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Control

  • eradicating bed bugs is very challenging because they can hide in so many places
  • dismantle bedframes, particularly wooden ones as bed bugs have an affinity for wood over metal
  • remove slats, check screw holes and knots 
  • remove headboards that are screwed to the wall and check under storage boxes under the bed
  • check carpet edges, in moulded woodwork, at the junction of wall and ceiling, behind picture frames, mirrors and switch plates
  • look under loose wallpaper, clear clothes and clutter off the floor|
  • place bedding, clothes, toys, shoes, backpacks etc in a clothes dryer on medium to high for 20 minutes. This will kill all life stages
  • items that cannot go in a dryer can be wrapped in plastic and left in a hot, sunny spot for a day
  • spray the entire area with insecticide such as Insectaclear Strong or Protector C. This is also safe to use on mattresses, carpets and soft furnishings
  • powered insecticide can be use around electrical switches and sprinkled into suitable cracks and crevices
  • follow up treatments will be required to target any newly hatched bugs for a number of weeks

  • Description

    Bed Bug
  • small, reddish-brown, oval flattened bod
  • do not fly or jump, but can crawl very quickly
  • often mistaken for ticks
  • immature adults (nymphs) are smaller and lighter in colour
  • eggs are white and the size of a speck of dust
  • young nymphs are no bigger than a pinhead
  • Lifecycle

  • eggs are laid in secluded places
  • they are sticky so they adhere to surfaces
  • at room temperature, eggs hatch in a week
  • nymphs emerge and grow, shedding their skin 5 times before they reach maturity
  • in favourable temperatures, maturity is reached in about a month
  • adult females must feed in order to lay eggs, but can lay hundreds of egg in her lifetime (4-6 months)
  • Habitat

  • hide in tiny crevices near to where people sleep, particularly mattress seams, box springs, bed frames and headboards, but also couches and armchairs
  • active at night and feed only on blood, predominantly human but also pets
  • bed bugs are resilient because they can survive up to six months without a meal, much longer if conditions are cooler
  • they do not have nests, but congregate in secluded locations.
  • telltale signs are dark spotting, shed skins, eggs and the adult pest
  • bed bugs take 3-10 minutes to feed then crawl away and hide
  • some people develop an itchy welt within a few days; others have no reaction
  • bites appear on any exposed skin, not just the lower legs as with fleas
  • bed bugs are often introduced from outside on luggage, clothing, second hand furniture, backpacks etc
  • they are not proven to spread disease and there is no link with lack of cleanliness
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