There are many common and strong associations with bed bugs and travel; however, there are misconceptions that bed bugs are caused by poor hygiene and sanitation home conditions. As the saying goes, do not like bed bug bites at night, Rentokil shares in this article how to remove bed bugs effectively.
- Bed bugs are tough warriors in survival
- Very efficient in hiding and staying out of sight
- Capable of seeking blood without noticed
- They are not attracted to poor sanitation condition
- Bed bugs are secretive and emerge at night
- They live almost anywhere to be a hotspot
- Reproduce into an adult bug within six weeks
- Wash beddings and apparels with high temperature
- Use natural herbs such as lavender and rosemary to repel bed bugs
- Apply essential oil such as citronella and mint at key risk areas
- Using diatomaceous earth to get rid of bed bugs
- Sprinkle cinnamon powder or sticks around the home
- Dust baking soda around high bed bugs activity sites
- Understand why is your home infested with bed bugs
- Learn to identify signs of bed bug infestations
- The do’s and don’ts in dealing with bed bugs
- Engage in professional bed bugs specialist
- Managing with bed bug bites
- What are the common challenges and struggles in bed bug removal?
- Where do bed bugs lay their eggs in the home?
- How much does a bed bug control cost?
- What to expect during a bed bug treatment?
- Is it possible to get bed bugs on a plane?
- Why do we experience recurring bed bug infestation?
Part 1: Seven facts about bed bugs in Singapore
Bed bugs are tough warriors in survival
They might be tiny and flat and often a victim of manual squashing, however bed bugs are tough survivors. Firstly, they primarily rely on our blood and are able to live without feeding on us for a few months. This also explains how they can hide steadily at hard to spot areas such as curtains, bed seams and furniture before hearing their hosts for food sources. Secondly, they can withstand cold temperatures by reducing their freezing point threshold of their body fluids. While it is possible to freeze these bed bugs, it requires a consistent freezing effort at zero degrees to eliminate them successfully. Thirdly, they can hide from predators well and stay out of sight from our eyes by slotting themselves neatly in between gaps, cracks, corners and edges.
Very efficient in hiding and staying out of sight
Most pests hide very well from us, which is often one of the challenges in dealing with pest infestation. In fact, pest detection and identification is the most common challenge due to efficient hiding skills. Often at hard to reach and seen spaces, impossible corners, unexpected habitats or camouflaged among clutters and items. Some of the common bed bug hideouts include carpet edges, behind the headboard, in between curtain drapes fold and bed seems. Even if we manage to take notice, we could mistake them for dirt or apple seeds due to their flat and seedy shape nature.
Capable of seeking blood without noticed
After a good night sleep only to realise the bed bug bites and itches on your hands and legs the next day. Yes, it is possible for bed bugs to carry out the entire process of biting and sucking our blood without having it caught by us. This is because their saliva has an anaesthetic component that increases blood flow and allows the feeding to be painless. In addition, we may not notice their predating actions while we sleep and lose vigilance in guarding against them.
They are not attracted to poor sanitation condition
Bed bugs are not pest of poor hygiene such as cockroaches or rats where they linger at poor sanitation sites. Bed bugs can happen at any condition because it is a cross-infestation nature pest. For instance, they can be brought in from outside as they latch onto our bag, belongings or clothes. They can also travel in from other locations infested with bed bugs. Above all, recycled or second-hand furniture is a potential bug carrier if they are brought into your home. Read more on why it is possible to have bed bugs even in a clean home.
Bed bugs are secretive and emerge at night
They are nocturnal pests, similar to cockroaches and rats that come out at night while we are asleep to seek their food source. Bed bugs are exceptionally interested in body warm and tend to stay close to humans as we release heat. This coincidently explains their high activities and presence in the bedroom and around furniture where humans have close proximity.
They live almost anywhere to be a hotspot
So long as there is a human host, blood meal and body warm, bed bugs are practically present anywhere and anywhere. They can be found in hotels, lodging, entertainment, transportation, schools or even food establishments. They hitchhike on any items that are close to hosts such as luggage, bags, shoe, clothes, shawl, jacket to name a few. This makes detection and control a lot harder because of its wide spread of presence.
Reproduce into an adult bug within six weeks
It takes around ten days to hatch the bed bug eggs and up to six weeks to develop into an adult fully. In terms of number wise, each female lays around five eggs a day and up to 500 eggs in her life span. Multiplying this numbers further, the average lifespan of a bed bug is between four and six months and depending on the living conditions and blood meal, their life span can extend to a year. Hence, it is important to have adequate pest control services to remove bed bugs effectively. This means, adopting a three times treatment and weekly interval to cover the entire life stages of the bed bug. Without thorough and professional pest control, you may notice recurring bed bugs for a few months that equates to her average life span.
