bed bugs pest control
Bed bugs might be small – adults are only 5.5mm long and 3mm wide – but they are a big pest problem. The bed bug pest control problem is getting worse, as the hot summers we have recently been enjoying help to shorten the insect’s reproductive cycle, so there are more of them around. The UK’s bed bug population is believed to have been increasing every year for more than a decade.
If you have a bed bug problem in the Suffolk or Essex area, Essex & Suffolk Pest Solutions can help. We offer a full range of bed bugs pest control services to domestic and commercial clients including specialist cleaning and decontamination services to eradicate bed bugs and other household pests. We will also put measures in place to avoid unwelcome pests returning.
An emergency same day bug bugs pest control service is available if required. Our bed bugs pest control service is discreet and confidential and if required we arrive in unmarked vehicles. We work to current health and safety legislation and our pest control operatives are CRB checked and qualified to at least BPCA RSPH Level 2.
About Bed Bugs
The bed bug (Cimex lectularius) also known as the mahogany flat, the heavy dragon, the crimson rambler, the nightcrawler and the redcoat, is becoming increasingly problematic in our homes, hostels, bed and breakfasts and hotels. They have even been known to inhabit the beds on overnight sleepers and cruise ships.
Bed bugs are attracted to heat and carbon dioxide and feed on human blood which they access via two tubular appendages. One is used to pierce the skin and deliver anticoagulants and anaesthetics, while the other extracts blood from the host. In this way, they can feed unnoticed. The itching starts when the anaesthetic wears off and that’s when we realise we have been bitten.
Bed bugs are a cause of real anxiety in people and this is not surprising since severe cases of irritation can be very uncomfortable, lead to secondary infection and even anaemia in some cases.
The life cycle of bed bugs
- Egg – The egg is 1mm long and curved at one end.
- 1st stage larva – 1.5mm long, has its first blood meal then moults.
- 2nd stage larva – 2mm long, has another blood meal then moults.
- 3rd stage larva – 2.5mm long, has another blood meal then moults.
- 4th stage larva – 3mm long, has another blood meal then moults.
- 5th stage larva – 4.5mm long, has another blood meal then moults
- Adult – 5.5mm long, feeds repeatedly over several weeks, females continuously lay up to 5 eggs a day.
The female bed bug will usually lay from two to three eggs per day, producing a total of about 400-500 eggs in her life span. They are often laid in clusters and attached to rough surfaces with a substance similar to glue. At normal room temperatures eggs hatch around two weeks later, producing a light coloured nymph which will go through the five transitional stages or molts referred to above, before becoming a fully-fledged adult. The length of time spent in the five nymphal stages can vary enormously and depends upon the food resources available, temperature and relative humidity. Each nymphal instar requires a blood meal for further development. Adults can survive for more than a year without a blood meal.
Facts about Bed Bugs
The common bed bug has the Latin name Cimex Lectularius. A bed bug is a very small insect which only comes out at night and feeds on blood from humans. The bite of a bed bug is not dangerous but can cause itching and a feeling of discomfort, and it can also be distressing to realise that these creatures are in your home. Essex & Suffolk Pest Solutions provides expert bed bug treatment and will travel across Suffolk and Essex, to areas including Harwich, Witham, Ipswich, Colchester, Clacton and Stowmarket. We arrive in unmarked vans to protect your reputation.
- These creatures are generally nocturnal, so humans won’t notice when they are feeding.
- Bed bugs, their faeces and their sticky eggs can be found in their hundreds or even thousands on furniture and upholstery of infested property.
- Once they have fed on human blood, they can return to their host for another feeding by following a chemical trail.
- They have a distinctive odour which has been likened to rotting fruit.
- Their droppings, if wetted, look a bit like blood smears on fabric.
- They feed every five to ten days.
- Female bed bugs can lay up to five eggs a day.
- Bed bugs can be eaten by cockroaches, ants and spiders.
- They are a problem not just in the UK, but all over the world.
