Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are a smart bunch of blood sucking bugs, and in Bristol, they are on the rise. Getting rid of them and eliminating their spread without professional guidance can cost you a fortune, disrupt your sleep and even your families health.
Let's imagine for a moment you have a piece of paper - well if that piece of paper can slide into a gap, then so can our little friends. They like to feed on warm-blooded animals like us and get brought into our homes in Bristol on clothing, luggage, second-hand furniture and ourselves, etc. Most commonly of all, on return from trips away from home.
See some Pictures of Bed Bug Bites we have seen recently.
How Can You Identify Bedbugs? Look Like?
This well-fed bug was blatantly situated on the wall directly above its host (victim) and as the picture shows is quite distended with a stomach that is very obviously full of human blood.
These bugs were concealed within the headboard frame of a bed and had caused significant discomfort to the occupants over a considerable period.
Hiding places like this are common sites of infestation harbourage as are the frame joints which need to be stripped right down to be confident of successful elimination.
What Are The Signs Of Bedbug Activity?
These pictures show some of the most visible and distinctive signs of activity, giving you a valuable opportunity to assess your premises.
Bed Bug droppings and shed skins on a bed, headboard fitting.
Fresh Bed bug droppings On Bed SheetsThese consist of digested blood, staining sheets like this fitted sheet providing a very simple identifier of activity. Blood staining looks very similar to the black mould seen in properties with damp and high humidity.
Blood Stains Caused When Bed Bugs Bite, Puncturing Skin.
Because they penetrate human skin to feed, they are often attracted to areas where blood flow is greatest and is close to the skin surface.
As a result, they often puncture rich vascular areas of skin where blood flow is high and bleeding is an inevitable consequence of direct tissue trauma.
On the following image, you can see where the victim has bleed following a puncture wound caused by recent feeding.
Are Bed Bugs Dangerous?
Horrifically, they can take so much blood from an infant during a nights feed that over a short time, the child will show signs of iron deficiency or anaemia.
Tests have carried out show these smart insects crossing a ceiling, then dropping onto a person's bed to feed - so even protecting your bed might not prove enough protection.
Over the past year, we have helped Bristol residents to wipe out bed bugs in the home. You can often spot that you have a problem, simply by looking around the edges of your mattress, under the folded Seams.
If you find small, oval, flattened insects with dark speckles around them or nearby then you need to get things treated.
Two massive infestations we tackled last year in Bristol presented a huge challenge, but as usual, we succeeded in taking control and eliminating them.
Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?
They are a parasite, naturally found in the environment, and in association with warm-blooded animals. Having them does not mean you are dirty, it just means in most cases, you have been unlucky.
Most infestations begin with contaminated luggage, so those who travel a great deal tend to be most at risk, which is why September and October are the busiest times for treatments.
People go away on holiday, pick them up on luggage, and two to eight weeks later discover they are not alone at night!
Another common cause is of infestation is where an adjoining property is affected, and the bed bugs migrate through the structure of the building.
Outbreaks caused by a neighbour who has the problem are the most difficult to eliminate because the person responsible may not care, and ultimately won't pay for a solution either.
When Are Bed Bugs Most Active?
They are most active at night, especially in the early hours. The fact remains however that if it's dark and cool, then your body will produce enough heat and carbon dioxide to promote feeding activity, whatever the time of day.
How Can I Stop or Control Them?
A combined, integrated and professional approach is usually the only thing that will crush an active colony.
Treatments, when done properly are always cheaper than those where people decided to suffer in silence.
Large infestations affecting entire properties and not merely a single room will end up costing hundreds of pounds to treat efficiently and take a couple of months at best to eliminate.
How Long Does It Take To Get Rid Of Them?
It depends on a many factors, but if carried out properly a single treatment should suffice. If however more than one room is affected, then it will take longer as this usually means they have been given sufficient time to reach such numbers that the rest of the property becomes infested.
If you are being bitten a couple of times a night and only one room is affected, then control will be straight forward. Treatments become more expensive when people report bedbug bites in more than one room.
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