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The Diary of a Pest Interceptor: Bed Bugs Edition

More formally known as Cimex Lectularius, Bed Bugs are arguably the most sinister and repulsive pests you can come across.

Rife particularly in Birmingham, the eradication of bed bugs from a property is highly complex work. When undergoing extensive training in ‘pest school’, the industry-standard for successfully removing these creatures was a disappointing and despairing 7%. Understandably, I was horrified. It was from that day forward that I vowed to commandeer the industry and remove bed bugs. Pest Interceptors are exceedingly proud to have an exceptional and outstanding success rate, standing tall at 75%.

Should you have come accustomed to housing this flesh-feeding, feral and invasive pests, our following blog will detail the dangers and disgusting behaviours of bed bugs; and ultimately how it is imperative to act immediately upon discovering their infernal infestation.

Identifying minuscule, skin-sucking pests is something best left to the professionals. Often, one of the only incriminating indications you have bed bugs lurking about the bedroom is seeing one for yourself. However, falling victim to the following means, you may be at severe risk of a bed bug infestation:



Signs you have Bed Bugs:


  • Bite marks in a line, interchanging in itchiness every few days.

  • Bloodstains on bedding and pillowcases.

  • Rusty/dark coloured spots (bug excrement) on mattress, bedding, or walls.

  • A foul smell - emitting from the Bed Bugs scent glands.

  • Faecal spots, sticky egg shells, or shed skins in your bed.


Differentiating between little brown, biting beasts isn’t easy - your investigation conclusion may be wrong. Should this be the case, any efforts to eradicate the problematic pests will be useless, costly, and favourable to their rapidly growing population. Keeping your eyes peeled for the following should assist in identifying bed bugs:

What do Bed Bugs look like:


  • They have a flattened body, approximately the width of a bank card - this enables them to maneuver throughout tiny spaces.

  • They have two antennae and six legs.

  • They will appear similar to an apple seed in shape and size.

  • They are a light pinky/brown, after a blood feed this changes to a dark mahogany red.

  • Their speed and movement are similar to that of a spider. Bed bugs can also travel up to 200ft at a time.

Eggs:

  • Bed Bug eggs are considerably tiny, approximately the size of a speck of dust.

  • They are incredibly sticky and can be transported through an individual’s hair, clothing, and shoes.


These nasty pests frequently go undetected in their transportation from one location to another. Their tiny bodies enable them to fit through nearly all spaces. Although bed bugs prefer to inhabit a bed's structure to be close to a sleeping human, their delicious blood source, they often misinterpret luggage bags for mattresses - ultimately meaning they're coming home with you... So where else do bed bugs hide?


Where do Bed Bugs typically hide:


  • Mattresses

  • Box springs

  • Headboards and bed structures

  • Suitcases

  • Sofas

  • Cushions

  • Curtains


As an infestation intensifies, the Bed Bugs will consume more of the room in question, inhabiting any protected crevice or sheltered location. The rapid rate at which bed bugs populate demands specialist treatment immediately before the problem spreads into nearby rooms and even surrounding apartments/buildings. To do a thorough job of ridding these pests, we will never be able to treat ‘just one room’ - as you can imagine Bed bugs are hotel owners’ worst nightmare!


If the following information doesn’t repulse you into ringing the Pest Interceptors right away, nothing will! Below details the stomach-churning behaviours of bed bugs as they eerily watch you through the night.


Bed Bug Behaviours:


Breeding

Bed bugs populate at an alarming rate. One female will lay around 5 eggs a day; 200 eggs in her lifetime. The tiny little eggs are deposited in any hidden surfaces, crack, or crevice - they can be anywhere, and that is why the Pest Interceptors are strict in treating an entire property as opposed to a single room.


Upon hatching, a bed bug’s life purpose is to mature as quickly as possible in order to continue the delightful, rapid cycle of populating your property with further blood-sucking, intrusive bugs.


Growth

The lifecycle of a bed bug is similar to that of a crab. Before each shed, the bugs will need to fill themselves with big blood feeds. Upon finishing feeding, the bugs will return to a site of safety, likely depositing their shell/skin along the way. A bed bug will process through 5 moults before becoming an adult.

Feeding

Bed Bugs have evolved and advanced over millions of years to become masters of thermal observation. Upon drifting peacefully to sleep and beginning dreaming your wildest dreams, a bed bug will be watching you. Bed Bugs can observe the temperature of your body and the levels of Co2 as you respire - once you are in a deep sleep, a state paralysis despite rapid eye movement (REM), they will make their way towards you with all intentions to suck the sweet blood straight from your veins. Bed bugs take advantage of their dreaming deserts; since you are in a state of paralysis, they know you will be unable to feel them and will not roll over, ultimately squashing them.