The treatment of bed bugs
Eradication can prove difficult, and a combination of spray insecticides and steam may be necessary to get the highest success rate. Carpets need to be deep vacuumed, any infested furniture dismantled, and any clothing and bedding washed at a temperature of at least 60C.
First, a thorough search of all rooms needs to be conducted. Bed bugs can hide in all sorts of unexpected and inaccessible places, laying their eggs everywhere.
Carpets must be deep vacuumed and any infested furniture dismantled. Clothing and bedding must be washed at 60 degrees + and an insecticide would usually be applied. At least 3 treatments will be required, at two-week intervals to eradicate this particularly persistent pest.
We endeavour to use the most environmentally friendly products in our treatment of bed bugs. Customers will need to vacate their property for a few hours while the treatment is carried out and any residual insecticide spray is allowed to dry.
Our bed bug pest control experts can provide speedy, effective bed bug treatment in Clacton, Chelmsford, Manningtree, Felixstowe, Woodbridge, Ipswich, Colchester, Chelmsford and across Essex and Suffolk. Contact us now for friendly and effective assistance with bed bugs pest control.
Where would you find bed bugs?
Bed bugs are most associated with hotels, bed and breakfasts, and guest houses. However, they can also be found in privately owned homes, rented establishments, hospitals, residential homes, student accommodation and hostels, including homeless shelters. Not only can they be found in the creases and folds of mattresses and sofas, but in some cases, even on walls and furniture.
As their name suggests, bed bugs are happier if they are hiding in a bed, but they can easily hide in your headboards, or in the bedside cabinet, and it is especially important to check skirting boards, as these are favourite hiding places. If you have a mattress that has not been turned over in a while, then it is worth taking the time to do this. Turning will air the mattress and you can then check if there are any bugs hiding out under the bed. Bed bugs don’t nest but they stay near their food source, and will nip inside any little cracks in the walls too, so check these also! You should check your mattresses, chairs and cushions as bed bugs like to hide in or near the bed, and possibly in or near a chair. Your curtains and carpets may also be harbouring these pests. As well as looking for the bed bugs, watch out for some little brown specks, which are their droppings.
Why are bed bugs making a comeback?
Before DDT was banned in the UK in 1984, bed bugs were almost eradicated from homes in the western world. However, unfortunately, the population has escalated dramatically in the last two decades. This is for several reasons but one of the main ones is international travel, as bed bugs can get to and from buildings on people, clothing and in bags and suitcases. A second is a rise in the popularity of second-hand furniture and other items, which again can transfer bed bugs from one place to another if they have come from a place that is already infested. Another is that these pests are becoming more resistant to popularly used insecticides, which now makes it harder to get rid of.
How long do bed bugs live for?
The life span of a bed bug varies according to temperatures and how often they feed, but they can live many weeks or even months. During their lifetime, a female can lay up to 500 eggs.
Can you get rid of bed bugs yourself?
Keeping premises clean and well vacuumed, including regular hot washing and tumble drying of fabrics, is a good way to keep the bed bug population down. Wrapping mattresses also help. However, bed bugs are hard to get rid of and tend to be resistant to over-the-counter pesticides. So, for effective pest control in Manningtree, Ipswich, Colchester, Stowmarket and throughout Suffolk and Essex, it is always best to call Essex & Suffolk Pest Solutions who can eliminate the problem so you and your guests can sleep easy.
How do Essex and Suffolk Pest Solutions tackle bed bugs?
Our first step is to complete a thorough review of the premises to check how extensive the problem is. Carpets, bedding, clothing and infested furniture are thoroughly cleaned and washed and an insecticide applied. Up to three treatments, once a fortnight, are recommended to eradicate these pests.
Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?
Bed bugs are about 5mm long and are flat and oval-shaped. They will be red or brown in colour, depending on how much blood they have consumed during the night time. They can come from a range of places, but they are most likely to be brought home in your clothing, especially if you have recently stayed at a hotel, motel or holiday resort. You may also find that you can pick these tiny bugs up if you have been to a park or had a stay in a caravan. These nocturnal insects are very good at getting into people’s luggage, or in boxes of clothes, so if you do get something from a charity shop it is advisable to wash it before wearing it!
