These bugs have existed for thousands of years and have honed their bug hitchhiking and hiding skills to perfection. They will have been unknowingly picked up from existing bedbug infestations – attaching themselves to your clothing, bags, backpacks, luggage, or hiding inside fabrics, furnishings, and cracks and crevices in used furniture.
The most common species of bed bug in the U.K is Cimex lectularius. Males and females are blood-sucking and will take a blood feed from people, but female bed bugs tend to bite more frequently as they need the blood to develop their eggs.
They are an increasing problem worldwide, because as people travel for both business and leisure, the chances of encountering bedbug infestations and inadvertently spreading them increases. These pests are also becoming an increasing issue in student accommodation, care homes, and apartments, as once established they can move easily between rooms, spreading a bed bug infestation to other areas
Why control Bed bugs?
Bed bug bites cause red, irritating marks/ lumps. Not everyone reacts to the bites, however, some people develop a more severe skin reaction and can experience disturbed sleep.
Bed bugs are not known to spread diseases. However, they can cause irritation and distress. Bed bugs can also ruin an organization’s reputation. If clients and customers experience a Bed bug infestation in the premises you manage, they are likely to complain and request a refund, report on your company negatively and be unlikely to want to do business with you again.
How to prevent Bed bugs
It’s impossible to prevent a Bed bug infestation as they are generally spread through bad luck. However there are some things you can do to reduce your chances of getting an infestation: Before staying or moving into accommodation, make sure you check for signs of Bed bugs.
Avoid taking any second-hand bedroom furniture without checking it thoroughly. If you have stayed in an infested room, upon arriving home, immediately check your luggage and clothing for bugs. If you find Bed bugs, to remove the bugs and eggs your luggage, clothing and bedding there are a few things you can do. Either; wash everything at a ‘hot’ (60°C) temperature setting; tumbled dry at a ‘hot setting for at least 30 minutes; dry clean everything; or place everything into a bag and then in the deep freezer for at least 3 days.
For some businesses such as hotels, a proactive monitoring regime by a professional pest control organisation can help detect early signs. Also, training your staff in what to look for when they are cleaning and working within the rooms will mean you can detect a problem before a guest does, thereby protecting your reputations.
Signs of an infestation
- Red irritating bites, typically in rows on your neck, shoulders, back, legs or arms.
- Clusters or dark spots (about 1mm wide) that look like an ink dot are usually found on the bed frame or on the bottom side of the mattress.
- Small blood smears on the bed linen or headboard.
- Finding the small brown insects in and around your bed frame and sleeping area.
How to get rid of Bed bugs
For a suspected Bed bug infestation, we strongly recommend you act immediately by contacting a professional pest control company, preferably a member of the BPCA.
Self-treatment of a Bed bug infestation is unlikely to be successful. Failed treatments will occur if accurate knowledge of the Bed bug is absent. A trained professional will have the technical knowledge and access to a range of professional use products and equipment which are not available to the public.