What Are Bed Bugs?
Bedbugs are small wingless insects that feed solely on the blood of warm blooded animals. They are flat, oval shaped insects about 5mm long. They are light brown becoming darker after feeding.
The name 'bed bug' is derived from the insect's preferred habitat of infesting houses, especially beds or other common areas where people may sleep. Bedbugs, though not strictly nocturnal, are mainly active at night and are capable of feeding unnoticed on their hosts.
How Do I Know if I have Bed Bugs?
Bedbugs will normally hide close to where the host sleeps e.g. in the frame of the bed or mattress, in furniture, behind the skirting board or wallpaper or anywhere that provides a dark harbourage during the daylight hours. They may leave small dark spots of excrement on bed linen, but the most obvious give-away is the bite.
Are There Any Health Risks?
There is no evidence that bites can transmit diseases, but they are irritating and can sometimes be painful. Their feeding spots become itchy and swollen, and can lead to infections when scratched by the bitten human. They can also cause sleep loss and general poor health.
How Do They Get into a Property?
You unknowingly bring bedbugs into your home after travel, mostly. (Less often, they ride in on second hand furniture or used clothing).
How Do I Prevent Getting Bedbugs?
- Look for bedbug infestation in hotel rooms where you stay—it happens even in upscale locations. If you find it, ask for another room on the other side of the hotel. Keep your suitcase off the floor if it’s open.
- After travel, unpack your suitcase in the garage or other place where hitch-hiking bedbugs will not find refuge. Remove clothing immediately, put in plastic bags, wash and dry in high temperatures.
- Check any second-hand furniture or used clothing thoroughly before bringing them into your home.
How Do I Treat Bedbugs?
It is very difficult to treat infestations yourself properly and you should contact the Council’s Pest Control Service for professional treatment.
A Pest Control Officer will visit your premises and inspect areas of concern. The Officer will treat the bedbug problem by spraying bed mattress, base, headboard and surrounding areas. Treatment will take approximately one hour (longer depending upon infestation).