Bed bugs are found worldwide and have been around for centuries. They are perhaps one of the most distressing of all insect infestations on account of the itchiness and swelling associated with their bites.
Habits and habitats
Bed bugs are typically nocturnal, emerging just before dawn. They hide by day in the cracks and crevices in beds, furniture, wall paper, skirting boards and electrical fittings. Bed bugs feed on humans, dogs, cats and rodents.
Bed bugs are often carried into houses by clothes, luggage, furniture and bedding and sometimes carried by humans.
Irritation, risk and damage
There are no specific diseases associated with bed bugs and their impact on humans relates mostly to the unpleasant skin irritation following their bites.
A severe bed bug infestation may result in sleep disturbance to the host, which is unpleasant in itself. Heavy infestations on the skin are characterised by a ‘sweet almond’ odour.
Identifying a bed bug
Adult bed bugs are general flat and reddish brown in colour. They resemble apple seeds in appearance and size. Newly hatched bed bug nymphs look very much like adults but are colourless. They gain their colour as they mature.
It is important to recognise that the eradication of bed bugs is not achieved immediately after a course of treatment. Bed bugs hide deep within inaccessible places only coming into contact with its host (a person or animal) or insecticide control when it emerges at night.
Bed bugs only emerge if they sense the presence of a host. It is the carbon dioxide that a host exhales, coupled with the warmth of a body that draws the bed bugs out of their hiding. For this reason it is recommended that people sleep in the affected rooms after they have been treated, otherwise the bed bugs will not come into contact with the insecticide being used to control the infestation.
What to do if you think you have bed bugs
If you think you have bed bugs in your Brunelcare home please let our Housing Team know as soon as possible. The Housing Team can contact a pest control company to inspect your property and organise treatment if required.
We also recommend contacting your doctor if the bugs are causing skin irritation, especially if you suspect your bites might be infected.