Bed Bugs

Bed bugs (Cimex spp.) are wingless, blood sucking insects and a public health pest problem. In the past 10 years incidents of infestations have increased exponentially, with bed bugs being found not only in poor or unhygienic conditions, but also in hospitals, expensive hotels, aircrafts, cinemas as well as our homes. Bed bugs mostly feed at night and hide in cracks and crevices during the day. They are not implicated in the transmission of diseases but their bites can become very itchy and inflamed. 
 
Description:
Adult bed bugs are reddish brown with a rounded shape. The are 5-6mm when unfed and can expand to 10mm when fully engorged with blood. Bed bug eggs are cream coloured and around 1mm in length. During the juvenile stages, bed bugs can be cream or translucent in colour.
 
Signs of bed bug infestation:
Tell tale signs of bed bugs include blood spotting on mattresses and walls, live adults on bed frames, under furniture, and around power points, and dead bed bugs or cast skins. There may also be a distinctive odour in infested areas. Bed bugs will usually be found congregated together. Where possible, samples of bed bugs should be collected for positive identification before treatment. Bites alone may not necessarily mean there is a bed bug infestation as they could also be from other biting pests, such as fleas, bird mites and mosquitoes.
 
The treatment process:
Austrapest's bed bug management plan outlines the extent of the infestation and what is involved in treatment, including follow-up visits and cooperation between the client and the pest manager. Especially in heavy infestations, complete eradication of bed bugs with a single visit is not possible. Therefore, Austrapest recommends the service be considered in at least three parts:


A bed bug infestation on the underside of a mattress. C/- Dept. of Medical Entomology, Westmead Hospital

Close up of a bed bug. C/- Dept. of Medical Entomology, Westmead Hospital

1. The first step is a thorough assessment and identification of the problem. An inspection will be required to find all bed bug harbourages, including all bedding, skirting boards, carpet edges, behind picture frames, wallpaper, wardrobes and travel bags. A discussion with the client gives a clearer picture of how the bed bugs may have been introduced and information is given to the client about bed bugs and what will be required with regards to quarantining of personal items and cleaning. It is best that clients wait for the initial assessment before removing items from rooms in case the pest is dispersed.
 
2. The second step is treatment, which is usually carried out after the client has followed the preparation steps outlined during the initial inspection. The treatment must be thorough and takes a lot longer than other household pest control work.
 
3. The final step is to carry out follow-up inspections and re-treatments to fully control the bed bug infestation.
 
Failure to follow the procedures correctly will most likely result in the reoccurrence of bed bug infestation shortly after treatment. Austrapest local experts have found that treatments are most successful when the client and pest manager work in cooperation. Because of the multiple visits required to control bed bugs, clients should be aware that treatments can become costly. However, this cost needs to be weighed up against the physical discomfort and embarrassment of having a bed bug infestation.
 
Prevention:
Our case work research shows that people coming home from holidays in areas where there is a high prevalence of bed bugs, such as the tropics, are the most common source of infestation in Sydney homes. As such, the belongings of people coming from infested areas, especially tropical areas, need to be properly assessed for bed bugs. We have also found that the second most common cause of bed bugs in the home is the introduction of infested material, such as second hand mattresses. Therefore, people should make sure they check any materials for bed bugs before they are brought into the home environment.
 
Austrapest technicians service homes with utmost professionalism and confidentiality and we use the safest low odour insecticides. We follow an integrated pest management approach, which includes chemical and non-chemical methods. We can supply mattress encasements, which help in controlling bed bug infestations and ultimately allow client's to get a better night’s sleep. We also suggest sealing cracks and crevices, and using metal framed beds to reduce the risk of bed bug infestation. Austrapest also provides advice about methods of hygiene, including how to dispose of mattresses and minimise the spread of bed bugs though luggage, which are important for the control of bed bug infestations.
 
Austrapest carries the correct insurance covers, attends all current training programs on bed bug control, and follows the bed bug code of practice. We are members of peak National professional associations including the Australian Environmental Pest Manager Association (AEPMA), and we are PestCert Accredited and Pest Inspector Registrar Accredited.

Austrapest and Kevmac together have been established in the Sydney Metropolitan since 1949, providing excellence in pest services.

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Contact Information

Postal Address: PO Box 186, Concord Rd Concord West, NSW 2138, Australia

Phone: 1300 030 040
Email: info@austrapest.com.au

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