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Bedbugs are on the increase globally, thanks to low cost travel and budget accommodation. If you wake up with itchy areas you didn't have when you went to sleep, you may have bedbugs, particularly if you recently slept in a strange bed or purchased an item of used furniture.

  • Small (1-7mm in length), oval, flat and wingless insects - they cannot fly.
  • Reddish-brown in colour.
  • Their sole source of food is blood, either from animals or preferably humans.
  • Typically, they feed at night, with key feeding times just before dawn. They will feed for 3-10 minutes and can consume up to 3X their weight. They will then drop off and retreat to a hiding place to digest their meal.
  • Bedbugs can go up to 10 months without a meal.
  • Female bedbugs may lay hundreds of eggs, each of which is about the size of a speck of dust, over a lifetime.
  • Bedbugs can reach maturity in just one month.
  • Bed bugs are often found in hotels, resorts, shelters, and condominium blocks, where there is a steady flow of people.
  • Bedbugs prefer clean, tidy homes to cluttered or dirty ones.
  • Bedbugs are accomplished hitch-hikers and will often access your home on luggage, pets, furniture, clothing, packing boxes or just about anything that has come in contact with them.

Left untreated, bedbugs will quickly spread throughout the bedroom, moving into any crevice or protected location. They may also spread to nearby rooms or apartments.

Because bedbugs live solely on blood, having them in your home is not a sign of dirtiness. You are as likely to find them in immaculate homes and hotel rooms as in filthy ones. Bedbugs are active mainly at night and usually bite people while they are sleeping.

They feed by piercing the skin and withdrawing blood through an elongated beak. The bugs feed from three to 10 minutes to become engorged and then crawl away unnoticed. Most bedbug bites are painless at first, but later turn into itchy welts. Unlike flea bites that are mainly around the ankles, bedbug bites are on any area of skin exposed while sleeping.

Female bedbugs may lay hundreds of eggs, each of which is about the size of a speck of dust, over a lifetime. Immature bedbugs, called nymphs, shed their skins five times before reaching maturity, and require a meal of blood before each shedding. Under favourable conditions, the bugs can develop fully in as little as a month and produce three or more generations per year. Although they are a nuisance, they are not thought to transmit diseases.

Once a bedbug infestation has made its presence known, there is no alternative but to seek professional help immediately.

In order for the treatment to be successful, meticulous preparation is needed. Bed sheets, duvets and curtains must be removed and washed. The areas to be treated must be vacuumed and cleaned. All drawers and closets must be emptied and all clothes removed, washed and tumble dried.

All other items such as soft toys, books, posters, and paintings must be removed, and care must be taken not to cross-contaminate any adjoining rooms. Objects that are removed must either be sprayed with insecticide or put in a freezer overnight before returning them to the treated room.

The walls, ceilings, bed, mattress and all items in the room are sprayed with insecticide, and powders will also be used in the inaccessible places. Inhibitors may be installed around the legs of infected beds/furniture. Finally, we would suggest that you install a mattress encasement cover, these are tailor-made and can be ordered through your DBMPC technician.
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