BED BUG FACT SHEET
Bed bugs are great “hitchhikers” and are introduced through travellers, furniture, luggage etc, in particular from third world countries. Usually infestation takes place in accommodation centres and, if uncontrolled, they can very quickly move into homes, hospitals etc. They hide by day in cracks and crevices, on the undersides of mattresses, in furniture, in fact anywhere out of light and sight, usually close to their victim, and come out in the middle of the night to feed on humans and/or animals. Bed bugs feed on blood and have sharp, piercing and sucking mouthparts. The adult bed bug is red/brown in colour, approximately 4-5mm in length and oval in shape. There are five nymphal stages with the bed bug needing to gorge itself on blood to mature to the next stage, hatching to adulthood normally taking six to eight weeks. The adult female, once fertilised, lays two to three eggs per day which are usually attached to surfaces in their hiding areas and hatch in about ten days in warm conditions. Bed bugs are dormant during colder months, usually appearing with the warmer weather. The adult bed bug lives approximately twelve months.
Due to their vampire like nocturnal habits and their ability, due to the flattened body shape, to hide in tiny cracks and crevices, the bed bug is particularly difficult to detect and are commonly identified by the distinctive marks they leave on their victims.
Bed bugs inject saliva with anti-coagulant properties, into their victim during blood sucking. The saliva can cause welts and irritation of varying severity in individuals. They usually attack the arms and shoulders of victims but in cases of severe infestation, no body part is safe. It may take several days for the reactions to bed bug attack to appear. Allergic reactions include wheals which can be inflamed and itchy. More severe reactions have been documented in victims with heightened allergic responses.
LIFE CYCLE & ENVIRONMENT
Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius and in tropical areas Cimex hemipterus) are becoming more and more prevalent in developed countries. What was once a common problem throughout the world is reappearing in ever greater numbers due to a lack of
knowledge on the treatment and control of this parasitic pest
It has been theorised that bed bugs may be responsible for the transmission of a wide range of infectious agents, including hepatitis B and HIV. In a letter to the British Medical Journal
(http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/eletters/320/7242/1141), Dr J K
Anand suggests “The length of survival of these bugs could be of importance when considering the possibility of mechanical transmission of certain viral infections (hepatitis or HIV for example) by the bite of a bed bug. If a needle stick can result in such transmission, then it stands to reason that so can a bed bug bite.”
Further cause for concern was unearthed in a study titled “Assessment of hepatitus B virus DNA and hepatitis C virus RNA in the common bedbug(Cimex lectularius L.) and kissing bug (Rodnius prolixus).” In their results A.L. Silverman, L.H. Qu, J. Blow, I.M. Zitron, S.C. Gordon and E.D. Walker of Department of Medicine, William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Michigan, U.S.A., stated “HBV DNA was detected in bedbugs and excrement up to six wk after feeding on an infectious meal.” Studies are ongoing to determine if the viral persistence is capable of infection.
CONTROL AND MANAGEMENT OF BED BUG INFESTATIONS
The appearance of welts and bites are usually the first indication of an infestation. Examination of the attack scene should start with the folds on the underside of the mattress as this is often the first hiding place of our perpetrator. Tiny blood smears and faecal spots on the mattress are also signs. Large infestations will often give off a distinctive and pungent odour. There is, currently, no effective chemical treatment of infestations. Some sprays or fumigants may kill some of the bed bugs but they are not residual and do not kill the egg stage. Attacks, therefore, restart in a very short time.
Bed bugs are, however, sensitive to extremes in temperature. If an infestation is uncovered, all adjoining rooms need to be inspected to define the parameter of the population. Start by isolating all bedding and clothing and wash in temperatures above 60 degrees C. Apply steam vapour to all soft and hard furnishings with particular attention paid to seams, folds, cracks and crevices. Once treated, remove from the infested area. Next apply steam to the walls, once again with particular attention to cracks, crevices, wallpaper tears, window frame cracks, in fact any suspicious opening no matter how small.
Skirting boards must be treated at their edges, then work to the centre of the room on the flooring, once again concentrating on any splits or permeations in the cover. Always move the steam slowly over the various surfaces to ensure a total kill. Eradication is dependent on the meticulousness of the operator and the treatment of the entire infested environment. Efficient treatment will help stop this menace and be warned, accommodation providers are responsible for their environment and have been successfully prosecuted for bed bug attacks
(Chessels v Wood (residential tenancy) 2004
NSWCTTT 306 June 8 2004)
Legal Court Proceedings – click here to view
Bedbug bites are caused by bedbugs primarily of two species Cimex lectularius (the common bedbug) and Cimex hemipterus Infestation is rarely due to a lack of hygiene.These insects feed exclusively on blood and may survive a year without eating. They are attracted by body warmth and carbon dioxide.Transfer to new places is usually in the personal effects of the human they feed upon. All insects live by feeding exclusively on the blood of Warm Blooded animals.
A number of health effects may occur due to bed bugs including skin rashes, psychological effects and allergic symptoms. Diagnosis involves both finding bed bugs and the occurrence of compatible symptoms. Treatment is otherwise symptomatic.
Bedbugs, though not strictly nocturnal, are mainly active at night and are capable of feeding unnoticed on their hosts.
( Source Wiki )
Why our Eurogem Steam Cleaners Kills Bed Bugs
The extreme temperatures of our steam vapour cleaners have been proven to kill Bed Bugs and their eggs meaning, unlike aggressive chemical treatments, you are eliminating two generations at once and completely breaking the breeding cycle.
Bed Bug Testimonial
Read a testimonial from a ‘ Backpackers Motel in Brisbane , who have used Steam to get rid of their bed bugs:
” Recently many of our rooms suffered from an outbreak of bed bug infestation. Initial treatment by chemicals at $60 per room proved futile. Since purchasing a Eurogem Liberty Professional steam vacuum cleaner and steam cleaning all the walls, tiles and grouting, bed frames, mattresses, curtains, windows and bathroom en-suites, we have completely eradicated our problem. There has not been an outbreak since the initial clean so obviously the 14-day breeding cycle of egg hatchings was also broken. With the wide range of steam and suction tools that come with the Professional, our cleaning staff now conducts room and shower/toilet on suite and hallway maintenance on a rotational basis.
It is incredible that steam, generated from just 1 litre of water per room can produce the hygienic, sanitized level of cleanliness we are achieving (and) without the dependence of expensive cleaning chemicals. – No more mopping which just moved the dirt from the tiles into the grouting but all the dirt-mites, germs, bugs etc from any surfaces will be killed by high temperature of 150oC and then sucked away with powerful pressure of 4.5 bar. Features that are important to our cleaning and booking staff are, continual steam supply, strong vacuum capabilities of either wet or dry surfaces resulting in dry floors, permitting instant room re-letting.
The Professionals’ vacuum waste is water filtered and by adding fragrances to the reusable reclaim tub, we can freshen up room air as we clean. A very versatile cleaner.”
A Backpackers Motel in Brisbane ,