Bedbugs are nocturnal creatures that feed on human blood. They are mahogany in colour, and the adults are 4-5mm long. The newly hatched nymphs are very small, about 1.5mm. The babies are initially translucent, becoming browner as they grow and moult. Bedbugs are oval and flat; they have six legs and do not have wings. House dust mites are often wrongly referred to as bedbugs. House dust mites are tiny (around 0.4mm) arachnids, and are often found in duvets, mattresses and pillows.
As bedbugs feed on blood, the first thing you will notice is bites on the body. If you do notice you are being bitten, you should look for signs that the bugs are present. Bedbugs generally nest in the vicinity of the host, so look around the bed. You may well spot the live insects and nymphs, and you may see their droppings, which appear as brown/black dots. They are more likely to dwell in rooms that are cluttered or messily organised, but their presence does not mean that your house is dirty. They can be bought into the property via second hand furniture, by people or animals, or they can come through from adjoining properties.
Bedbugs are not a serious risk to health. However, bites should be treated with care, and should not be scratched. This lessens the chance of secondary infection. Their presence is more of a nuisance than a health risk.
If you think you have bedbugs in your property, Arun District Council is able to help. We offer a prompt and professional treatment, and may be able to offer advice on future prevention. All services are chargeable, and the charge will cover you until the treatment is complete, with no hidden extras. Please call Arun Direct on 01903 737755 to arrange an appointment. Please note, the fee will be payable at the time of booking, so please have your card details ready. All payments are non-refundable.
Prior to our visit, we ask that you do a few things to ensure that the treatment is as effective as possible. We recommend that you vacuum the property thoroughly, including around the edges and underneath furniture, and dispose of the contents of the vacuum. All surfaces and floors (including under beds), should be cleared of paperwork, toys, clothing etc. All animal bedding should be washed, and any fish tanks, hamster cages etc, should be covered over.
We will attend your premises on the agreed date. Our Pest Control Officer will survey and spray water based residual insecticide throughout the property.
After the treatment has been undertaken, you can help us further by leaving the premises for three hours to allow the spray to dry, and not vacuuming the property for 21 days after the treatment.
We will return after a period of approximately 21 days to ensure that the treatment has been successful.
Bedbugs reproduce using a process called ‘traumatic insemination’, which means the male punctures the female’s abdomen anywhere. Theoretically, it is possible to tell how many times a female has reproduced. The females will lay five eggs a day, which equates to about 500 in their lifetime. These eggs take two weeks to hatch, and will grow into an adult in five weeks. Bedbugs feed exclusively on blood, and are attracted to a host by heat and carbon dioxide. They use their needle shaped mouth parts to penetrate the skin. The mouth parts are made up of two tubes; one of which injects saliva containing anticoagulants and anaesthetics, the other is used to suck up the blood. It will feed until it is full, which normally takes about five minutes. Their flat shape allows them to push into cracks and crevices, where they can live for months without feeding.