Once the creatures of such an insidious infestation have gorged themselves on the maximum amount of blood they can consume, they will return to their harborages. It is here that the bed bugs will moult and progressively grow until it is time for their next fleshy feast.


Although it seems logical, your pets are likely exempt from being feasted on by bed bugs; they’re much more accustomed to human blood.


Spotting

After completing their feed, bed bugs will leave excrement behind on a human food source or their bedsheets - this is called ‘spotting’ and is among the only incriminating indications of bed bugs. Bites often go unmissed as certain individuals will not experience an allergic reaction, causing a red and itchy mark despite them getting fed on each night. Spotting will appear on your sheets or surrounding surfaces in a browny-red colour.


Whilst bed bugs are not responsible for the transmission of any infections or diseases, some individuals may take worse to being bitten. Pest Interceptors would like to again emphasis the importance of acting immediately upon suspecting an infestation. Otherwise it could compromise your health in the following ways:


The Health Dangers of Bed Bugs:


  • Severe allergic reactions to the bite.

  • Mental health implications such as anxiety or insomnia.

  • Fatigue as a consequence of blood drainage.



Upon our arrival at the site of a suspected bed bug infestation, we often notice cans, bottle sprays, and poisons - each indicating this dreaded plague of pests has been looming for some time. Naturally, our customers will always seek DIY treatments. An inevitable waste of both time and money as it requires a very thorough approach with industrial strength solutions suitable for large area’s i.e. a room or whole house.


Dabbling with such devices will only diminish your chances of being rid of these bugs more easily. The pests will become less susceptible to chemical insecticides whilst they’re festering and rapidly populating. The Pest Interceptors have three alternative approaches to treating an infestation of bed bugs:


Dealing with a Bed Bug Infestation


Pre-treatment: When it comes to bed bugs, we have an very detailed, informative PDF detailing all that should be done prior to treatment. Following this process will substantially increase the success rate of ridding your property of these insidious infesting creatures. Bed Bugs are extremely difficult to be rid of; although completion of the pre-treatment tasks may take a few days, each segment of our pre-treatment is equally and incredibly important.


Pest Interceptors Treatment options


Heat:

The Pest Interceptors team is equipped with advanced technology that heats each room of the house to 50°or above. Each crevice of the house is a likely site of inhabitance for bed bugs, therefore we have to treat all rooms and allow for them to also be heated for a certain duration of time.


Contrary to chemical treatments and alternatives, the use of heat will kill bed bugs throughout all stages of their life cycle - from eggs to nymphs, to adults.

Chemical:

Chemical treatments involve the use of a variety of powders, smokes, and wet sprays.


The smoke and powder components will be utilized to reach any concealed cracks and crevices. It will also reach areas which do not take kindly to being treated with wet sprays, such as televisions and other electrical appliances.


Chemical treatments primarily rely on the fierce force of wet insecticidal sprays. The sprays used are abundant in active ingredients with high residual activity. It means the solution will remain for a long duration of time, ready to terminate young bed bugs as they hatch from their eggs and venture to seek their first blood meal.


Additionally, the wet sprays are infused with an insect growth regulator (IGR), which prevents any fresh eggs from hatching.

Heat & Chemical:

Despite the high success rates of both chemicals and heat on their own, there is always the potential for one pregnant bug to remain and repopulate.


There is no chemical insecticide available that can also kill the eggs of a bed bug infestation, therefore we offer a treatment that uses chemical sprays in conjunction with heat to achieve optimum results.


When treating the full premises, we ask that all residents be out for a period of up to 7 hours. Chemical treatments need to be left alone for as long as possible. We advise all customers not to clean for a period of 3 weeks after the treatment. It will allow time for the treatment to take effect. Residents need to remain in the house and sleep in their beds so that the bugs emerge from hiding in attempts to feed. It is here that they will get stuck in the chemicals and are ultimately removed. Although sleeping amongst a flesh-feeding infestation isn’t appealing, it is imperative in order to capture the bed bugs; otherwise, they will go into a state of hibernation until you return.


Our team is significantly experienced when it comes to bed bugs; enquire with us today to find the best method of treatment for you. Despite any domestic attempts at ridding the bugs and any resistance they may have built, the bugs will not be exempt from our multifaceted approach and phenomenal 75% success rate with the first treatment.



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