Bed bug control in Reading from a local company
What are bed bugs?
You may have heard the phrase “Sleep tight, hope the bed bugs don’t bite” but what are bed bugs? It is thought that bed bugs are over 115 million years old and were probably one of the first parasites to feed on the newly emerged class of animals known as mammals. Again, its thought that bed bugs soon attached themselves to bats as these animal’s roost in tightly packed groups and these insects would emerge from hiding, feed on the bats and then return to their chosen spot to wait for the next meal. Bat bugs gave way to what we know as bed bugs as soon as humans started using caves that were once home to the bats and so the association between host and parasite was formed.
Where can you pick up bed bugs?
Obviously we no longer use caves but generally as an animal that creates a bed in which to sleep, bed bugs have a long association with bedding and from there they are often picked up in hotels, hostels and other places where we sleep. What many people fail to appreciate with bed bugs is that these insects are equipped with tiny claws at the end of each leg and they will hitchhike, travelling with us as we move around. Modern developments in travel means that you can pick up bed bugs from sitting on a train, plane or even a taxi as easily as a hotel. The connection between a dirty run down hotel room and bed bugs is totally incorrect and there are instances of people picking these insects up from five star hotels; so the answer to the question “Where can you pick up bed bugs”? is “Anywhere”!
How do I know if we have bed bugs?
Some people don’t react to the bites from bed bugs so they may go some time before they realise that they have this problem, we have been to bed bug infestations in Reading where out of two people sharing a bed together, only one ever gets bitten. This maybe down to hormone levels in the hosts blood and if we had to give a verdict it seems to be mainly men that get bitten?
You will know if you have bed bugs through these tell-tale indicators:
Bed bug bites are rather similar to those from mosquito's and there is a tendency for bed bugs to bite in a line; what happens is that the insect will live somewhere inside the frame of the bed. When it comes out to feed it will encounter part of the host’s body; maybe the neck of the arm sticking out of bed clothes or uncovered by the sheet. When the bed bug feeds it punctures the skin and finds a capillary, our natural blood pressure then pumps blood into the insect’s body. If the capillary isn't’t supplying enough blood the insect will move and repeat the process, the bed bug will not travel far so you often find lines of bites where the skin was exposed.
The bed bug is only after the solid matter contained with the blood cells; the hemoglobin and as 60% of blood is made up of liquid the insect discards this immediately. Bed bugs will feed every few days, so they want to fill up on the good stuff rather than useless liquid, this means that bed bugs feed, defecate and then feed again during each encounter. Blood spots appear on sheets at random places and where the insects congregate, part of the lifecycle of bed bugs is mating and when the males find a crevice or crack to hide in they release a congregation pheromone that brings in the females (and other males) to breed. These bed bugs will defecate in this area leading to build up of lots of blood spots, when blood dries it turns black so we look out for dark staining around wooden slats and fitting which indicates that the bed bugs are in residence.
Bed bugs belong to a group of insects that don’t have a lifecycle change, for example caterpillars become moths and butterflies, bed bugs are born as tiny versions of their adult selves and will go through seven moults to shed their outer skin as they grow and become bigger. Some insects such as cockroaches eat the discarded skins, however with bed bugs these skins are simply discarded and soon mount up. As they are the outer skeleton of the smaller bed bug, they have the characteristics and colour of bed bugs and are a orange / reddish colour.
Bed bugs give off an aroma particularly when they congregate together, along with their natural scent you may pick up a smell from the buildup of faeces as this matter is largely 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.
Initially you probably will not see the insects, you’ll receive bites which are usually attributed to mosquito's and due to their secretive nature bed bugs will hide away, they are thigmophilic which means that they like to ‘touch’ in their environment. After a bed bug has expelled the waste liquid part of its meal, it has the cross section that is similar to that of a piece of paper. Unfortunately, this means that they will crawl up behind wallpaper, up between the plaster and the back of electrical sockets and in all the gaps between parts of the bed. As their number increase eventually you will find them travelling further afield to find a new hiding place, up the backs of curtains and behind pictures handing on walls are all favorite places for bed bugs to move to when the numbers are high enough.
Professional bed bug eradication in the Reading area
How we work
Our bed bug treatments always have some form of heat 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.
All insects and that includes bed bugs cannot withstand high temperatures; at a certain temperature called the thermal death point these insects simply expire and so we include a steam treatment that combines with the application of a number of chemicals to deliver successful bed bug treatments in Reading. 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.
How to prepare for a bed treatment in Reading.
Successful bed bug treatments rely on the technician being as thorough as possible, some form of preparation is required to help deliver a positive result –
Remove stored items from under or inside the bed; these should be quarantined and placing items inside bags then into a freezer is one easy method.
Arrange for 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 a flea treatment to kill off any bed bugs in their fur. Wash pet bedding on a high temperatures setting; 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. 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 in other 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 this 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 ongoing 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.
Local professional bed bug control
Our aim is to provide you with an affordable, professional and thorough bed bug eradication, we take a great deal of care to be as thorough as possible - please read the preparation requirements.