Part 2: Bed bug solutions that do not work
Wash beddings and apparels with high temperature
Some believe in using heat to eradicate bed bugs. Besides steaming or upholstery and curtains, clothing or recommended to wash bedding at forty to sixty degrees to eliminate at least twenty five percent or more of bugs. This may address the current bed bug infestation that is physically present on the belongings. However, it is more essential to deal with bed bugs that are crawling around the wall, floor, headboard or furniture that will spread quickly if left untreated.
Use natural herbs such as lavender and rosemary to repel bed bugs
Natural remedies using natural ingredients such as herbs and plants to repel pests is often the preferred choice. Due to its non-toxicity, lavender, mint and rosemary are said to repel most pests including ants, cockroaches, flies and mosquitoes. However, the repel method may not be the best option to eliminate this strong surviving pest. It is worse relocating them to another hiding spot that is challenging to detect them given their tiny size.
Apply essential oil such as citronella and mint at key risk areas
Why not using the two-in-one-approach. Scent up the home with nice essential oil fragrance such as citronella, mint and eucalyptus. There are various ways to deter bed bugs with this scent such as rubbing oil around the bed, adding a few drops to the bedding laundry or apply on potential bed bug activity sites. The strong smell that bed bugs detest will deter them from returning those areas smeared with essential oil however, they can hide and breed at other locations. In addition, mishandling of oil can be hazardous and should adopt a proper pest elimination approach.
Using diatomaceous earth to get rid of bed bugs
There are tips around sprinkling Diatomaceous earth around bed bug hot spots for at least 48 hours to dehydrate them. It absorbs water from the bed bugs exoskeleton, which is a casing or shell used to protect their body. However, this is not a suggestable home remedy to get rid of bed bugs as it contains a chemical element, silica that is harmful to kids or pets’ safety when ingested, exposed or inhaled. In addition, key risk areas are usually sensitive locations that have high human’s contact or close reach to pets such as rugs.
Sprinkle cinnamon powder or sticks around the home
Unlike the baking soda or diatomaceous earth that is capable of eliminating bed bugs, cinnamon merely repels bed bugs as the strong and spicy smell is unwelcome by these small bugs. Dusting the cinnamon powder does deter them away, finding their new habitats but it is still within the home, from room to room. What is worse is, they may attract other pests as a means of food source by leaving them around overnight at home.
Dust baking soda around high bed bugs activity sites
Baking soda has moisture absorbent capabilities and is able to do the same by dehydrating bed bug bodies, just like the diatomaceous earth. Often used as a cleaning or disinfectant component, the smaller and abrasive granules are sharp enough to cut through their shell thus causing infection or bleeding. There are some small successes around baking soda remedy; however, bed bugs are a tricky pest to treat. Particularly, when we missed detecting the root source, thus reproducing into a serious epidemic. Read the full article if baking soda works on bed bugs here.
Part 3: Engage in professional bed bugs control
Understand why is your home infested with bed bugs
It is important to understand what triggers a bed bug infestation in a home what actions or activities triggered the infestation. Unlike most pests that result from poor hygiene and housekeeping standards, bed bugs are cross infestation based and enter from the outside. Firstly, you may pick up these bugs while you engage in high interaction events or activities with huge human traffic. Secondly, you could bring it back home from lodging, travel and hotel stays with inadequate bed bug prevention. Thirdly, they may be present in used or recycled clothing and furniture that spreads in your home. Finally, because they reproduce and travel, they can enter from an infested neighbouring unit. Above all, they are flat and tiny enough to squeeze through the cracks and crevices that are found around the home. Thus, home proofing is essential to block out entries not just the bed bugs, but also all pests in general.
Learn to identify signs of bed bug infestations
They maybe too tiny to spot but it takes every effort to remain observant and diligent in detecting signs of bed bug infestation. Here are some signs to look out:
- Black faecal spots or droppings found on the bed, mattress, curtain, carpet and furniture
- Presence of shed skins or egg shells on surfaces
- Crawling bed bugs on the bed, curtain drapes or even the wall at night
- Blood stains that could have squashed by you when you come into contact with them
- Experience bed bug bites on your exposed skin
- Notice a hint of sweet or musty smell in the home
The dos and don’ts in dealing with bed bugs
It is not as straightforward dealing with bed bugs and bug prevention is slightly different when applied to other pests. While it is important to maintain optimal cleanliness and sanitation of the home, here is a useful checklist managing the tricky pest.
|Separate your clean and soiled laundry to avoid spreading bugs around||Place your bags, luggage or parcels near or on the bed|
|Vacuum the carpets, fabric upholstery and curtains regularly||Procrastinate seeking professional help to remove bed bugs in proper|
|Pull the bed away from wall and ensure some distance in between||Apply non-proven DIY remedies that may end up with an infestation spread|
|Check for any bug presence once you step home by the door to avoid a spread||Bring in second hand items into the home without checks or treatment|
|Steam clean the entire home to eliminate some bugs that is within reach||Shift furniture or home items around when bed bug infestation is suspected|
Engage in professional bed bugs specialist
Unfortunately, it is not easy to manage bed bugs infestation on DIY and self-help methods. Because of its efficient hiding abilities and infestation escalation speed, bed bugs spread can get out of control in a large volume and fast manner. Engaging a professional pest control company is trained to carry out proper pest detection, recommend the best pest control method to resolve the problem, and provide useful advice and tips for bed bug prevention. Bed bug treatment usually covers a series of 3 residual sprays across a month interval targeting to destruct the bug life cycle and steam treatment to eliminate the eggs. Arrange for follow up inspection and monitoring to ensure and keep infestation under control. Bed bugs spread quickly around the home; you can arrange a fast response with Rentokil Initial when the problem arise.
