The common bedbug is best adapted to human environment. It is found in temperate climate throughout the world and has been known since ancient times. Adult bedbugs are reddish brown, flattened, oval and wingless with microscopic hairs.
The common bedbug is best adapted to human environment. It is found in temperate climate throughout the world and has been known since ancient times.
Adult bedbugs are reddish brown, flattened, oval and wingless with microscopic hairs that give them a banded appearance. A common misconception is that they are not visible to the naked eye. Adults grow to 4-5 mm in length and do not move quickly enough to escape the notice of an attentive observer.
Bedbugs are generally active only at dawn, with a peak attack period about an hour before dawn, though given the opportunity, they may attempt to feed at other times. Attracted by warmth and the presence of carbon dioxide, the gub pierces the skin of its host with two hollow tubes. With one tube it injects its saliva, which contains anticoagulants and anesthetics, while the other it withdraws the bloods of its host. After feeding for about five minutes, the bug returns to its hiding place. The bites cannot usually be felt until some minutes or hours later, as a dermatological reaction to the injected agents.
Although bedbugs can live for a year or as much as 18 months without feeding, they typically seek blood every five to ten days. While bedbugs that go dormant for lack of food often live longer than a year, well-fed specimens typically live four to six months. Low infestation may be difficult to detect and it is not unusual for the victim not to even realize they have bedbugs early on. Patterns of bites in a row of a cluster are typical as they may be disturbed while feeding. Bites may be found in a variety of places on the body.
Bedbugs may be erroneously associate with filth in the mistaken notion that this attracts them. However, severe infestations are often associated with poor housekeeping and clutter. Bedbugs are attracted by exhaled carbon dioxide and body heat, not by dir and they feed on blood, not waste. In short, the cleanliness of their environments has effect on the control of bedbugs but unlike cockroaches, does not have a direct effect on bedbugs as they feed on their hosts and not on waste. Good housekeeping in association with property preparation and mechanical removal by vacuuming will certainly assist in control.
If bed bugs are suspected than a licensed pest controller should be consulted. A careful inspection must be undertaken and all possible hiding placed within infested and adjoining rooms examined. Once all likely sources have been identified, than an approved insecticide, which has some residual activity should be applied to all harbourages. The synthetic pyrethroids are often the main chemicals used for control in Australia, however these are not very effective for control, but may not be recommended for use on mattresses (check the label). Non-chemical approaches to control involve the use of hot air and/or wrapping up infested materials in black plastic and placing the articles in the sun, therby killing the bedbugs with the heat generated. However this should only be used for small items, if at all. Clothes can be washed in hot water and dried on the hot cycle of the clothes drier. Delicate materials can be placed into the freezer. Generally, pesticides will need to be applied in conjunction with any harbourages such as cracks and crevices ill discourage repeat infestations. AS bed bugs are cryptic in their habits, complete control is often difficult to achieve with the first treatment. This is especially so with heavy infestations and thus a pest control evaluation is always advisable.