Hiring a pest control specialist often gives us the reassuring feeling that it would be the end of your pest problem. However, there are some cases where, following the most comprehensive treatment, homeowners are surprised to discover that the infestation continues to exist and even worse, it has spread further throughout the property. This is often the case in bed bug control where they are various factors that affects the efficacy. Rentokil shares more on what are the possible causes in ineffective bed bug treatments.
How to Check For Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are small, oval, reddish-brown insects that feed on blood meals. They have flat bodies, allowing them to fit into cracks as thin as a credit card and thus, making bed bug control difficult. While they are not known to spread life-threatening diseases, their bites leave red and itchy bumps that may cause distress and irritation. In addition, their excrements can also trigger allergic reactions to some. For businesses, on the other hand, an infestation not only can be costly, stressful, and time-consuming to address but also affects their reputation and occupancy rate.
Signs of Bed Bug Infestations
An accurate way to identify a potential bed bug infestation is to look for physical signs of bed bugs include:
- Dried blood spots that look like rusty or reddish stains on bedsheets
- Dark/black stains that are actually bed bug excrements
- An unpleasant, sweet, musty odour
- Shed skin, eggs, and eggshells
- Live bed bugs
Where to Check For Bed Bugs
Bed bugs usually feed at night when the victim is inactive or in other words, when you are sleeping. When they are not feeding, they usually hide in hard-to-reach areas such as around the bed, near the piping, seams, and tags or in the cracks on the bed frame and headboard.
You may also find bed bugs in the following areas:
- Carpets and underlay
- Skirting boards
- Furniture seams
- Curtain folds
- Between floorboards
- Within electrical sockets and fittings
- Behind peeling wallpaper and loose wall hangings
- Cupboards and drawers
What to Expect After A Bedbug Treatment
Today, a proven method in bed bug treatment is an integrated pest management program (IPM) that involves eco-friendly solutions such as heat and steam treatment, and mechanical control solutions such as trapping and pest exclusion. Active ingredients are carefully chosen and the right dilution rate is conducted to ensure efficacy and safety. All these treatments require professional training and equipment to carry out proper and safe treatments, while reducing the risks involved such as re-infestation.
As a pest control specialist in Singapore, we do not recommend any DIY bed bug treatments because bedbugs have developed some level of resistance to some pesticides, spraying chemicals yourself will likely merely eliminate some bed bugs in contact and scatter the rest, thus worsening the problem. In addition, you may potentially missed out hiding bed bugs or misuse the insecticides and subject yourself to health risks.
There can also be other reasons why bed bug control do not work. These include failure to:
- Identify all bed bug hiding places
- Prepare the area adequately for treatment
- Treat nearby areas where bed bugs may have evacuated (e.g. adjacent rooms/rental units).
- Apply adequate amounts of pesticide
- Allow enough time for the active ingredient to work
- Follow up on treatment
- Identify the right pest types
- Adopting the right frequency to target bed bug life cycle
Bed Bugs Are Often Results of Cross-Infestations
Pests like bed bugs can travel through cross-infestations. It means they can be brought in again to your property by hitchhiking onto items that you bring home—laundry, luggage, etc. Therefore, in addition to the reasons outlined above, the following are factors that can also cause a bed bug recurrence:
- Bed bugs being brought in again through latching on items or body
- Bed bugs spreading from your neighbouring homes
- Poor housekeeping (e.g. poor laundry and vacuum waste management that allows bed bugs to slip back into your home)
- Taking home second hand furniture that are infested with bed bugs
- Inadequate luggage and parcels management (i.e. packing on the bed)
Will You See Bed Bugs After Treatment?
Manage the risks of potential failure in bed bug treatment when you hire a reliable pest control specialist. You will expect to see flush out of bed bugs during the treatment process as they react to the active ingredient. Most treatments take a while to fully eradicate a pest infestation that are dependent on the active ingredient used used and the concentration at which it is used.
On top of that, make sure that you engage professional pest control that conducts inspection on a regular basis to keep a look out for new infestation signs and to prevent chances that bed bugs will come back.
Our bed bug treatment options at Rentokil Singapore include residual spraying and steam treatment that target bed bugs in their every life stage: eggs, larvae, and adults. Technicians are trained and certified to give you not only a peace of mind but also a pest-free home. For the success of the treatment, you should also do your part by taking the necessary measures to reduce the risks of re-infestation.
What Can You Do To Minimise Bed Bug Recurrence?
Bed bugs can cause stress and hassles especially when we need to deal with furniture and upholstery replacement, spending time and money to retreat and going some inconvenience and hassles amidst a busy work schedule. Here are some ways you can adopt to minimise a recurring bed bug problem.
- Avoid putting your bags and luggage on the bed. Better if you can keep them well away from your bed or sleeping area where potential bed bugs can easily find you.
- Dispose of the contents of your vacuum bag properly and make sure to change it 1-2 times every 6 months
- Wash your clothes in a hotter temperature possible to eliminate any bed bug eggs
- Avoid or at least minimise the need to use second-hand furniture
- Steam upholstery, furniture, and carpeting to kill any bed bugs and eggs.
- Always keep an eye out for bed bug signs and their presence
- Stay vigilant for bed bug bites and skin infection
Gaining more awareness and understanding of bed bugs
Understanding the primary cause of bed bug infestation
Travelling is established to be the most common cause of bed bug infestations, due to their capability to hitchhike on people and other personal belongings that you transport into your home and other properties. They are cross infestation and able to transfer their presence so long as they latch themselves on any part of the individual to the home.
Even with a spic and span clean home, there is always the possibility of starting a bed bug problem because they can enter into any tiny slits and cracks possible, especially if your neighbour is experiencing and infestation and not having it fixed.
Using recycled items or bringing in from external resources can be another reason of an infestation trigger. Discarded items are of poor hygiene and sanitation and bears risks of eggs breeding. Of course, any pest infestation starts with poor housekeeping where presence of eggs or adult is not removed during the cleaning process and starts a reproduction as result.
Getting rid of bed bugs myself is not an advisable solution
Some signs of bed bug infestations you should keep an eye out on are bloodstains on your sheets and pillowcases, excrements that look like dark or rusty spots, eggshells and shed skin in areas where they hide, and an undeniable sweet, musty odour. However, even if you have the ability to identify and spot them, getting rid of bed bugs is not as easy. Bed bugs are some of the most difficult pests to treat. Spraying them with commercial pesticides may risk the spread further throughout your home. Worse of all, putting your own health at risk. On the other hand, using natural ingredients to repel bed bugs merely deters and navigate them away. However, it does not control the root source. A pest control specialist is trained to contain them and keep the infestation from worsening.
Call Rentokil Singapore at 6347 8138 to find out more on our bed bug control programme.