Could you recognise a bed bug?
Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are parasitic insects that feed on human blood. It is a common misconception that bed bugs are microscopic in size, adult bed bugs are in fact 5 – 7mm long, around the same size and shape as an apple seed. Before a blood meal, the adults are light coloured with a flat, oval body, and become longer, more rounded and reddish brown in colour after a blood meal. Bed bugs go through three main life stages: the egg, which is a white colour measuring around 1mm long; 5 pale nymph stages that range from 1mm to 4.5mm long; and then the fully grown adult. The nymphs are very pale until they take a blood meal when they look like drops of blood. At each nymph stage, the bed bug needs to take a blood meal in order to moult its outer skin or exoskeleton. Once fully grown, the adults take blood meals repeatedly and the females can lay up to five eggs a day. As such, a bed bug infestation can quickly escalate to extreme levels.
How to spot a bed bug infestation.
The first sign of a bed bug infestation is usually bites to the arms, legs, or body. You may also find live or dead insects, or clusters of droplets of dried blood, which are actually the faecal droppings of the bed bugs. Eggs, live bed bugs or the amber coloured shed nymph exoskeletons left behind after a moult may also be found near the dried blood droppings.
What to do if you find a bed bug.
If you find just one bed bug, there is a very great likelihood that there are many more that you haven’t seen; in other words you are likely to have an infestation. You should get in touch with GK Pest control services. a professional pest control company that have experience of successfully treating bed bug infestations.
What NOT to do if you find a bed bug.
Bed bugs are attracted to body heat and the carbon dioxide that we breathe out. It is really important that you do not move rooms, e.g. sleeping in the livingroom to avoid getting bitten as the bed bugs will move along with you, infesting sofas, soft furnishings and other furniture. This will cause more disruption and prolong the treatment time. Also to avoid infesting other areas, you should not move any furnishings, clothing or electrical appliances, particularly the vacuum cleaner.