Managing with bed bug bites
Pest bites are never pleasant and they tend to be itchy, uncomfortable and could end up with allergies or skin infection. We are perhaps familiar with mosquito bites and experience it often with the increased mosquito population. What about bed bug bites? Do you recognise them even if they are appearing on your body? They cause small, flat and slightly raised on your skin and tends to be red and itchy. However, the pattern is distinctive and appears in a single line or clusters on the hands, neck, arms and legs.
These bites may not spread harmful diseases; however, it is important to treat bites adequately to avoid infection or any complication. For example, keep the bite wounds clean, apply itch reliever cream or lotion to ease the itch, individuals can consider antihistamines to reduce the itch and allergy symptoms, and more importantly, to seek medical attention if it develops seriously. For example, if you experience fever, chills, wound pain and tenderness or pus developed on the bite.
Part 4: Frequently Asked Questions about bed bugs removal
What are the common challenges and struggles in bed bug removal?
Firstly, it is not as easy detecting and spotting bed bugs at spaces and gaps where we have weak sight on them. Secondly, neglected or missed out bugs will reproduce on an ongoing process so long as there is blood meal for them. Thirdly, treatment efficacy and quality is important as rein-infestation may occur easily. Fourthly, because they are cross infestation pests that travel around and are brought in easily, an infestation risk is high. Finally, unless with proper and adequate pest entries, there is always an opportunity for pests to invade your home.
Where do bed bugs lay their eggs in the home?
Eliminating the root source of infestation and removing any harbourage and breeding can help to resolve bed bug activities more effectively. One way is to know where bed bugs lay their eggs and where we can target the areas to treat. Some areas to inspect include:
- Bed seams, mattresses, box springs
- Headboards and bed frames
- Pillow cases (internal and external)
- Slits, corners and folds of the curtains
- Edges and within rug and carpet
- Edges and corners of sofa, arm chair or any fabric furniture
- Wall accessories, electrical outlets and fittings
- Drawer and cabinet joints
How much does a bed bug control cost?
Price to carry out a bed bug control depends on a few factors:
- Are you carrying out a single one-time-off service or full treatment coverage?
- Will the treatment include both spray and steam treatment to target both adults and eggs?
- The choice of active ingredient matters in efficacy and price as well
- Basic options and cost a few hundred dollars below the $400 range or may cost above $800 for complete range
- Some services either provide or steam treatment only. These are generally very affordable range.
What to expect during a bed bug treatment?
Dealing with a bed bug infestation can be stressful and frustrating. Rentokil shares what to expect during a bed bug treatment to ease some of the worries and hassles. Firstly, prior to a treatment, a pest control specialist will conduct a full proper site survey to identify treatment area and risk assessment. Secondly, there will be a pre-treatment checklist to ensure things are covered or sensitive items or people vacated from the premises. In addition, some decluttering of the space is recommended to allow adequate reach of treated areas. Thirdly, the specialist will carry out the treatment at the premise and there will be a service report provided for updates. Fourthly, there is a post treatment checklist to prep home owners to resume their activities safely. For example, ventilating the home, keeping the windows open and wipe and clean surfaces that are food sensitive. Finally, carry out post treatment review and follow up inspection to ensure a well-managed infestation.
Is it possible to get bed bugs on a plane?
Yes, this is possible. This is because there are many travellers on board who may pick up bed bugs from where they check out. In addition, there are close proximity and body warmth emitted from passengers, there is a likelihood of getting these bugs on flight. However, bed bugs live anywhere. They may hitchhike on you as they are attracted to carbon dioxide, body warmth and your blood for their food source.
Why do we experience recurring bed bug infestation?
Firstly, pest management in general requires ongoing, consistent and long-term efforts. In terms of managing bed bug infestation, regular monitoring and active detection is important to rule out any hiding nest. Secondly, housekeeping is essential to vacuum away any eggs or adults that can breed and helps in easier pest detection. Thirdly, you may have brought them into your home unintentionally. Fourthly, the efficacy of the active ingredient can be less optimal. Finally, there may be lapse in service coverage during the treatment process. For instance, did they miss out on critical points? Did they treat the premise adequately?
Call Rentokil Singapore at 6347 8138 for a bed bug treatment today.