What are bed bugs?
Beg Bugs, part of the Cimicidae family of insects, are parasites that feed primarily on human blood. Although they are not considered a serious health hazard, they can be extremely unpleasant to live with and can cause insomnia, anemia and mental fatigue.
They are fairly easy to recognize, with adult bed bugs being of a brown or reddish-brown colour, measuring approximately 2-5 mm long. They have a flat shape which allows them to easily find hiding spaces in cracks and crevices.
They always want to be close to a human so that they can feed, which is why they dwell in fabric, furniture, walls, clothes and their favourite location - beds.
How do I know if I have bed bugs?
It is common for people to confuse bed bugs with fleas or mites. So in order to be 100% sure, it is recommended to seek expert advice as soon as you suspect you may have bed bugs. If you leave it for too long, the infestation will spread to other rooms and will become a bigger and more expensive task to deal with.
The most common signs and symptoms are:
- Irritation, rashes and swelling of the skin
- Small visible specks (droppings) on bedding or on the floor
- Blood spots on your bed sheets
- Live insects dwelling in concealed spaces
How do bed bugs spread?
Bed bugs are transported from one location to another, usually on luggage, bedding, clothing or furniture. They are very good at hiding on all modes of transport so they are easily moved from place to place.
You are most likely to find bed bugs in places with a high occupant turnover, such as hotels, dormitories, shelters, hostels, prisons and multi-occupancy buildings.
Bed bugs multiply at at extremely fast rate too, with female bugs laying between 1 and 10 eggs a day. These eggs are covered in a "protein glue" which allows them to stick to surfaces until they hatch within about 10 days.
A bed bug infestation is not necessarily a reflection of poor hygiene. Even the cleanest, and best looked after of places can find themselves with bed begs, because of how easy it is for them to be brought in to the property by an occupant who has come into contact with them prior to visiting.
Are bed bugs dangerous?
Typical bed bug bites go unnoticed until and hour or two later. And even then it will probably appear as a small red bump, often quite itchy. Bed bug bites are not dangerous but they can be very annoying. If you get bit frequently you may start to develop a rash or skin irritation so it’s best to get rid of them as soon as possible.
I think I have bed bugs. What should I do?
If you suspect you have bed bugs then do not bring anything new into the contaminated room, such as clothing, bedding, furniture or toys, as they may also become contaminated.
Also, although it might be tempting, don't start sleeping in a different bed or on the sofa as the bed bugs may end up following you to the new location and contaminating that are.
You should not throw anything out, or attempt to get rid of the bed bugs yourself. Get in touch with us ASAP so that we can deal with the problem quickly, discreetly and effectively.
Ensure that you don't bag anything unless it has been washed in hot water and dried on hot for one to two hours. Bagging up clothing or bedding with bed bugs that has not been properly washed and dried means when you re-open the bag the area will become contaminated again.
It is best to assume everything in that room is infested and speak to an expert for advice.