As the name suggests, bed bugs prefer to inhabit mattresses, sofas and other furniture. Bed bugs feed on the blood of their hosts. They are attracted by warmth and carbon dioxide. They may climb furniture or scale the wall and ceiling to drop down on their unsuspecting host. The bug then pierces the skin with two hollow tubes, injecting anaesthetics and anticoagulants with one and supping blood with the other. Although they are usually active at night, bed bugs are opportunists and may feed at any time of the day.
The bite cannot usually be felt until some minutes or hours later and will most likely be itchy. Bites are found in a variety of places around the body and look like reddish bumps. Victims may not initially be aware of their pest problem because the bugs are adept at hiding in the folds and creases of mattresses and furniture.
As if the blood sucking wasn’t bad enough, bed bugs mate via a process known as traumatic insemination. Males pierce the females with hypodermic genitalia, ejaculating into the body cavity. Female bed bugs can lay up to 500 eggs in their lifetime. The newly emerged nymphs begin feeding immediately, passing through five moults and feeding during each stage.
Although bed bugs are capable of carrying disease, extensive testing in laboratories has shown that they are unlikely to pass disease from one person to another. Therefore they are considered less dangerous than other blood sucking insects such as fleas. It is possible that the saliva may bring on anaphylaxis in susceptible persons and excessive feeding may lead to anaemia.
Bed bug infestations have been on the increase in Perth recently. They can be quite serious and it is strongly recommended that you contact Envirotechnics Pest Management to treat bed bugs for you.
Hotel owners are advised to implement a regular inspection regime to ensure that all mattresses and furniture are assessed frequently and treated if necessary.