Bed bug treatments in Windsor
We think that we may have bed bugs, how do we know?
You may remember the phrase “Sleep tight, hope the bed bugs don’t bite” but how do you know if you have bed bugs and what exactly are these insects?
It is widely believed that bed bugs are over 115 million years old and were a parasite that lived off early mammals, we have been plagued with these insects ever since and without any shadow of doubt these are the one pest that sits on top of the yuk-ometer for both the customer and the technician.
There are signs of bed bug infestations and we’ll explain these in detail but look out for:
• Blood spots on sheets
• Bite marks in lines on the skin
• Discarded skin from the bed bugs
• A musty smell
• Oval shaped insects that range in colour from clear to a dark reddish brown
Where can you pick up bed bugs from?
Bed bugs have a long association with our sleeping arrangements – hence their name, and they can be easily picked up in hotels, hostels and other places that people sleep and rest.
However, what many people fail to appreciate with bed bugs is that these insects have tiny claws at the end of each leg, and they are great hitchhikers, travelling with us as we move around.
Combine their hitchhiking skills this with our desire to travel, it means that you can pick up bed bugs from sitting on a train, an airplane seat or even from a taxi as easily as the bed in a hotel.
There is no connection between a dirty run-down hotel room as there are instances of people picking up these insects from luxury hotels; so the answer to the question “Where can you pick up bed bugs from”? is unfortunately, “Just about anywhere”!
How do we know if we have a bed bug problem?
Bed bug bites on skin
Bed bug bites leave a similar red welt on the skin like those from mosquito's and there is a tendency for bed bugs to bite in a line; this occurs because of the insect’s habit of feeding on the junction of skin and bed sheet or night clothes.
When bed bugs feed, they puncture the skin to find a capillary and our blood pressure then pumps blood into the insect’s stomach. If the capillary doesn’t supply enough blood or the bed bug needs to defecate, the insect will move and repeat the process, biting in a line as it follows the junction of covering and skin.
Blood spots on sheets
Around 60% of our blood is made up of water which has no nutritional value to the insect, the bed bug only wants the solid particles in our blood, so they will defecate during and after feeding. the liquid is discarded immediately, meaning that blood spots will appear on sheets, pillowcases and clothing.
Bed bugs are drawn to tight cracks and crevices as part of their breeding habit and these areas fill up with bed bugs meaning that the amount of blood spots eventually turns the space black and you may even detect the iron like smell of blood coming from a bed bug hideaway.
Discarded bed bug skins
Bed bugs are insects that don’t have a lifecycle change, an example of this is the way that caterpillars change their body through pupation becoming moths and butterflies, bed bugs have no pupation period as they are born as tiny versions of their adult selves.
In order to grow they will go through seven moults, shedding each smaller outer skin as they become bigger. Cockroaches have the same process, and they will eat their discarded skins, but with bed bugs the skins are simply discarded and can be found lying on carpets and on bed frames. The skins are the outer skeleton, and they have the characteristics and colour of bed bugs being an orange / reddish colour.
A musty unpleasant smell
Bed bugs have a smell and they give off a distinct aroma, particularly when they congregate together in a confined space, along with their natural scent you may pick up a smell from the buildup of bed bug faeces as this matter is largely discarded blood. The smell of bed bugs is likened to that of a dirty damp sports towel that’s been left inside a bag for too long; anyone with teenage children would recognize that smell.
Insects visible walking across bedding
At the start of an infestation you probably won’t see any bed bugs, you will receive insect bites which are usually attributed to other insects like mosquitos, this is down to the secretive nature of the bed bugs as they will hide away. Bed bugs are thigmophilic which means that they like to touch and be touched in their environment, so they squeeze into the smallest of gaps to rest. After a bed bug has expelled the waste liquid part of its meal, it has the cross section that is similar in thickness to that of a piece of paper. Unfortunately, this means that they can crawl up the smallest of gaps such as behind wallpaper, up between the plaster and the back of electrical sockets and in all the spaces between parts of the bed frame. As the number of bed bugs increase eventually you will find them travelling further afield to find a new hiding place, such as up the backs of curtains and behind pictures hanging on walls are all favorite places for bed bugs to move to when the numbers are high enough.
Professional bed bug eradication in Windsor
How we work
Our bed bug treatments will always start with some form of heat being applied to the affected area; bed bugs are slowly developing chemical resistance to many of the pesticides used in their control, so a treatment that relies solely on a chemical application may fail depending on whether or not resistance is present.
All insects and this includes bed bugs cannot withstand high temperatures; at a certain temperature which is given the term; the thermal death point, bed bugs simply expire and so we include a high temperature steam treatment that is combined with the application of a number of chemicals to deliver successful bed bug treatments throughout Windsor.
We also have the option of using portable electric heaters to raise the entire room temperature to a high enough point to kill off any bed bugs inside.
The bed bug treatment process in Windsor
Before we begin a bedbug treatment we ask if you could do some preparation to get the area ready, to be as thorough as possible, we will need to dismantle the bed to get the steam and chemicals into all the cracks and crevices.
Any items stored underneath or within divan drawers will need to be removed as these may contain bed bugs; always do this carefully and because bed bugs can survive for over nine months without feeding, thought has to go into what you are going to do with these items during that time?
How to prepare for a bed bug treatment in Windsor
Successful bed bug treatments do rely on the technician being as thorough as possible, some form of preparation is required to help deliver a positive result –
Remove all stored items from under or inside the bed; these should be quarantined and placing items like shoes or handbags inside a bin bag and then into a freezer is one easy method of dealing with any hidden bed bugs.
Arrange for any pets to be taken away for the day of the treatment, bed bugs will feed on cats and dogs so it may be worth giving these an additional flea treatment to kill off any bed bugs in their fur. Wash pet bedding on a high temperature setting; this must be a minimum of 60 degrees Celsius.
Thoroughly vacuum the rooms to be treated, this does two things – first it cleans the room and removes dust and secondly it may remove some of the bed bug population from carpets etc. Because these will now be in the vacuum cleaner, empty the machine outside of the house and seal the waste bag up – do not leave the vacuum cleaner with the bugs inside as they will spread to other previously unaffected areas.
We also don’t want you vacuuming the treated room for up to six weeks after the treatment as the chemicals we apply have a long lasting residual capacity and by vacuuming you will remove the chemical from the area.
Steam and chemical application to kill off bed bugs.
Our technician will begin the steam treatment first and whilst that is going on you can stay in the affected area as we have not introduced any chemicals at this point.
Our technicians wear PPE for their safety during the chemical application and so you will have to vacate the area while that is being carried out and afterwards throughout the drying period.
Severe infestations will require more than one treatment and our technician will talk through the infestation and what the next steps are.