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RECOGNISING THE SIGNS OF BED BUG INFESTATIONS AND THE PROCEDURE TO BE TAKEN

Image of a Bed bug

It should be remembered that not all rashes are due to Bed bug activity and that likewise often when a person experiences a rash they assume Bed bug activity. Then more often than not, they will proceed to panic and will often believe they have actually seen a Bed bug.

Bed bugs are reddish-brown, with an oval body, which is flattened 6 to 9 mm long and 1.5 to 3 mm wide before feeding.  Following feeding the engorged adult swells and tends to be a dull red in colour.  The female Bed bug lays white oval eggs, which are approximately 1 mm long.  Whilst humans are the preferred host, Bed bugs feed on various warm-blooded animals. The Bed bug hosts therefore include dogs, cats, rats, mice, pigeons, rabbits etc. 

  • The first sign of Bed bug activity will often be something that resembles mosquito bites.  Mostly these bites will occur at night.  However, in a serious infestation the bites can occur during the day.  The Bed bug bite tends to swell and spreads out and this is what distinguishes the bite from that of a mosquito.  The bites can come in lines and will burn, which is quite unlike a mosquito bite.  The mosquito bite tends to stay round and neat in appearance.
  • Other signs of Bed bug activity to look for are the bugs themselves and the light brown, molted skins of the nymphs (young Bed bugs).  In addition, often by looking along mattress seams spots of dried blood, which are actually Bed bug excrement, can be found.  Blood spotting can often be seen on the bed linen too.  Occasionally the smell of dried blood or a smell similar to rotten raspberries will be present.
  • The name Bed bug often leads to confusion, Bed bugs can be found in any area where humans rest and lounge and obviously the adjacent areas.  Therefore, it would be correct to say that Bed bugs can be found under desks, restaurant benches, on computers in the library, chairs and curtains etc.  Bed bugs are very good at clinging onto fabrics.  Transportation hubs such as train and bus stations together with airports are also key infestation stations to be wary of.  Bed bugs can be found clinging to curtain rods, air conditioners, fans and inside electronics.
  • There is a stereotype that Bed bugs only occur in poor, dirty houses and communities.  This is far from the truth.  The fact is that many affluent communities and households also have Bed bug issues. 
  • Once a Bed bug infestation has been correctly identified, the course of action listed overleaf should be taken.

Loosen the carpet at wall/floor junction, but do not remove it from the room.

Remove any wall-mounted items but do not take them out of the room.

Remove linen from bed and base.  These should be bagged and laundered (see laundering procedures in the section below).

Empty wardrobes and cupboards of items.

Do not remove any items of furniture from the room.  In most cases, beds can be treated and do not need to be disposed of.

If a mattress is torn and therefore difficult to treat, it can be disposed of.  Discuss this with the pest prevention Technician.  The mattress should be rendered unusable, sealed and disposed of after being treated with insecticide.

Laundering Procedures for Bed bug Control

Cool – 30 degrees centigrade – 30 minute wash does not kill egg stages

Hot – 60 degrees centigrade – 30 minute wash will kill all life stages

Cool dry – 30 minutes does not kill all stages

Hot dry – 30 minutes – 40/45 degrees centigrade will kill all stages

If you feel you have an issue with bed bugs and would like advice regarding treatment please contact us. An NPC Surveyor will undertake a survey on request which is undertaken free of charge:-

Nottinghamshire 0115 9872968
Derbyshire 0845 0754866
Leicestershire 0116 2867210
National 0115 9872968