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Bed Bugs: What Are They and How Do You Control Them?

A bed bug nymph feeding on host

A bed bug nymph feeding on host (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What happens if you have a bed-bug infestation? Bed bugs in a home can bring about a number of health conditions, including allergies, skin rashes and even psychological effects. If bitten, you may experience symptoms on your skin such as itching and redness. Bed bugs feed on blood, usually that of animals, but they will move on to humans if it is the only blood available. Bed lice are attracted by carbon dioxide, warmth and certain chemicals and tend to live longer in colder temperatures.

How Do They Spread?

Your house can become infected with bed bugs for various reasons. They can be carried on other people’s clothes, luggage or infested pets. If a nearby house or flat is infested, the bed bugs can move through walls or false ceilings. Some animals, such as bats and birds, can also bring them into buildings. The source of infestations also includes eggs which may have been laid in the seams of clothing.

How Can I Detect Them?

Bed bugs are usually nocturnal so it can be difficult to spot them. They tend to nest in dark areas and often lay thousands of eggs in the seams of fabrics. Signs that you may have a bed-bug infestation include bites on the body, droppings similar in appearance to sand, spots of blood on bed sheets and patches of skin which they have shed (this is actually an exoskeleton which is moulted). Bed bugs have a characteristic smell of rotten raspberries. The most accurate way to find the exact location of an infestation is with a bed-bug-detection dog, which speeds up the process considerably

Why Are Infestations So Frequent?

Between the 1930s and 1980s, the rate of outbreaks fell dramatically. However, since the 1980s infestations have seen a sharp increase. It has been suggested that this is because of resistance to pesticides and an increase in international travel, which helps the insects spread. There are several different species of bed bug around the world, but it is the common bed bug which is most adapted to human environments.

How Can They Be Eradicated?

It is a good idea to call in a professional who is used to tackling bed-bug outbreaks. When it comes to pest control services Dublin residents have a range of companies to choose from. They tend to approach the issue with several different approaches at a time, using both pesticide and non-pesticide methods. The most effective seems to be a combination of heating and drying the affected area.

Amy Jones is a writer and blogger who is interested in various aspects and problems of living in the modern world. She wrote this article on behalf of Total Pest Control Services Dublin.

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January 9, 2013 at 5:02 pm Comments (0)