Pest Control – Bedbugs
What do they look like?
Bedbugs are small, brownish, flattened insects; adult bed bugs are ¼ inch long and usually reddish – brown in colour. They are oval shaped, wingless and their microscopic hairs give them a unique appearance. Newly hatched nymphs are translucent and lighter in colour and they get darker as they mature.
Where do they live?
Their flattened bodies allow bedbugs to hide close to where people live and sleep. They can get into tiny crevices, especially those associated with mattresses, box springs, bed frames and headboards. They have also been found behind loose wallpaper, skirting boards, electric sockets, clothing and furnishings.
Bedbugs do not make nests but do tend to congregate in habitual hiding places. Their living areas can be identified by dark staining and spotting, which is caused by their dried excrement. Also present will be eggs, eggshells, malted skins of maturing nymphs and the bedbugs themselves.
What do they eat?
Bedbugs seek out people and animals and feed on a few drops of their potential host’s blood. This is usually done at night when their hosts are asleep and the feeding is carried out painlessly to the host. They feed on their hosts by inserting a ‘syringe-like mouth’ extension, into their targets skin. Bedbugs will tend to feed on blood for 3-10 minutes until they are full up.
Bedbugs are not known to transmit any serious illness to humans. The bedbugs bite can be an irritant and can cause localised swelling up to a day after a bite, others will have no reaction.
Bedbugs can be difficult pests to get rid of, as they can get into very hard to reach places. In most cases a professional pest control contractor should be used to help eradicate the problem. Nearby rooms where bedbugs are found should also be inspected, as they can easily spread.
The Council offers a free treatment for bedbug infestations at domestic properties. More than one treatment may be required. For further advice or to report an infestation please contact us on (01656) 643643 or firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to employ a private company to treat the problem for you, you should try to ensure that they are members of the British Pest Control Association. Details of companies can be found in the Yellow Pages or Thomson Directories. These private companies will charge for carrying out any treatment.