Bed Bugs

Bed Bugs

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Bed bugs are nocturnal blood-sucking insects that are reddish-brown in color. Bed bugs undergo incomplete metamorphosis. The eggs are laid singly or in clusters cemented to surfaces in cracks and crevices, on furniture or walls. The eggs will hatch into nymphs, and the nymphs will undergo five molts to become adults. A blood meal is required for each molt. The adult form is often only distinguishable from the nymph by size and the presence of wing pads. All life stages of bed bugs are obligatory blood feeders: nymphs require blood meal to molt, while adults require blood meal to reproduce.

They are gregarious and opportunistic feeders, where they feed as much as possible until the body is fully engorged. Nymphs become fully engorged after feeding for 3-10 mins while adults may take 10-15 mins. They will feed on other animals when human hosts are not available.

Bed bugs will only approach a host when they intend to feed, but spend most of their time hiding or resting in their hiding sites. They are attracted to the host by the presence of carbon dioxide and body heat. Hence, feeding is stimulated by the higher amount of CO2 in the presence of humans. They are attracted by the body heat of the host when they are closer to the host. They will pierce the skin with proboscis, and inject saliva which contains anticoagulants (prevent blood from clotting) and anaesthetics. Bites cannot be felt until some minutes or hours later.

Common Bed Bugs in Singapore

Bed bugs are not as commonly found in private homes as they are in public spaces where everyone lounges, sleeps, or sits, like in the theatre or hotels, but, the risk is still present. While bed bugs are not carriers of diseases, experiencing an infestation is highly distressing and the situation can quickly escalate if left untreated.

If you have bed bugs, high chances are it’s either of these two species:

COMMON BED BUG (Cimex lectularius)

The Cimex lectularius is often present where temperate climates are, feeding off human blood, or animals, if they’re unable the find the former. They are nocturnal in nature, and therefore feed late into the night, while hiding when the sun is up. Fairly large in size, they can grow up to five millimeters in length, and are rusty red-brown coloured.

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TROPICAL BED BUG (Cimex hemipterus)

While the Cimex hemipterus is closely similar to the Cimex lectularius, it differs in the sense wherein it is smaller in size, growing up to a maximum of three millimetres long, and mainly feeds on human blood. It is typically drawn to areas on one’s body where the skin is covered by clothing, such as the waistline.

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Reactions and Risks Associated with Bed Bugs Bites

Bed bug bites can cause an allergic reaction to the skin, with the presence of itchy, red bumps, or even blood blisters. These bites can occur individually, and often follow a distinctive pattern of a linear group of three bites. These patterns of bites are caused when a bed bug is disturbed during feeding such as when a person is moving, before the bed bug resumes feeding. Bed bug bites also often occur in lines marking the paths of blood vessels running close to the surface of the skin. However, not everyone reacts to bed bug bites (30% to 60% of people bitten by bed bugs often have no reactions). Bed bug bites are painless at first, but later turn into itchy welts. Bite reactions include itching sensations, a burning feel, swelling and red marks. Bed bugs are not known to spread any diseases, however secondary infections may happen if bite sites are accidentally scratched and exposed to infectious pathogens.

Identifying Bed Bug Infestations

Many believe that bed bugs prefer unhygienic environments because they are attracted to dirt and decay. However, this is a complete myth. The presence of bed bugs is not evidence of unclean or unsanitary conditions.

Bed bugs are attracted by CO2 and body heat. This means that dirty areas and clean areas are both equally as attractive to them as long as there are people around. They commonly relocate by hitching rides in luggage, boxes, shoes, furniture and mattresses (especially secondhand ones).

The signs of bed bug infestation include signs of bites on the host, scattered cast skin of bed bugs, presence of adults or eggs, blood stains on bedding, and sickly sweet and pungent odour when heavily infested.

Solutions and Treatments for Bed Bugs

Control of these bugs is best achieved by following an integrated pest management (IPM) approach that involves preventive measures, sanitation, and chemicals applied to targeted sites.

Our technician will do a thorough inspection of the premises to locate bed bugs and their harbourage sites so that cleaning efforts together with steam and insecticide treatments can be focused. Inspection efforts will concentrate on the mattress, box springs, and bed frame, as well as cracks and crevices that the bed bugs may hide in during the day or when digesting a blood meal.

Our treatment involves the use of CIMEX ERADICATOR (using superheated steam technology) which eliminates 100% of the eggs and a very high proportion of the mobile insects with a single treatment. Within a few seconds of exposure to the flow of steam from Cimex Eradicator, the adults and larvae, as well as eggs are killed. There are potentially no toxic substances released to the environment. Moreover, it is sanitizing. As well as killing bedbugs, it eliminates bacteria, fungi and dust mites from the surfaces treated.

Do you know…

Bed bugs are very efficient and effective travelers! They don’t fly or jump onto humans, but rather, latch onto personal belongings like your backpacks, clothing, or luggage that you carry around as transport.

 They have other means for travel too, especially once they’ve infested a particular home. Bed bugs can actually crawl into openings such as vents or beneath doors to spread out to adjacent rooms within a similar property.

Are you experiencing similar pest issue?

Share with us your concerns or needs and our team at Verminator will be ready to respond to you.