Bedbugs

Description

Like Fleas, Bed bugs are parasitic insects that feed on blood. The term is used loosely to refer to any species of the genus Cimex, and even more loosely to refer to any member of the family Cimicidae. The common bedbug, Cimex lectularius, is the most infamous species of the family and prefers to feed on human blood. The name of the "bed bug" is derived from the insect's preferred habitat of houses and especially beds or other areas where people sleep. Bed bugs are mainly active at night, but are not exclusively nocturnal and are capable of feeding on their hosts without being noticed.

A number of adverse health effects may occur due to bed bug bites, including skin rashes, psychological effects, and allergic symptoms. Diagnosis involves both finding bed bugs and the occurrence of compatible symptoms.

Bed bugs have been known as human parasites for thousands of years. At a point in the early 1940s, they were mostly eradicated in the developed world; primarily due to the use of DDT and the slum clearances of the 1930's, but have recently increased in prevalence since 1995. Because infestation of human habitats has been on the increase, bed bug bites and related conditions have been on the rise, as well.

Adults grow to 4–5 mm in length and 1.5–3 mm wide. Newly hatched nymphs are translucent, lighter in colour and become browner as they moult and reach maturity. Bed bugs may be mistaken for other insects, such as booklice, small cockroaches, or carpet beetles, however when warm and active, their movements are more ant-like, and like most other true bugs, they emit a characteristic disagreeable odor when crushed.

Bed bugs can survive a wide range of temperatures and atmospheric compositions. Below 16.1 °C (61.0 °F), adults enter semihibernation and can survive longer; they can survive for at least five days at −10 °C (14 °F), but will die after 15 minutes of exposure to −32 °C (−26 °F). They show high desiccation tolerance, surviving low humidity and a 35–40 °C range even with loss of one-third of body weight; earlier life stages are more susceptible to drying out than later ones. The thermal death point for C. lectularius is high: 45 °C (113 °F), and all stages of life are killed by 7 min of exposure to 46 °C (115 °F). Although bed bugs can live for a year without feeding, they normally try to feed every five to ten days. In cold weather, bed bugs can live for about a year; at temperatures more conducive to activity and feeding, about five months.

Bed bugs are elusive and usually nocturnal, which can make them hard to spot. They often lodge unnoticed in dark crevices, and eggs can be nestled in fabric seams. Aside from bite symptoms, signs include faecal spots, blood smears on sheets, and moults.

Bed bugs can be found singly, but often congregate once established. They usually remain close to hosts, commonly in or near beds or couches. Harbourage areas can vary greatly, however, including luggage, vehicles, furniture and bedside clutter. Bed bugs may also nest near animals that have nested within a dwelling, such as bats, birds, or rodents. The eggs of bed bugs are found in similar places where the bed bugs themselves are found, and are attached to surfaces by a sticky substance.

Symptoms

Bed bugs can cause a number of health effects, including skin rashes, psychological effects and allergic symptoms. They are able to be infected by at least 28 human pathogens, but no study has clearly found the insect is able to transmit the pathogen to a human being. Bed bug bites or cimicosis may lead to a range of skin manifestations from no visible effects to prominent blisters.

Control

Dead Cert Pest Control can provide you with a treatment program to remove your property of Bed Bugs should you be unfortunate enough to encounter this problem.

For a free survey and quote please contact us on 01387 209861 or  07766 113673 or via the contact form



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