Bed Bugs – FAQ
- Bed bugs are small, nocturnal, wingless insects that belong to the family of Cimicidae.
- They feed on human blood and other warm-blooded hosts.
- They are oval in shape and grow up to 4-5mm long when fully grown.
- Their skin color is rust brown to a deeper red brown. Bedbugs are also known as “mahogany flats”, “red coats” and “chinches.”
- The adult bedbug does not have any wings and has a flattened body.
What do bed bug bites look like
Typically bed bug bites have a blood spot in the middle as the bed bugs are actually feeding on your blood when they bite.
What do bed bugs look like
Bed bugs often leave behind blood spotting
When we look for bed bugs one of the indications is blood spotting.
Look over your mattress and bedding very carefully to see if blood spotting exists, if it does you most likely have bed bugs.
How to control bed bugs in your home
- DO NOT use pesticides meant for garden or agricultural use.
- DO NOT use products that appear to be “homemade” or “custom formulated” or products purchased from someone without a license.
- bed bugs are hard enough for us to to get rid of anyway without having some strange chemical splashed around everywhere as interference
The most effective way to control bed bugs in your home is through a combination of chemical measures and heat treatments applied by a Pest Management Professional (PMP).
Controlling bed bugs by yourself is very difficult and time consuming. It involves moving furniture, household goods and personal items.
Plan how you want to treat each room.
Set up a “clean zone”.
Killing bed bugs by hand
Killing bed bugs by hand is not 100% effective.
You can capture and squash them or capture them on sticky tape and remove.
This may reduce the number of bugs if done over and over again.
Tools for hunting and destroying bed bugs
- old credit card (or similar)
- clear tape
- plastic bags
- hot soapy water
- Use the torch and credit card to search out bed bugs by moving the card along cracks and crevices to push out the bugs.
- Use the sticky tape to trap the bugs.
- Use the hot soapy water to wipe up infestations, the bugs, blood stains, droppings, eggs and shed skins.
Vacuuming bed bugs
Vacuuming bed bugs helps to quickly capture and contain bed bugs.
- Vacuum crevices around baseboards, electronic items (such as TVs and stereos) and any other likely hiding places, such as beds, couches, bedframes, and dressers.
- If using a canister vacuum, immediately empty the contents into a plastic bag, seal and throw away.
- Clean the vacuum thoroughly. If using a vacuum with a bag, immediately remove the bag and seal in plastic for disposal.
- Check the vacuum for any remaining bugs and kill them to avoid spreading the bed bugs further.
Laundering bed bugs
Washing and laundering bed bugs is a very effective method to treat items that can be placed in the washing machine or dryer.
- Collect linens and dirty clothes and seal in plastic bags until they can be washed to decrease the chance of spreading bed bugs.
- Use the highest temperature the fabric can withstand for washing and drying.
- If an item cannot be washed, dry it for 30 minutes at the highest temperature the item can withstand.
Steam treatment of bed bugs
Steam treatment of bed bugs is a very effective method, if done correctly.
- Use a commercial steamer with a minimum capacity of 4 litres, preferably with a volume control.
- A floor or upholstery attachment allows steam to penetrate the fabric of furniture or drapes.
- To effectively kill bed bugs, the surface temperature of the object being treated should be 70-80°C immediately after the steam brush has passed.
- Use an infrared thermometer to monitor the temperature.
- Use care because steam can cause burns.
Freezing items infested with bed bugs
Freezing items that are infested is an easy way to kill bed bugs. All you need is a freezer and some time.
When freezing items to kill bed bugs you will need to leave the items in the freezer for at least 4 days, at a temperature that is at or lower than -17°C.
Be careful about what you freeze as freezing may cause damage.
Bed bug mattress covers
These prevent bed bugs from hiding in the mattress, a prime location for the bugs and difficult to treat.
If a mattress is infested, cover it to contain the bed bugs which will start to die after 2 weeks but leave the cover on for at least 18 months.
In addition, mattress covers can easily be cleaned if a new infestation occurs.
Purchase a mattress cover that is labeled specifically for bed bugs as covers designed only to reduce allergens may not stop bed bugs.
Mattress Cover Prices: King $150, Queen $140, Double $130, King Single $110, Single $100
Dry heat treatment for bed bugs
Dry heat is an effective method of controlling bed bugs.
This treatment is only conducted by a Pest Management Professional in order to ensure that infested items and rooms reach the required temperature for effective pest control.
Do not attempt a heat treatment by yourself.
Treating bed bugs with insecticides
Treating with insecticides is an important part of bed bug control as it is common for individual bed bugs to move away from the main infestation site to another site.
- All insecticides should be used carefully and according to the label.
- It is highly recommended that you hire a Pest Management Professional to apply the appropriate insecticides.
- Do not try to treat a bed bug infestation with insecticides labeled for other insects. This can cause the bed bugs to disperse and increase the area infested.
Preparation Prior to Bed Bug Treatment
The less things in the room for us the better… we need to be able to treat the room as a blank canvass for bed bugs.
Prices of $350 per room are based on us having a clear room to treat. If we need to go through items in drawers or cupboards or pull apart beds etc. the price will increase.
- Place everything you can in the room outside in black plastic bags directly in the sun. With published thermal death points of 40-45 degrees depending on exposure time the aim of the game here is to heat everything up for several hours to as hot as possible.
- Remove larger room items and wrap in black plastic as per above. If wrapping your mattress make sure you turn the mattress over several times during the day to distribute the heat as evenly as possible (we would always recommend a bed mug mattress cover).
For more information contact Newcastle Pest Control on 1300 104 599