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Don’t let the bed bugs bite…!

21 January, 2009

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!

bedbug

bbbite2

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!

Sweet Dreams!

 

 

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. 22 January, 2009 6:12 PM

    I itch just from reading this!

    Mike Says:-I was squirming in my car seat all the way home!

  2. Ted permalink
    22 January, 2009 3:42 PM

    Adding insult to injury new research shows that they are resistant to pesticides and insecticides… which is commonly used in killing and controlling bugs.
    http://xerobugs.wordpress.com/

  3. 22 January, 2009 5:17 AM

    Mike,

    Yes, sadly, it does. It’s a huge problem.

    In Cincinnati, a recent survey showed 1 in 6 people had had them.

    They’re all over the world, and bad in the UK as well.

  4. 22 January, 2009 12:16 AM

    AS: Lol, you and me both!

  5. 22 January, 2009 12:15 AM

    BedBugger: The fact you have a website dedicated to them says something!!

  6. 22 January, 2009 12:14 AM

    Dan: Luckily I don’t have that problem, I was just shocked that they’re still very much out there and a problem for so many others!

  7. 21 January, 2009 11:14 PM

    Be warned that bed bugs look quite different at different life stages and fed vs. unfed. The photo above is a first instar feeding for the first time. Unfed, it is small and translucent and 1mm long. An adult bed bug is about 6 mm long and brown. Very different looking.

    Making matters worse, bed bug bites also don’t look the same on everyone. They can look like small pimples, large welts or anything in between. Jerome Goddard says as many as 70% of people do not react to bites at all.

    More information, for those who are interested, from Bedbugger.com.

  8. 21 January, 2009 10:13 PM

    I just had an infestation of bed bugs in my San Francisco apartment – which is so clean, you can eat off the floor. I had a summer tenant from Italy whom I believe brought them in.

    I was able to curb them because 1) Everything except the bed was removed from the room when the tenant left and 2) I exterminated right away – and was able to keep the mattresses (for now).

    The extermination takes 3 sessions over one month and I couldn’t enter the apartment for 6 hours after each spraying.

    If you think you have them, you probably do. But, it is not hopeless…

    Best,
    DanNation

  9. 21 January, 2009 10:05 PM

    Great. I was just about to go to bed. Now I think I might just torch it instead. Just incase.

Trackbacks

  1. Tips On Bed Bugs While Traveling | How To Kill Bed Bugs Extermination What Do Bed Bugs Look Like Bites
  2. Don’t let the bed bugs bite! | DanNation

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