Don’t let the bed bugs bite…!
Listening to the radio on the way home tonight I was appalled to hear that bed bug infestations are on the increase in the UK. They were almost wiped out after the Second World War when the chemical DDT was used to eradicate them. However, DDT was banned in the 1980s and they’ve been on the increase since then. Who knew?
Apparently their re-emergence is partly attributed to the increase in cheap travel and experts say they are most often found in cheap backpacker accommodation and hotels in big cities.
A recent BBC article says that, “Infestations are increasing at an alarming rate year on year 25% in some areas – as bed bugs become more immune to poison – and find places to breed while we sleep.
Pest controllers are faced with a new foe – many councils are faced with the challenge of rooting out the unwelcome insects and eradicating them.”
The article tells us that researchers in Sheffield have been working to find out if the bugs transmit diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis. I always thought that homes that weren’t kept clean were more at risk of these bugs, but the articles tells us that that’s not the truth. Clean homes are just as likely to become bed bug homes as dirty ones. It all depends on who’s had contact with the little devils.
And quite contrary to their name they don’t just live in beds, they can live almost anywhere in your home: in furniture, in clothes, in the skirtingboard; almost anywhere.
Here’s some nasty facts about bed bugs:
Bed bugs live exclusively on blood. They are different to mites which are harmless and microscopic – they can be seen with the naked eye. They turn red when they taste human blood.
They feed by injecting their saliva into your skin then sucking out blood for up to 10 minutes.
Bed bugs grow up to half a centimetre in length – about the size of a fingernail.
One female bed bug could lead to around 3,000 creatures in three months.
Bed bugs can survive for up to six months without a meal.
And if you don’t know what to look out for, here’s a piccy of one of the little beauties and also a pic of what the bites look like on a human!
So, if you think you might have some of them as unwanted visitors, you really need to contact your local council or pest control centre as there is nothing on the market that you can buy that will get rid of them yourself!