What do bed bugs do?
Bedbugs usually come out to feed at night. Their preferred diet is human blood, but they have been known to feed on pets such as cats and dogs too. They do not carry any diseases, but if you have been bitten, your skin will itch. If you scratch the bitten area too much, you run the risk of a secondary infection. In the worst cases, anaemia can result.
How did bed bugs get here?
Bed bugs were common in the UK, but they were almost wiped out when the chemical pesticide DDT was used to combat them. However, DDT was banned in the UK in the 1980s because of the damage it was doing to other wildlife and the environment, and bed bugs have been on the increase since then. Increased foreign travel has helped this pest spread all over the world.
How many times does a bed bug feed?
On average a bed bug can feed on blood about every five to ten days, but these insects are great survivors and can actually go without feeding for as long as a year. This is not good for those who may have them in their homes, so it is advisable to seek professional help if you do think you have an infestation of these tiny mites.
How do I know if I've been bitten by a bed bug?
If you are suffering from visible spots on your body that were not there before you went to bed, then there is a possibility that your home may have an infestation. Bed bugs can be seen by the naked eye, but it will need to be fairly dark in the room for you to spot them, as they generally appear at night. You can check your bed for dark spots of bedbug dirt, and if you find any spots of blood on the mattress then there is a high chance you have an infestation.
How do bed bugs travel from home to home?
Among the biggest ways bed bugs travel is in mattresses or chairs, so be wary of buying any second-hand furniture. They can also be transported on clothes and in bags and suitcases, which explains why they have been found in hotels, cruise ships and overnight sleepers.
Dr Stephen Kells, from the University of Minnesota, noted at a PestWorld conference in the USA that certain items used by people proved attractive to bed bugs. Items which had had at least eight hours of human contact, such as shoes and the armpits of clothing, encouraged the bed bugs to move towards them and hide. This raises the possibility of them hitching a ride to form new colonies elsewhere – maybe a part of the reason for their rapid spread.
How do I keep bed bugs out?
If you are looking for some furniture, go new rather than second-hand. You should also try to avoid leaving your unworn or dirty clothes strewn across your bedroom. Put them away in a laundry basket, or better still, place them in sealed bags. Regular vacuuming of the carpets will also help.
When you are staying in a hotel, carefully inspect the room and beds for signs of these pests before unpacking.
How do I prevent a bed bug infestation?
Ways to prevent an infestation include keeping all your mattresses clean, by turning them and vacuuming them at regular intervals. You could also use a protective cover for your mattress, such as a hypo-allergenic one, which will reduce the number of hiding places available. Check any second-hand furniture you buy, as bugs could be concealed inside, although this will not happen with new furniture sealed in a plastic covering, which is not a good environment for bugs to live in. This goes for new mattresses too. If your mattress is second-hand then just spend a few minutes checking it before taking it to your bedroom. When you are on holiday, use the wardrobe to hang your clothes in, don’t leave them on the floor and wash everything once you arrive back home again. This may seem rather time-consuming but it is better to prevent this dilemma than have to cure it.
WHAT CAN I DO TO COMBAT BED BUGS?
If you think you have a bed bug infestation, it is always advisable to call in a professional bed bugs pest control company. Essex & Suffolk Pest Solutions are bed bug pest control experts in providing bed bug treatment. We cover all parts of Essex and Suffolk, including Harwich, Chelmsford, Felixstowe, Newmarket, Ipswich, Chelmsford, Woodbridge and Bury St Edmunds. We are experts in eradicating bed bugs and will be able to safely handle all the substances needed. Bed bug pest control and treatment include dismantling affected furniture in order to carry out repeated insecticide applications or steam treatments. We can also advise you on avoiding any recurrence of this bed bug infestation.