Introduction Part I: What are Bed Bugs?
Part II: Why are Bed Bugs Difficult to Control?
Part III: How to Protect Your Home from Bed Bugs
Part IV: Professional Bed Bug Control by Rentokil
Back in the 1920s, the world could not recall a time when bed bugs were not a problem. People were being bitten in the night by these bloodsuckers hiding in mattresses and there seemed to be no solution in sight.
However, things changed with the introduction of DDT, a pesticide proved to eliminating the bugs. For the years thereafter, DDT, among other chemicals, kept residential homes and business “bug-free”.
As we move into globalisation, these bed bugs has started to infest homes, hotels, even planes. These critters are a well-travelled pest and they could be hiding anywhere in the luggage, sofas, beds, and even the tiniest cracks in your wall.
Fated further than 3,500 years, studies suggest that this pest lived in the same caves where civilisation began and that they fed off bats first and then made the leap to humans.
Bed bugs have survived through civilisation, multiplied, and spread across Asia and Europe and by 100 AD, they were significantly present in many countries.
During this time, bed bug infestations are a global issue and with the introduction of DDT—a colourless, crystalline pesticide—bed bugs seemed to be resolved then.
The use of DDT as a pesticide was banned after it was found to be toxic not only to pests but to humans and wildlife as well. They could cause damaging health implications.
The infestation rates have begun increasing even more rapidly and making presence in homes, hospitalities and planes.
Today, the modern bedbug is human-adapted and stressed many individuals with its spread of infestation. Integrated pest management is often used to eliminate this problem.
In the battle against today’s global bed bug resurgence, we can all learn from the past. Pesticides alone no longer cut it and the best pest control service in Singapore should involve diligent inspection, prevention and management measures, and the use of eco-friendly bed bug treatment methods like steaming.
Good night, sleep tight, do not let the bed bugs bite.
Do not let this nursery rhyme deceive you into thinking that bed bugs are some kind cute bugs that crawl into your bed at night. These pests are actually small, oval, brownish insects with flat bodies that are about the size of an apple seed.
They generally feed on human blood and they require blood meals to breed and survive. Unlike mosquitoes, they are wingless and unlike ticks, they do not have the convenience of living directly on a host. Therefore, they have to hide near their food source and wait it is safe to come out and feed. Often, it is when we are soundly asleep at night.
Female bed bugs lay 1-5 eggs each day and may lay up to 500 eggs in a lifetime. The eggs hatch in 5-10 days and are grain-like and milky white in colour.
These young bed bugs pass through five molting stages, each requiring a single blood meal to complete, before reaching maturity.
Upon reaching maturity, bed bugs often make weekly feedings. They can live anywhere from 6-12 months under preferable conditions. They lay eggs in the same place they harbour.
Bed bugs may enter your home undetected through luggage, clothing, second-hand furniture, and other items. Their flat bodies allow them to fit into tiny spaces, about the width of a credit card.
Firstly, they do not live in nests. Instead, they hide in groups and found hiding in mattresses, box springs, frames, and other bed components where they can have easy access to people to bite at night. Secondly, bed bugs may scatter throughout the bedroom, moving into more protected locations such as the cracks and crevices in the site. Finally, they may also spread to nearby rooms, even apartments, when left unaddressed.
As said earlier, bed bugs are mainly active at night and bite people while they are sleeping. They feed by piercing the skin and sucking blood through an elongated beak. Each feeding can take 3-10 minutes until they engorged and then crawl away unnoticed.
How do you know if the itchy welts on your skin are caused by bed bugs? Unlike flea bites that are mainly around the ankles, bed bug bites can be found on any area of skin exposed while sleeping. They are usually in a line or a cluster and surrounded by a rash.
Location Anywhere on the body,often on exposed skin
Appearance Puffy, white or reddish bump that may occur a few minutes after the initial bite
Symptoms Mild to moderate itching; swelling near bite site
Location Legs,ankles, waist, armpits, or in the folds of elbows and knees
Appearance Small, raised bumps, somtimes in clusters of 3-4 and with a halo around the bump
Symptoms Mild to moderate itching; swelling near bite site
Location Anywhere on the face, neck, arms, and hands
Appearance Small, raised bumps, often in clusters or a straight line and may appear up to 14 days after initial bite
Symptoms Mild itching to anaphylactic shock (life-threatening allergic reaction)
Call emergency services or seek medical treatment immediately if you are worried about a symptom or reaction to any of these bites.
Although they are not known to spread disease, bed bugs can be a serious annoyance. Their bites can cause skin irritation, which can be severe in others. Worse, their bites can cause itching that can result in loss of sleep. In addition, they also caused stress and worries as they face the massive crawling bugs around the home, and emotional and financial pressure, to replace those infested costly furniture.
Are you at risk of bed bug infestation?
The chances of encountering bed bugs increases if you spend time in public places with high guest turnovers—hotels, hospitals, and motels for instance. If you think you have bed bugs, it is essential to contact a bed bug control professional. Given the nature of its infestation, you are not likely to resolve it on your own or by using DIY methods, not to mention their ability to hide well from you.
