Cimicidae or bed bugs (sometimes bedbugs), are small parasitic insects. The most common type is Cimex lectularius. The term usually refers to species that prefer to feed on human blood. All insects in this family live by feeding exclusively on the blood of warm-blooded animals.
Adult bed bugs are reddish-brown, flattened, oval and wingless. Bed bugs have microscopic hairs that give them a banded appearance. Adults grow to 4–5 mm in length and 1.5–3 mm wide. Newly hatched nymphs are translucent, lighter in color and become browner as they moult and reach maturity. Bed bugs may be mistaken for other insects such as booklice and carpet beetles, or vice-versa.
Bed bugs use pheromones and kairomones to communicate regarding nesting locations, feeding and reproduction. The life span of bed bugs varies by species and is also dependent on feeding.
The name “bed bug” is derived from the insect’s preferred habitat of houses and especially beds or other areas where people sleep. Bed bugs, though not strictly nocturnal, are mainly active at night and are capable of feeding unnoticed on their hosts. They have however been known by a variety of names including wall louse, mahogany flat, crimson rambler, heavy dragoon, chinche and redcoat.
Damage/Illness caused by Bed Bugs:
Bed Bugs can cause a number of health effects including skin rashes, psychological effects and allergic symptoms. They are able to be infected by at least 28 human pathogens, but no study has clearly found that the insect is able to transmit the pathogen to a human being. Bed bug bites or cimicosis may lead to a range of skin manifestations from no visible effects to prominent blisters.
Method of removal:
- Treatment for bedbugs starts with a thourough investigation to positively identify that bedbugs are indeed the problem.
- Treatment for bedbugs is done utilizing heat. (Chemical treatments can be effective but will introduce chemicals into the home and will usually require more than one visit.)
- The eco-friendly heat treatment for bedbugs starts with proper preparation of unit or building, which would include making sure area is free of clutter and proper air flow can be achieved in and around all items.
- Hot air is then ducted into structure from an external propane fired burner.
- The building is rapidly heated to 140-150 degrees and held at that tempature for at least 4 hours to make sure that everything inside is at the “kill” temperature. Temperature monitoring probes are used to ensure internal temps on a mattress for example, reach 114 degrees or higher.
- Treatment for bedbugs also involves a wall void dusting with diatomaceous earth. This is the process of injecting the diatomaceous earth dust into the walls to kill bedbugs as they travel.
- All laundry in the treatment area will need to be either washed and dried or dried on high heat as well.
- The treatment process for bedbugs will take a full day to complete.
Cooperation from client is the most important factor in successful elimination of bedbugs.
It should also be noted that every situation is different and can employ various strategies in dealing with items that may be infested. The overall goal for the treatment of bedbugs is to eradicate the bedbugs, nymphs and eggs with a one time treatment using heat.