Your first sign may be bites, especially on the arms, legs and torso. Not all people respond to bed bug bites and response may be delayed up to 9 days. For 100% certainty an actual bug or egg must be identified.
Signs to look for indicating bed bug activity are brown or black spots on sheets, mattresses, bed slats and walls. These are faecal spots. You may also see blood spots on bedding.
Inspection by a scent detection dog and a qualified pest management professional is very effective at determining whether an infestation is present. Call us today for inspection or to Do It Yourself with our assistance.
Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are insects that feed on blood, normally biting humans at night and hiding during the day, making it hard to find them.
Adult bed bugs are approximately 5-7mm long and resemble an apple seed. The bugs are oval shaped, very flat and brown to reddish brown although after a feeding bed bugs will plump and develop a deeper red colour.
Bed bugs hatch from an egg and grow through five nymphal stages (smaller versions of the adult) shedding their skin each time.
Bed bugs have made a comeback across the world. First documented in the 2nd millennium bed bugs became rare in the 1950’s with the use of DDT. Changes in pest management practices, increases in local and international travel and sales of used furniture are thought to have caused the resurgence of this pest. Eggs and all stages of bed bugs are all readily transported in luggage, clothing, bedding, and furniture.
Bed bugs are not known to transmit diseases although they are capable of carrying infectious material. As a result of bed bug infestations some people respond with anxiety, stress, and insomnia.
Bed bugs prefer to live near their food source (your blood) and often live in the mattress seams, ensemble base, and/or bed frame. They may also be found in cracks and crevices in window and door frames, floor cracks, carpet tack boards, skirting boards, electrical boxes, furniture, pictures, wall hangings, curtains, and loosened wallpaper.
Bed bugs are most frequently found in dwellings with a high rate of occupant turnover, such as hotels, motels, back packer accommodations, shelters, and apartment complexes. However, bed bugs may be transported via backpacks, purses or suitcases and infest office buildings, public transport, hospitals, stores, theatres, etc.
Bed bug infestations are not usually a reflection of poor hygiene or bad housekeeping but that a visitor or occupant has come into contact with bed bugs previously and transferred them into the current location.
While the developmental time (egg to adult) of the Bed Bug is affected by temperature, longer in cooler temperatures, bed bugs have been shown to be active at 7C. An adult bed bug will live for about 6 months at room temperature of 23C and longer in cooler weather. Adults are known to be able to survive for 12 months without food.
The use of inappropriate treatment solutions such as aerosol insecticides, foggers and products that bed bugs are resistant to will often spread an infestation. Determining the source and/or harbourage(s) and selecting the most appropriate treatment method is what will make a difference in the success, price and the time required to eradicate the pest. Home methods of control will usually result in increased overall costs. Many products for sale today have been proven ineffective at eliminating bed bug infestations. Sleep Tight Services stays current with updated scientific literature to recommend the best treatment products for the situation.