- What are bed bugs?
- Signs of a bed bug infestation
- Problems caused by a bed bug outbreak
- Problems caused by bed bugs in accommodation and health care facilities
- How to prevent a bed bug outbreak
- Bed bug treatment
- Allstate bed bug control
- Why choose Allstate
Bed bugs feast on blood while you’re fast asleep, and their bites can cause allergies. Squished bugs and droppings will stain your linen, and they certainly get in the way of a good night’s sleep.
They’re good at avoiding detection and pesticide control, but that’s not all. Bed bugs breed quickly, and hitch-hike on clothes and luggage to spread all over Adelaide and beyond.
If you’re concerned that you have bed bugs, this guide will help you identify an outbreak, the problems caused by bed bugs, and how to prevent and control them.
What are bed bugs?
They are physically built to hide in narrow spaces in bed mattresses and ensembles
- Flat oval shaped body
- Grow to 1-5mm in size
- Rusty brown coloured
They feed on blood
They usually do this every 5-10 days, but can survive for up to 6 months without a feed.
They have evolved to feed without being detected
They have 2 mouth tubes:
- One to pierce the skin to draw blood
- Another to inject an anaesthetic and an anticoagulant so that they can draw as much blood as possible without you noticing
They like living in beds
Because bed bugs are attracted to warmth and carbon dioxide, and tend to feed at night while you’re asleep.
Signs of a bed bug infestation
Bite marks on your skin
Bed bugs’ characteristic feeding pattern will leave the “breakfast, lunch and dinner” sign: a row of red bite marks on your skin. These can appear straight away or take up to 14 days to develop. They may trigger allergies such as blisters, rashes and hives, causing swelling, redness and itching.
In some cases you may have no reaction, or a delayed reaction and a mark on your skin.
Bites on cats and dogs
Pets are not immune to bed bugs in a heavy infestation.
Dark brown or red marks
These are caused by bed bug droppings and by blood leaking from squashed bugs. Check for these on your upholstery, bed linen, mattresses, and walls.
Eggs and egg cases
These won’t be such an obvious sign. They are usually 1mm in size and require a magnifying glass to see them properly.
Bed bug cast skins
As bed bugs mature and grow larger, they shed an outer skin which is pale yellow coloured.
Sickly sweet or musty smell
This is a sign of a heavy infestation.
Have a peek at their favourite hiding spots
You won’t need to look far to find bed bugs as they only move short distances to feed. You can check the following places:
- Mattresses: peel back stitched edges with folds as bed bugs conceal themselves there
- Bed frames and slats
- Bedside furniture
- Picture frames
- Behind wallpaper
- Carpet edges, behind skirting boards, between wooden floorboards
- In cracks and crevices
If you see them in the daytime
This means that the infestation is severe and they are very hungry.
If you suspect that you may have a bed bug issue, or you need some advice about how to treat it, contact one of our friendly Adelaide bed bug exterminators today.
Problems caused by an Adelaide bed bug outbreak
Sleep deprivation and stress
Once you’ve been bitten by bed bugs, it’s common to experience insomnia due to the fear of falling asleep and getting bitten again. This can lead to physical and mental fatigue over a long period of time.
Damage to belongings
Bed bug droppings, blood from squashed bugs and shed skin can stain furniture, bedding, flooring, curtains and linen.
In repeated bites in children.
You can experience allergic reactions to their droppings and shedding, or the chemicals in their bites.
Continuous scratching at bed bug bites can result in secondary infections.
As their eggs are deposited in hard to reach places, this makes treating the outbreak more challenging. The eggs will eventually hatch and produce more bed bugs, which in turn will keep laying more eggs, continuing the cycle.
Spreading to other places
Bed bugs “hitch a ride” and latch on to clothes, luggage, linen, and other materials, initiating an outbreak in a separate location. They then multiply very quickly – females can lay hundreds of eggs over their lifetime.
Bed bugs in accommodation and health care facilities
A bed bug infestation can damage your reputation overnight. What’s more, you could receive hefty fines for breaching health and safety standards, and have to undergo a costly replacement of furniture and linen.
Hotels, hostels and other accommodation facilities
With high foot traffic and new guest arrivals every day, it only takes one unknowingly infested traveller to create a bed bug infestation throughout the entire premises.
Read more about commercial bed bug control and pest control in accommodation businesses.
Hospitals and aged care facilities
The presence of bed bugs puts people with pre-existing medical issues and compromised immune systems at risk of further health complications.
