Professional bed bug control in Henley
Chemical and heat treatments for bed bugs in Henley on Thames
We recently came back from holiday and we are getting bitten at night, do you think we have bed bugs?
Bed bugs have become a really big problem over the last few years and its their ability to adapt and resist modern chemicals that are making these bloodsucking insects the thing of nightmares.
Bed bugs hitchhike wherever we go, you can find them on buses, planes and of course hotel beds, as we travel further and more frequently so these insects get free rides and we see a rise in bed bug infestations.
There are two species of bed bugs and the most common one is Cimex lectularius; found in temperate climates and most likely the one’s which we will encounter. The other species is Cimex hemipterus and this is a tropical bed bug which enjoys warmer conditions.
Both types have different strains and we are seeing biological changes in the insects where they are able to break down insecticides used by pest controllers: metabolic detoxification is the process where the insects produce enzymes that change the composition of the chemicals used to control them so they become less harmful.
In order to gain control of a bed bug infestation we use a two step method as our primary control: the treatment starts with the application of 180 degree steam to the mattress and the bed. The high temperatures involved means that bed bugs and egg’s are killed instantly as the steam runs over the surfaces.
Bed bugs will seek harbourage in a crack or a crevice, modern beds often use metal fasteners which provide the insects with suitable hiding places, in case the steam does not penetrate these voids we follow treatment with a chemical surface spray.
No two chemicals are the same and within the industry new compounds are being produced, some of these include combinations of insecticide with insect growth regulators. IGR’s are a hormone that prevents the younger bed bugs from reaching sexual maturity – it doesn't’t kill the insect but it prevents it from breeding.
If we cannot gain control of the problem with the two step method we can use the application of dry heat; we have portable electrical devices that raise the internal temperature of a room to 60 degrees. 45 degrees is the thermal death point or the point at which these insects cannot survive and so raising the temperature to 60 degrees ensures that the heat penetrates into the divan or those cracks and crevices where the insects have hidden.
How would we know if these are bed bugs or not?
There are several ways to tell if you have bed bugs: firstly they will bite where the junction of fabric lies over skin and they will bite several times and these may be in the form of a line. They only want the proteins and fats from our blood and they excrete the liquid meaning that there are plenty of fecal deposits which take the shape of small black dots.
Bed bugs feed every few days so in smaller infestations you can see a pattern emerge, as the population grows and the bugs themselves grow they leave behind their exoskeleton in the form of reddish husks – a bit like the skin of a peanut in colour.
Bed bugs also give off a smell which is unpleasant and has a musty odour best described as being like that of a damp towel.
Precision is the key to a successful treatment.
Given the fact that bed bugs are so adaptable and so successful a precise approach to treating bed bugs is required, we need to strip the bed down to its constituent parts to get into all those hiding places.
This means that we need any items stored in or under the bed to be removed and either washed at 60 degree's or placed in a freezer: you cannot ignore the ability of bed bugs to survive. They can go for up to nine months in the right conditions without food, the longer the infestation the further spread they will be so our treatments are thorough and we do these first thing in the morning to allow for the treated areas to dry.