More importantly to note that bed bugs are cross infestation based, this means they infest in your home without traveling activities. This includes picking up the bugs through close interaction with someone carrying on them or they can crawl in from infested sites nearby.
Bed bugs are wingless and are not capable of flight. Unlike other wingless insects like fleas, they are also not equipped to jump long distances. Instead, they move from host to host by crawling and hitchhiking.
They dwell almost exclusively with humans due to its body warm it seeks and while it is generally assumed that they come from hotels and motels, the places in which bed bugs have been found is much more extensive—trains, buses, cruise ships, office buildings, nursing homes, schools, theatres, etc. They can hitch a ride anywhere and at any time, and transported by people—often from their personal belongings like clothing, luggage, gym bags, and other items.
In fact, bed bugs are tough and sturdy to escape from the elimination risks of their predators. For example, they have efficient reproduction nature, are nocturnal and able to survive without food source for a few months. Read more to find out why bed bugs are not as simple pest as what we think.
They are small, sneaky and hard to find.
To the untrained eye, spotting a bed bug latching onto your personal belongings or checking for a bed bug infestation itself can prove difficult and if you miss just one pregnant female bed bug, you are at risk of infested with over 300 more adults and 1,000 new eggs in a span of three months.
Why is it just hard to detect and control bed bugs?
Bed bugs can spread faster than you can imagine. Therefore, proactive detection is key to prevent a bed bug infestation and save you from its potential consequences—bed bug bites, not to mention the costs involved in treatment and repair or replacement of infested items.
A bed bug infestation at home is one stressful thing for your family, but a bed bug problem in a business is another. These pests travel fast and so can word of mouth of a pest issue. One bad review can spark online attention that can result in a slew of consequences:
Given the challenges in detection, do not count on finding the bugs themselves. It is not like it is easy to spot a bed bug especially in a bigger area with items around. Instead, focus on searching for signs of a bed bug infestation.
Whether you find a single bed bug in your suitcase or discover a full infestation in your mattress, bed bugs can be a serious pain to eliminate. Therefore, the best pest control solution is to prevent an infestation from occurring in the first place.
Below are some steps you can take to reduce your risks of taking home bed bugs with you.
When bed bugs have finally made their way into your home, you should take immediate and calculated actions.
While these measures can help in controlling bed bugs, getting rid of them fully requires chemical treatments and it is safest and most effective if you engage professional pest control services in Singapore.
There is no way to prevent bed bugs fully because there are many ways people can bring them into their homes at any time. Pest can invade anytime, either due to poor home habits, lack of housekeeping or accidental infestation from external source. However, early detection and treatment remain effective in breaking the bed bug life cycle and thus prevent a full-blast bed bug infestation. Which pest control company to engage?
You should only engage a company that has the license to do pest control. It is also recommended that your choice of pest control provider have experience and a track record of controlling bed bugs safely and effectively.
Below are some other factors you should look for in the best pest control company.
A professional approach to bed bug control includes:
Our certified team of pest control specialists at Rentokil Singapore is educated in the most advanced bed bug control methods and equipped with adequate resources necessary to control these pests. We get to the root of the problem with targeted inspections and continuous monitoring to ensure the pests never return.
Hiring an insect control company can prevent a bed bug infestation from turning into a costly and time-consuming problem. Make sure to engage one that uses the right control methods and is capable of developing an effective management programme.
Short answer: if you have had a professional bed bug treatment and it has been a few weeks since there were no signs of continuous infestation, then you may have got the problem already under control.
The truth is, whether or not the treatment has been successful depends on several factors including the following.
Size of Infestation - The larger the infestation, the more difficult it will be to treat and it may take multiple treatments to get it completely under control.
Type of Treatment - If an insecticide treatment is used, it may require more than one application to control the infestation. For example additional steam treatment to target at the eggs
Level of Treatment - Given the complicated nature of bed bug control, the level and thoroughness of the treatment can vary. It usually requires three treatments to break the cycle
Type of Home - Living in a home makes you vulnerable to bed bugs because the risk of cross-infestation is high. Therefore, it is better to inspect the adjacent units or rooms to treat for bed bugs as well to prevent a recurring pest problem.
In conclusion, we would like to emphasise the importance of a continuous effort to prevent and control bed bugs.
Because there is always the risk of re-infestation where you could face a recurring bed bug infestation problem even after investing in treatments if you let your guard down. Apart from negligence, there are many possibilities for the reason of a recurrence and below are some of things to discuss with your local pest control specialist.
For a bed bug control programme to be successful, you should work together, as a homeowner, with a top-rated pest control company in Singapore. Do not ignore the early signs of bed bugs and make sure to adopt the precautionary measures when getting back home from travel.
Safeguard your home from a bed bug invasion; get in touch with us at Rentokil Singapore today. Visit our website or contact us at (65) 6347 8138.