The Pest Manager will locate all potential harbourages within 2-3m of the bed.
A harbourage is any crack that you can slide the corner of a piece of paper into – because bedbugs are paper-thin.
Items, such as bed-heads, should be removed if possible because bedbugs are gregarious (many live together) and the crack between the wall and the bed-head may be the entrance to a large void and many bedbugs.
Control of a bedbug infestation requires the careful use of pesticides.
One might think that you could "starve" the bedbugs out of your house by simply leaving for a few days, this would, however, prove fruitless, as bedbugs can survive more than a year without feeding.
Evergreen Pest Management has special nozzles to treat cracks and crevices, where it is not possible to expose the void inside.
It is not possible to know if someone is a ‘bedbug carrier'.
Premises such as backpackers should be inspected regularly for signs of infestation to avoid the costs and inconvenience associated with complaints of bedbug attacks.
Because of their small size and inconspicuous nature, bedbugs can be transported from one house to another in furniture, clothing, laundry, and a variety of other ways. Once in a house, bedbugs can hide almost anywhere. As one might suspect, they tend to be found around the bed, hiding in the mattress and sheets, but they can also be found behind the skirtingboards, under furniture, and even behind wallpaper.
THE CONTROL OF BEDBUGS CALL
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