What are the characteristics of bed bugs?
What is the life cycle of a bed bug?
How bed bugs live?
Where do bed bugs hide?
How do bed bugs gain entry into your home?
What are the signs of infestation?
How to control an infestation?

Bed bugs are some of the nastiest pests that could infest your living space. These small, brownish, oval-shaped insects, once introduced into your home will cause lots of sleepless nights, pain and anguish. Although they are not known to carry or transmit any disease, bed bugs can be a real pain — literally. They may not be able to fly (as they are wingless) but these pesky insects move very quickly on surfaces to avoid detection and stay hidden during the day.

Bed bugs are nocturnal parasites. This means that they will stay hidden during the day and only come out at night to feed. Their bite is mostly painless so you might not even know that these pests are sucking your blood as you sleep. Bites may cause itchiness and swelling resulting in reddened weals for some people, while in others they remain ‘invisible’. Their presence can be both distressing and highly irritating.

What are the characteristics of bed bugs?

Bed bugs have the following characteristics; they:

– are wingless

– are about 0.5 mm long

– are oval and flat-shaped

– are light brown in colour (the colour changes to rust-red once they have fed)

– are squat headed

– have large antennae

– have large mandibles

– have a complicated life-cycle with several stages of development

-can survive for months without feeding

– die as a result of extreme temperatures.

What is the life cycle of a bed bug?

After mating, females will lay oval shaped white eggs into cracks and crevices with a single female laying up to 250 eggs in her lifetime. The eggs will hatch in as little as 6 days with the nymphs starting to feed immediately. Immature nymphs will shed their exoskeleton — a process called moulting– five times as they mature into adults, and will need to feed before each moult. In a single year, three to four generations of bed bugs can be produced. Immature nymphs can go for months without feeding while adults will survive for a whole year. A bed bug’s lives for about a year.

Due to their rapid reproduction and relatively long lifespan, a full blown infestation will happen in just a few months if this pest is not identified and dealt with early enough.

How bed bugs live?

Bed bugs live on a strict blood-only diet. They have a preference for human blood, but will also feed from other mammals if need be. They find hosts by detecting their body heat and excessive amounts of carbon dioxide found in the air they expire. Common targets on humans are the arms and shoulders.

During feeding, the bugs pierce the victims skin with their proboscis injecting their saliva into the skin which causes skin irritation for some people. Once they have breached the host’s skin, these bugs go on to feed on the victim’s blood for five to ten minutes.

Where do bed bugs hide?

Due to their unique body shape, bed bugs are able to hide in a multitude of places. Some of these places include:

– Mattresses, especially along the seams

– bedding such as blankets and sheets

– under the wallpaper

– between cracks on furniture, walls and floors
– carpets.

How do bed bugs gain entry into your home?

This might be hard to believe, but more often than not it is you who introduces these nasty bugs into your home. This is because bed bugs often hide in clothes and luggage. So once you are exposed to bed bugs while visiting places with high occupant turnover, such as hotels, hostels or motels, the bugs will hide in your stuff and then come out of hiding to invade your house once you place your things down.

What are the signs of infestation?

Infestation is hard to detect especially in its early stages. It is therefore recommended that you do a thorough inspection every once in a while in the common hiding places, and especially when bites are visible on you or on family members. During inspection, you should check for:

– the bugs themselves

– blood stains on bedding

– dark or rusty spots from excrement

– a sweet musty offensive odour.

How to control an infestation?

The best kind of control is prevention. So always make sure that you isolate your travel luggage when you get home. Make sure you wash all the clothes and bags then dry them at the highest setting on your dryer for at least 15 minutes. High levels of hygiene in the house will also deter infestation.

If the bugs have already created their home inside your home, Pestrol has created very effective products that you could use to eliminate these bugs. They include:

  1. Pestrol Regular indoor – This is a continuous automatic insect killer that is based on natural pyrethrins. It is safe around humans and pets alike, and will eliminate these bugs wherever they are hiding inside your home. A refill lasts for about 4-6 weeks!,
    Pestrol Regular indoor

2. Pestrol Premium Dispenser – This is an automatic control system for insects that comes with a remote control. It is equipped with a computerized electronic mechanism that emits a micro spray that diffuses into every space within range killing all bugs.

Pestrol Premium Dispenser

3. Pestrol Indoor Ultra Dispenser – This fully programmable automatic dispenser can be set to release a micro mist into the air every 5, 10, 15 or 30 minutes killing all bugs in the house including bed bugs. The insecticide used is made of natural pyrethrins and is therefore non-toxic.

Pestrol Indoor Ultra Dispenser

4. Pestrol Bed Bug Barrier – This is a bed bug killing powder that the user applies in all areas where bed bugs are suspected to hide. The powder can be applied using a powder duster or powder puffer. If applied to a mattress, cover the mattress with a Bed Bug Proof Mattress Protector (another product from Pestrol) to keep it usable.

Pestrol Bed Bug Barrier

5. Pestrol Bed Bug Steamer – This steamer will kill bed bugs and the eggs they have laid instantly without the use of toxic chemicals. It is safe to use on furniture, mattresses and carpets.

6. Bed Bug Mattress And Pillow Protectors – Mattress protectors come in depths of 24 and 33 cm to cover mattresses of varying heights. These protectors create a barrier between you and the bugs and thus starves them to death

.Bed Bug Mattress And Pillow Protectors

The key to eradicating bed bugs is early detection. Kill them before they reproduce and spread to more areas. So keep checking and once you identify them, use any of the above methods to get rid of them — permanently.

Check out our range of products: http://www.pestrol.com.au/insects/indoor-insect-control/bed-bugs.html

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