Bed Bugs

(Cimex lectularius)

Features & habits

Adult bed bugs are approximately 5mm long and are reddish brown in colour. They become darker after feeding. They have a flat oval appearance and feed by taking blood from its host as it is a parasite. Its principle host is humans, although they can exist on other warm blooded animals. As its name suggests it is usually found around the bed, in the furniture near the bed or on the mattress. Bed bugs cannot fly and therefore crawl out of their harbourage at night to feed on their unsuspecting victims.

Despite their habits they are not regarded as a carrier of disease but obviously their bites can cause serious irritation to people. Apart from bites, other signs of them being present are blood spots on the bed sheets in the morning and speckling dark brown spots in and around their harbourages, in the cracks and crevices of furniture.
How do we control them?

When a customer phones Assured Environmental Services we take their details and try to evaluate the extent of the problem through our conversation. At this point we shall also try to give an example of the possible cost involved. We arrange an appointment to visit the site and we can then fully assess and advise the problem. After this, with the customers’ agreement we can proceed with the work if they wish which we do so in a safe and effective manner. We try to help by advising on conditions or actions that can be taken to promote a successful outcome of our treatment and help prevent the problem arising again.

Bed bugs can be quite resistant to certain insecticides. Assured Environmental Services recommend a course of treatments, sometimes up to 4, but 2 at a minimum to alternate the insecticides used. The inspection and treatment on site is incredibly thorough and therefore takes quite some time to carry out a full and proper survey and treatment. No item of furniture is not inspected and treated. Neighbouring rooms are also given a light treatment in proportion, even if no signs of bed bugs are found.

This is because the female bed bug likes to migrate away from the main area and harbourage to lay her eggs. After 6 weeks we return and re-treat the area with a different variety of insecticide to ensure that any chance of survivors is minimised.

Before & after treatment advice

Before treatment it helps if beds have been stripped and the bed clothes washed on a hot soapy wash. Other than that, it is best to leave everything as it is for us to inspect during our survey. If you vacuum prior to our arrival, please ensure that the vacuum bag is removed and put in the bin.

After treatment try not to wash or clean any of the areas treated to leave the insecticide in place. Unfortunately it is best if someone continues to use the room as this will draw out bed bugs from their harbourage and they will come into contact with the insecticide. Stay vigilant after the treatment and try to notice if bites are decreasing and when your last bite was.

Interesting facts about bed bugs

Bed bugs can last many months without feed. In their life cycle they hatch out as a small adult and then go through several moults before they are full sized. They have been found in all manner of places including business class aeroplane seats.