Do you wake up in the morning covered in itchy red bites, often appearing in clusters or rows of three? If so, you might have bed bugs.
Bed bugs have made a comeback throughout the world in the last few years -perhaps because of increased international travel. Many times people pick bed bugs up while staying in hotels and hostels and then carry them home where they start a new colony in your bed! One thing’s for sure – wherever people are coming and going, bed bugs are not too far away.
If you think you may have a bed bug problem, Peregrine’s experienced technicians are here to help you sleep more comfortably.
What to look for
Bedbugs do not limit their nesting sites to mattresses alone: depending on the severity of the infestation they can also be found in cracks and crevices in furniture, floors, window frames etc, as well as in clothing, soft toys, bedroom items in general and even in new furniture if it has somehow been exposed to infestation during storage or through packaging materials.
Bedbugs are attracted to warmth and carbon dioxide and are normally most active in the early morning hours, just before dawn. They crawl or drop down on their victims and then pierce the skin with two hollow proboscises: one is used to inject blood thinners and anaesthetics and the other is used to suck up the blood.
You usually won’t feel the bite until some hours later when you’ll discover the tell-tale line of up to three red bites in a row or cluster that probably itch intensely. By this time the bedbug has long returned to its hiding place.
If you are not sure if you have bed bugs take a bright flash light and perform a visual inspection of the mattress, box spring, bed frame, and other furniture. You are looking for live bed bugs, dead bugs, or bed bug spotting.
How to identify a bed bug
Adult bedbugs are about 1/8th – 3/16th of an inch long and so are actually visible to the naked eye, if you look closely enough. They are flat, oval, red-brown in color and with a banded appearance caused by microscopic hairs. Immature nymphs are transparent and become browner as they age. Bed bugs are a similar size to an apple seed.
In general, bedbugs only feed once every week or so and will go dormant for up to a year if fresh blood is not available. The life span of the average bedbug is six to nine months although dormant specimens will live longer.
What we can do to help
Bedbug eggs are quite resistant to many insecticides. Secondary infestations are common as eggs may hatch out after the initial infestation has been eliminated or dormant individuals may become active. This is why it is important to consult professionals like Peregrine to be sure of controlling the problem before it gets out of hand.