Pest problems - Don’t let the bedbugs bite!

Pest problems - Don’t let the bedbugs bite!

Bed bugs have been a known human parasite for thousands of years and continue to infest our homes today.

These invasive insects are one of nature’s bloodsuckers and are quite happy to choose humans as their prey. Although unable to spread disease, they often leave their human hosts covered in red bite marks, irritated, itchy, and keen to stamp out these tiny invaders. It was commonly believed that bed bugs preferred dirty homes but this doesn’t seem to be the case. Clutter will, however, leave them with plenty of places to hide and multiply in your home.

Find out more about bed bugs and how to get rid of them, below.

What do bed bugs look like?

Mature bed bugs are flat brown, oval shaped insects with distinctive banded marking across their body. They have antennae and are generally around 5 – 7 mm in length.  Nymphs (or young bed bugs) are translucent or visibly red after feeding. Eggs are small white and around the size of a pinhead. All stages of the bed bug life cycle are visible to the human eye, although they are often very successful at staying hidden, preferring to feed under the cover of darkness.

Can bed bug bites cause sickness?

Studies have shown that bed bugs are unable to spread disease - but that doesn’t mean they won’t leave you with unpleasant side effects. Most humans have some level of allergic reaction to bed bugs meaning that the site of their bites often becomes red, itchy and uncomfortable. A small percentage of people will suffer no reaction at all.

Do bed bugs live on people?

Bed bugs are versatile when it comes to choosing a home and their reach goes well beyond than the bedroom. Although they often live in mattresses and bed linens they also live in chairs, curtains, walls, ceilings and anywhere that is close to their prey while offering protection and cover.

Bed bugs and how to get rid of them

When it comes to extermination, bed bugs can be problematic.

Because a bed bug problem can be so troublesome to treat on your own, it’s best to seek the services of a professional company who can offer effective and safe chemical treatments. Prior to any treatment being carried out, a trained expert should come to the property and carry out an assessment to first confirm the presence of bed bugs, and then suggest the best course of treatment. This could range from the application of insecticide, a rapid freeze system or steam treatment depending on their findings.

To slow the spread of bed bugs, you may be instructed to dispose of any furniture or bed linens/mattresses that are heavily infested (a local authority will be able to help arrange the legal and safe removal of such oversized items). You may also be advised to was affected clothing and bed linen on a high temperature wash (60C), to vacuum up and dispose of any visible bugs, and to cover affected mattresses with plastic sheeting or covers.  

Bed bugs on the rise

Bed bugs were close to eradication in the mid-twentieth century but have enjoyed an explosion in numbers in recent years. This is thought to be due to increased foreign travel (bed bugs are great at stowing away in luggage) and resistance to pesticides in the bed bug population.

Be aware of the risk of these blood sucking invaders and treat infestations early for the most successful results.

For more information or to book a professional pest control service to treat your pest problem,  contact Oxford Direct Services on 01865 335400 or email