What bedbugs are
Bedbugs are small, wingless insects that have an oval, broad, flat body and a short, broad head. Adult bedbugs are usually four to five millimetres in length and will increase in size by a few millimetres after a blood meal. After feeding, adult bedbugs change from brown to a dark red colour.
A female bedbug lays several hundred eggs in her lifetime. The white eggs are usually about one millimetre in length and can be very difficult to see. The eggs usually hatch in six to 17 days. There are three stages of life for a bedbug: egg, nymph, and adult.
Bedbugs have not been known to transmit disease. However, the bites may cause itchiness and people dealing with an infestation may experience stress, anxiety and loss of sleep.
Bedbugs are found all over the world, often in hotels, motels, homeless shelters, work camps, apartments, private homes and sometimes in businesses or offices. Bedbugs prefer dark, cool places such as bedding and along the seams of mattresses where they can easily feed and hide. Other favourite hiding places for bedbugs are underneath wallpaper, behind picture frames, in electrical outlets and crevices in walls and furniture.
Bedbug bites can happen anywhere on the skin but most often on the face, neck, arms, legs, and chest and most often during sleep. The bites look similar to and may be mistaken for flea or mosquito bites. When a bedbug bites, saliva is injected into the skin which may cause a localized reaction, i.e. red lumps or an allergic reaction in rare cases. Most bedbug bites will heal with time and do not require medical attention. Bites may itch and scratching can result in an infection. Antiseptic creams and antihistamines may relieve the itchiness of the bites. Seek the advice of a health care provider for severe reactions to bites or for secondary infections.
Some indicators that bedbugs are established in your home include:
An infestation does not mean that the home or facility is not being cleaned adequately but regular inspection and cleaning may help prevent an infestation. Call your local public health inspector or a professional pest control operator to assist in bedbug identification and to confirm the infestation. Professional pest control is often the best option to eradicate a bedbug infestation. If an infestation is heavy, the room may have a sweet fruity smell. Tenants are encouraged to notify the landlord immediately after confirmation of an infestation. Tenants may also contact the local public health inspector for assistance in dealing with bed bug infestations in rental accommodations.
Bedbugs are very hard to eradicate, but there are some steps that can be taken to help address the problem.
Pesticides can be an effective solution to a bedbug infestation but may not kill all stages of bedbugs. Pyrethrin aerosols may be used in cracks and crevices to treat for bedbugs but may require multiple applications until all the eggs have hatched. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions to safely apply pesticides. Consider the services of a professional pest control company for heavy infestations.
A professional pest control operator may assist in bedbug identification and confirmation of an infestation.
Eliminating bedbug infestations in multi-unit complexes such as apartments or condominiums that share common walls can be challenging. If you are aware of an infestation in your building, adhere to the following.
Know what a bedbug looks like and where to look for them.
Be mindful of possible sources of bedbugs.
Reduce or remove places where bedbugs can hide.
Take precautions when travelling.
Questions regarding bedbugs may be directed to thepublic health inspectorin your area.
Originally posted here:
Bedbugs | Environmental Health | Government of Saskatchewan