How long have bed bugs existed?
The first thing to realise is that bed bugs have been around for millions of years. During this period of time, like many other creatures they have evolved to survive in the harshest of environments.
They have outlived the dinosaurs, survived the ice age and are still evolving even to this day.
Why are bed bugs so prevalent?
Bed bugs are attracted to areas of dense population, much like rats or any other creature that thrive in these areas, they come because there is a constant supply of food. in the case of bed bugs, this is blood. Whether it’s from a human or an animal it doesn’t matter, they just need one drink of blood every few months to be able to survive, grow and reproduce.
It might surprise you to know that they feed on the blood of animals, but it’s very common for them to feed on your pets and they will even feed on something as small as a mouse.
How can I spot a bed bug?
Bed bugs are so small, around 5mm long so are very inconspicuous, especially as they generally only move around at night time. The chances of you spotting one is minimal, unless you shine a torch on your bed at night.
You are more likely to see a blood spot on your bedding, this can either be from where the bug has fed or it could also be where you have rolled over and squashed the bed bug while it is crawling around in your bed! Read our guide on how to identify bed bugs here.
Won’t I feel the bite?
When bed bugs bite, they inject a numbing agent into the bite area to stop the victim from feeling the bite and either waking up or moving and potentially squashing the bug mid meal.
The numbing agent is what can actually cause the bite to itch the following day.
How easy are bed bugs to kill?
As you have read, bed bugs are hardy and resilient which is why they have survived for so many years. This also can make them difficult to kill. As bed bugs can lay up to 6 eggs per day, this means you do not just need to kill the bed bugs but the eggs too, otherwise they will return within days.
They often nest in hard to reach places too, such as behind picture frames, within cracks in skirting boards and inside bed frames which makes spraying them with chemicals much more difficult.
What is the best treatment for bed bugs?
There are two main types of treatment; chemical treatment or heat treatment. Both have their merits, so we will look at both.
Chemical treatment for bed bugs is the most commonly used for of treatment. This is because it is fairly cheap and it has always been thought of as the most successful form of treatment. Unfortunately, due to the evolution of bed bugs, they have started to become resistant to the active ingredients of the chemicals forcing us to try to change the ingredients or only partially kill an infestation.
Chemicals also have limitations, you can only spray what you can see, so if bed bugs are nesting behind picture frames or inside bed frames then there is the potential that the chemicals won’t reach their intended target.
Chemicals are also thought to be less effective against the eggs and therefore unable to break the reproduction cycle.
Heat treatment for bed bugs is a fairly new method of treatment. It is a more expensive method as it is time consuming but it has proven to be much more effective than traditional chemical treatments.
Heat treatment works by heating the room to 141 degrees which kills the bed bugs due to dehydration. In order for the treatment to work effectively, the temperature of the whole room needs to be maintained for up to 6 hours. The room also needs to be checked for cold spots to ensure there is nowhere for the bugs to hide.
Heat treatment is thought to be 100% effective as it also kills the nymphs and eggs, therefore most heat treatment companies offer a guarantee with their treatment.
So heat treatment is most effective at killing bed bugs?
Yes, we believe that heat treatment is 100% effective at killing bed bugs and therefore the best solution. We have many years of pest control experience and have developed our offerings over the years to ensure we always use the best treatment for the problem.
We offer a free, no obligation quote and can often identify and quote for a treatment using your description and some photos.
Please contact us if you think you require treatment for bed bugs. We cover London and surrounding areas.