One of the most reviled and misunderstood pest insect species known to mankind is the bed bug (Cimex lectularius). How many of us dropped off to sleep at night as young ones with the parting rhyme of our guardians in our ears “sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite”?
Bed Bugs may have started to feed on people at around the period when we moved into caves, the bat bugs Cimex pilosellus and Cimex pipistrella primarily fed on bats and it is probable that bat feeding species of bugs evolved to feed on human beings when our ancestors started living} in bat infested caves.
Until the invention of DDT in the early 20th century bed bugs were common stowaways in most poor quality homes.
The later years of the 20th century saw pest control companies called out to very few bed bug infestations indeed, their presence being generally restricted to budget holiday hotels and student housing etc.
A lot of people mistake dust mites, which aren’t visible to the unaided eye, with bed bugs which very definitely are.
Adult bedbugs are reddish brown, about a quarter of an inch in size and very swollen after feeding on human blood.
Bed bugs typically feed on a target’s blood every seven to ten days, emerging in the hours before dawn and locating their target by smelling the exhaled carbon dioxide from human breath and when closing in on their target, they sense body body heat.
Lacking a suitable human host to dine on they can remain in a period of dormancy for periods of up to 18 months.
The first signs of a bed bug problem are spots of blood on sheets and on the corners of mattresses and a lot of people can react badly to the bites of these bugs.
The early part of the 21st century has seen bed bug infestations explode across the planet, the easy availability of overseas and economic migration have both been argued as reasons for the resurgence.
What is sure is that that are now making a real fightback not only in slum quality housing but top class hotels, schools and even hospitals.
One London borough reports a doubling of bed bug reports every year from 1995 to 2001.
One night away in an infested bed is all it takes, they hitch a ride in your suitcases or bags. Pest control companies are also now reporting cases of transport related bed bug infestations on transport of all kinds so a simple trip home on an infested tube or train can be all it takes to spread the infestation to your own home.
They are an tricky pest to eradicate as contrary to popular notion they do not just live in beds. They hide in any nook and cranny suitably close to a sleeping human being, beds, electrical sockets, televisions, bed side telephones etc and dealing with them is both tricky 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 overweight people.
A way of preventing bed bug infestation is to equip your bed with bed bug moats.
Bed bugs moats prevent bed bugs from entering your bed.
Visit to the Bed Bug Moat site for further details.
They are not a pest that can be eradicated by an amateur and a pest control professional will almost certainly be needed.
Contact us on 0800 019 8382