One of the most hated and least understood pest species known to science is the bed bug (Cimex lectularius). How many of us dropped off to sleep at night as kids with the parting rhyme of our guardians in our ears “sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite”?
Bed Bugs most probably started to predate on human beings at around the time we moved into caves, the bat bugs Cimex pilosellus and C pipistrella largely fed on bats and it is probable that bat feeding species of bug evolved to feed on man when our ancestors started living} in bat infested caves.
Before the arrival of DDT in the early 20th century bed bugs were commonplace guests in most slum quality homes.
The later part of the 20th century saw pest operatives dealing with very few bed bug infestations indeed, their presence being mostly restricted to cheap holiday hotels and student housing etc.
Most people mistake dust mites, which aren’t visible to the naked, with bed bugs which certainly.
Adult bedbugs are reddy-brown, about a quarter of an inch in size and very swollen after dining on human blood.
Bed bugs regularly feed on our blood every week or so, emerging in the early hours of the morning and finding their target by sniffing the exhaled carbon dioxide from human breath and when close in on their target, the heat from the body of their intended target.
Without a suitable human host to dine on they can lie dormant for periods of up to 18 months.
Often the first sign of a bed bug infestation are spots of blood on bedding and on the base of mattresses and a lot of people can react badly to the bites of these bugs.
The early the 21st century has seen bed bug infestations multiplying across the planet, the easy availability of international and economic migration have both been given as reasons for the resurgence.
What is positive is that that are now making a real comeback not only in slum quality housing but first class hotels, schools and even hospitals.
One London borough reported a doubling of bed bug problems every year from 1995 to 2001.
One night away in an infested bed is all it takes, they catch a ride in your suitcases or bags. Stretford Pest control companies are also now reporting cases of transport related bed bug infestations on tubes and buses so a simple journey to work on an infested tube or train can be all it takes to spread these bugs to your own home.
They are an expensive pest to eradicate as contrary to popular notion they do not just live in beds. They hide in any nook and cranny anywhere close to a sleeping human target, beds, electrical sockets, televisions, bed side telephones etc and dealing with them is both difficult and time consuming. They have even been discovered found living under the toe-nails of infirm people and in the creases of flesh on very fat people.
They are not a pest that can be tackled by an amateur and a pest control professional will almost certainly be required.
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