Bedbugs (Cimex Lectularius) are small blood-sucking insects that can live in cracks and crevices in and around your bed.
Attracted by your body heat and carbon dioxide, they crawl out at night to bite your exposed skin and feed on your blood.
They do not transmit any human diseases and most people do not develop any serious skin reaction. However, their presence can be upsetting and stressful, and you should contact your landlord or agent straight away.
If they do not respond immediately, read the advice below and contact your local council or a professional pest control firm that is a member of the British Pest Control Association or National Pest Technicians Association
There are many companies who proclaim to be experts at getting rid of bed bugs. But many are cowboys and should be avoided. If you live in the London area we recommend you contact Bed Bugs Limited a leader in their field.
What do bed bugs look like?
Adult bedbugs look a bit like lentils and are visible to the naked eye. They are oval-shaped, flat and reddish-brown, and up to 5mm long. Their bodies become engorged with blood once they have fed making them easier to see
Females lay 200-500 eggs over a two-month period. These white specks stick to surfaces and are very difficult to spot. They hatch to form tiny straw-coloured insects that take about six to eight weeks to grow into adults. As they grow, they shed their skin. This looks like mottled brown shells on your mattress.
Bedbugs need to feed on blood to be able to mature, but they are very resilient. Adults can survive for up to a year without feeding.
They are not attracted to dirt, so a bedbug infestation is not a sign of an unclean home.
How to spot bed bugs
- Look for any unexplained skin rash or itchy bump (although not everyone develops this)
- Look out for black spots on your mattress – this could be their dried faeces
- Look for mottled shells that bedbugs may have shed
- Check your sheets for blood spots where you may have rolled over and squashed a bug after it had fed
- Inspect all the crevices and joints of your mattress and furniture using a torch, and see if you can spot any bugs
Where to find bed bugs
Because their bodies are flat, bedbugs can squeeze into the smallest crevice or crack, such as a mattress seam or the joints of a bed frame. This can make them very difficult to spot.
They tend to prefer fabric or wood over plastic and metal, and often hide near to where you sleep, for example under the mattress or along the headboard.
However, they are willing to travel several feet if necessary to reach you, so they can also be found away from the bed in other furniture, along the edges of carpets and even behind mirrors or inside smoke alarms. In fact, they can be found in almost any place in the bedroom where they will not be disturbed.
How bedbugs spread
Once introduced into your home, bedbugs can spread easily from room to room. They do not fly or jump, but can crawl quickly.
They can soon spread within a building by getting through holes in walls or pipes, and can potentially invade blocks of flats, hotels or hospitals. The bugs can also be transported in luggage, clothing, furniture and bedding from one building to the next.
This makes is easy for tourists and commuters to unknowingly spread bedbugs.
Getting rid of the bugs
It can be extremely difficult to get rid of a bedbug infestation from your home, so it is wise to contact your local council or a pest control firm. Make sure any pest control company you contact is a member of the British Pest Control Association or National Pest Technicians Association (check the credentials of the company first).
We have identified a great source of information to download from the Greater London Pest Liaison Group. Which you can download from here. GLPG_Bedbug_Good_Practice_Guide_Information_for_Residents
Take Action now !
Contact Bed Bugs Limited to get rid of your bugs