Bed bug infestation,
what to do?
Bed bugs feed on human blood: the most common species is the common bed bug. They are a serious nuisance when they are present in abundance.
Appearance of bed bug
Bed bugs have a flattened oval body without wings and are 4-7 mm long. Bright brownish in colour, they swell after a meal of blood and then turn dark brown.
There are three stages in the development cycle of the bug: the egg, the nymph and the adult.
The eggs are white in colour and are about 1 mm long. The nymph has the same appearance as the adult, but it is smaller. Complete development, from the egg stage to the adult stage, takes from six weeks to several months.
Manners of the insect
The bug is usually found in bedrooms where it feeds on the blood of sleepers at night. A blood meal lasts 10 to 15 minutes in the adult bug, less time in the nymph.
During the day, the bug hides mostly around the mattresses. Depending on the degree of infestation, it is also found hidden in cracks in walls, floors and furniture, in bed frames, behind paintings and under wallpaper; the hiding places also serve as breeding sites. Adults can survive more than a year without a blood meal.
The heat kills them:
A heat of 44 degrees celcius to 45 degrees celcius (111 F – 113 F) is deadly for bedbugs. Their survival time is estimated to be about 20 minutes when the temperature is 65 celcius.
Studies have estimated that bed bugs cannot live in the cold. It is therefore suggested to leave infested furniture outside during the winter. Sub-zero temperatures will kill parasites.
Bedbugs move little away from their host if they can feed regularly. On the other hand, if there is a significant infestation, they can migrate to other rooms. The absence of prey leads to a dispersion of the bedbug.
For example, when bedbugs are present in a single room with people who sleep there regularly, they will tend to remain on site.
On the other hand, if these people are removed from the room, the bedbugs will disperse throughout the dwelling or even elsewhere in the building. If not, they go from one room to another by walking on the floor. Moving or moving already infested furniture (furniture, bedding, clothes, suitcases for a hotel, etc.) from one inhabited place to another is the main mode of dispersal of bedbugs.
Hantavirus, definition and mode of transmission
Hantavirus is a severe lung syndrome caused by a virus. It is secreted in the urine, feces and saliva of infected animals. Most often these are rodents. When humans come into direct or indirect contact with these secretions, the virus is transmitted to them. Ditto when they are bitten by infected rodents.
However, the virus is not transmitted from human to human, only from animal to human. This type of disease is called zoonoses because they can only be transmitted to humans through an animal. It has been found that domestic animals (apart from the domestic rat) and livestock cannot contract hantavirus so there is every reason to believe that only rodents can carry it.
Symptoms of hantavirus
Being a lung disease, one of the characteristic symptoms of hantavirus is difficulty breathing. At the beginning of the disease, the infected person begins to feel fever, chills, headache and muscle pain.
It is about two weeks after the appearance of the first symptoms that they are usually accompanied by a feeling of shortness of breath. Nevertheless, this last manifestation of the disease can be observed after two days as after six weeks; it depends on the organism of the individual.
Hantavirus can also lead to kidney disease or infection. And although they are rare and very few people are prone to them, there is currently no treatment to combat these ailments. It is therefore better to be careful not to contract them.
The bug bite is painful
The main effects on the skin: Typically, bug bites come in the form of three to four bites in a straight line or grouped in the same place on the skin, but when a dwelling is heavily infested, several lesions can appear in several places on the exposed skin during sleep.
For the majority of people, the stings will result in the formation of a small reddish lesion that will develop into elevated and hardened lesions. A central puncture at the inoculation site will often be noticed.
These lesions are very itchy (that is, they cause significant itching), therefore, they are very inconvenient. These lesions are most symptomatic in the morning, and the intensity of redness and pruritus (itching) decreases during the day.
Lesions occur mainly on exposed parts of the arms, legs and back. If the person is not bitten again, the lesions disappear after two weeks.
When the presence of bedbugs is suspected, it is strongly advised to call a professional exterminator in Montreal to ensure that their screening is well done and that the various control methods (including the use of insecticides in certain places) are adequate and made according to standards.
Exterminators must first ensure that the right product is used and that insecticides are not spread on people’s beds.
The exterminator must come a month apart to kill the bedbugs that will hatch despite the first use of insecticide. Several measures must also be taken by the tenant during the extermination process.
These measures are explained to the tenants by Alerte animal responsible for the extermination.
Detect the sucking insect
The infestation can be confirmed by the discovery, in the potential hiding places of bedbugs, of live insects, molts, eggs or droppings. These can also be seen in the form of small black or dark brown spots on sheets, walls and wallpaper, and sometimes even in electrical appliances.
Vacuuming is a very effective way to remove bedbugs already present. It is recommended to vacuum mattresses and box springs especially at the seams, folds and infested bed structures.
If the outer shell of the mattress is torn, bedbugs may have infiltrated inside it. If this is the case, it is possible that one will be forced to dispose of the mattress, in this case it is very important to clearly indicate that the mattress is infested so as not to move the problem elsewhere.
It is also necessary to vacuum the floor and places where it is suspected that bedbugs are hiding. It should be made sure to immediately get rid of the vacuum cleaner bag without opening it in a place where bedbugs can disperse again.
Used furniture should always be meticulously inspected and cleaned before use. Bedbugs are easily dispersed by the exchange of furniture or linen.
Cleaning the bedding
Bedding (pillowcases, sheets, mattress covers, etc.) and linen should be washed with warm water and soap. Bedding should be placed directly in the washer from a plastic bag in order to prevent the dispersion of bedbugs in the laundry room and elsewhere in the building.
Use of insecticides
We remind you that it is always recommended to use a professional exterminator to carry out treatments with insecticides. It will use a registered insecticide while respecting the recommendations that aim to minimize the risks associated with the use of these products.
Among effective insecticides, it is preferable to use permettrins, pyrethrins and pyrethroids and boric acid, as these products have lower toxicity to humans than many other types of insecticides.
People should avoid doing the extermination themselves, as bedbugs are often resistant to the product being used and misuse will help to aggravate the problem rather than decrease it.
In addition, it is strongly recommended to use very hot steam for the treatment of mattresses that are favorite places for bedbugs. This technique is effective and significantly reduces children’s exposure to insecticides.
Pyrethrins and pyrethroids are sprayed wherever bed bugs can be found, along cracks in walls, floors and furniture, bed frames, behind paintings and under wallpaper. It is necessary to ventilate the premises well after the application of insecticides.
Neither humans nor animals should enter the premises during the application of the treatment or return to the treated premises before two hours, following the treatment and preferably six hours after the treatment.
It is also important not to walk barefoot on treated areas for 24-48 hours.
Boric acid is applied along cracks in the walls, floor, behind furniture and under wallpaper where bedbugs are usually found.
Insecticides, however, do not act on eggs. It is therefore necessary to start the treatments again one month after the application of the first treatment to ensure that the problem is eliminated.
The life of the insect
- 1 to 5 eggs per day per adult female
- Up to 500 eggs per female in her lifetime
- Eggs are fixed by a sticky secretion
- 6 to 10 days to hatch
- from egg to adult: 21 days at 30°C and 120 days at 16°C (relative humidity 75-80%)
- 5 nymphal stages requiring a blood meal to moult and move on to the next stage
- Life expectancy under normal conditions: 316 days
- 3 to 4 generations per year
- Minimum temperature for development: 13oC
- Lethal temperatures: Min: -16 degrees Celsius constant for 4 days. Max: 50oC for 3 hours.
- Much prefers human blood but would settle for a warm-blooded animal.
- Their meals take 3 to 12 minutes.
- Under certain conditions, an adult bug can survive 1 year without feeding.