Read more about bed bug control in aged care.
Our expert team is ready to help you now
How to prevent a bed bug outbreak
- Avoid visiting infested areas or properties
- Seal your mattress and pillow with a bed bug prevention case
- Avoid storing luggage under the bed
- Remove clutter and vacuum the floors frequently
- Keep work or school belongings away from bedrooms
- Don’t allow guests to use their own bed linen
- Be wary of second hand furniture: inspect it carefully first before bringing it back with you
When staying at an accommodation facility
- Check the room thoroughly for evidence of bed bugs, including the mattress, headboard and luggage rack
- Keep your suitcase on a luggage rack away from the mattress and off the floor
- Don’t leave an open suitcase lying around
- When you return home, inspect your luggage before bringing it indoors, and wash your clothes immediately with hot water (above 60°C), or dry them at high temperature (using the hot setting for over 30 minutes)
DIY bed bug control
Apply bed bug killer powder
There are several products which are commercially available through hardware stores.
Vacuum and maintain good hygiene
- This is helpful to remove dust, debris and dead bugs before starting treatment, to make it easier for the chemical control to penetrate and be effective
- Vacuum behind and under beds, paying attention to the corners of the room, near furniture and around fixtures
- Immediately after cleaning, place the vacuum bag in a sealed bag, then incinerate or discard it appropriately
- Don’t use appliances with stiff brushes as this may unintentionally spread the eggs
Adhesive tape can be used to trap a few insects.
- This is useful on bedding and sheets
- You can eliminate bed bugs instantly if you apply heat above 60°C, and within 1 hour when exposed to temperatures above 45°C
- Take care to not apply slow and gradual heating, as this causes them to migrate away from the heat source and infest another area
- This is effective at getting rid of bed bugs in all stages of its life cycle
- Steam can be used on all soft and hard surfaces, especially along seams and in small crevices
Rapidly freezing infested textiles and fabrics can successfully remove bed bugs. Place them in the freezer for 10 hours per 2.5kg of dry linen weight.
Seal cracks and crevices
Use gap filler to plug small hiding places for bed bugs.
Professional bed bug control
This will ensure you’re removing both the bed bugs and their eggs, as chemical sprays alone are ineffective on the eggs.
At Allstate Pest Control Adelaide, we are equipped to deal with the complexities of treating a bed bug outbreak.
We provide a comprehensive 5-stage treatment and prevention plan, which carries a 3-month warranty:
A pest control technician will conduct a thorough assessment of the affected rooms, adjacent rooms, and all possible hiding places, to come up with a plan to treat the problem. We want to ensure that the treatment is successful the first time, so that bed bugs don’t build a resistance to the pesticides.
Our licensed technicians are careful to only use pesticides that are permitted for use by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority, and we are aware that some cannot be applied to mattresses. We normally use a combination of the following ywo treatment methods:
Bed bug powder/dust
This is helpful for penetrating voids and cracks. It is less effective in areas where they can be dispersed by foot traffic and vacuuming.
This forms a residue that can remove bed bugs from mattresses, cracks and crevices in furniture and flooring. This method is not effective on eggs.
We apply the spray is applied accurately and directly. Otherwise, there is a good chance any bed bugs that are not eliminated properly will release pheromones to warn others away, so they will disperse to other areas of the building.
We allow 1-2 weeks for bed bug eggs to finally hatch before we return to re-apply more pesticide.
Once your outbreak is under control, we use mattress protectors to protect your bed from future outbreaks.
We report back to you
Once the treatment has been completed, our technicians will send you a report with recommendations and feedback so you can refer back to it at any time.
Why choose Allstate?
We understand the stress and overwhelm that a bed bug outbreak can cause, so our team of expert bed bug removalists is ready to help you any time.
Emergency call outs
For all urgent problems or advice, we’re here for you.
Available 24/7, anywhere in Adelaide
Contact us through the chat button at the bottom right.
100% guarantee money back guarantee
If you’re not satisfied with any of our pest control services, we will provide corrective service for no extra charge – or refund you if you are still not happy after 30 days.
Interest-free payment plans
So that you don’t have to delay your bed bug extermination.
Targeted, effective solutions with follow ups
We’ll take the time to inspect your outbreak, apply treatment and ensure that you’re permanently protected from another one.
Rest assured that the chemicals used are child, pet and environmentally safe.
We work around you
To minimise disruption to your family or your business operations.