Pest Control: Bedbugs

Unfortunately bedbug infestations are on the increase and can prove difficult to spot and deal with. It’s therefore important that you know what to look out for and contact us for professional advice and treatment as soon as you identify an infestation. Contrary to popular opinion, bedbugs are not attracted to dirt or unclean premises – they are actually attracted to body heat and exhaled carbon dioxide, and therefore any inhabited property is at risk, no matter how clean it is. Bedrooms are of course the most common location for an infestation, but any inhabited environment is at risk. This can include cinemas, hotels and hostels, offices or theatres.

What to look for:

Adult bedbugs are a flattened almond shape about 4-6mm long, with obvious antennae and clawed feet. They are usually reddish-brown in colour but this will change to purple after they have fed. They live in large groups, crawling or being carried in clothing or furniture and will lay their eggs in the same place they inhabit.

Their unhatched eggs are a pearly white colour and will be opaque until hatched when they will become translucent. Infant bedbugs, or nymphs, look like adults but are much smaller and will need to feed on blood 5 times in order to moult and reach the adult stage. Although they will try to feed regularly, bedbugs can remain dormant for up to a year which increases their chance of survival and a repeat infestation.

If you suspect an infestation, you need to check the following areas:

  • Bedframes and headboards
  • Mattresses and bedding
  • Chair frames and upholstery
  • Carpets
  • Skirting boards
  • Behind loose wallpaper and mounted pictures

The presence of eggs, egg-cases and the blackish spots of their droppings are clear visual indications of an infestation, however you may also notice an unpleasant almond-like smell generated by their glands. Their bites will cause a hard white swelling which will subside to a dark red spot surrounded by a reddened area of skin – while bedbugs do not carry any diseases, these bites can cause severe irritation and an allergic reaction.

Treatment and control:

We will use a HSE approved insecticide spray and/or lure traps which would be applied around the affected and adjoining areas. This has the effect of removing the bedbugs from their hiding place and killing them off. Our approved insecticides are safe to be around and you can return to the treated areas after a few hours – however if you have any pets, we would recommend keeping them out of the treated area for at least 24 hours. Once a session of treatment has been completed, the treated areas should not be cleaned or vacuumed for 14 days. The infestation should start to die off as soon as treatment is completed however our technician can arrange to return after the initial 14 days to make a further assessment.

Most areas can be treated within an hour of our technician arriving, dependant on size and accessibility. This will include a risk assessment of the infestation, the required treatment and a briefing for the client on what steps to take next. Of course, this timescale can and will be extended if the infestation is in several areas or hazardous conditions exist. Some infestations, particularly in commercial or multi-occupancy buildings may require additional visits to control and fully eradicate all activity.

Manchester Pest Control – covering Manchester, Stockport and Cheshire – call 0161 448 1782