Bed Bugs Bites
Dispelling a few bed bug myths during the holiday season:
- Being predominately bitten while in bed must mean that we have bed bugs!! WRONG
- Left your home unattended to travel abroad, and upon return, bites started appearing on the feet, so bedbugs must have jumped into the luggage. Most often WRONG
- You cannot see bedbugs. WRONG They are very visible, and the adult is approx. this size: O
We often find that flea activity is mistaken for bed bugs. It is very rarely the other way around. There are a couple of reasons why biting insects such as fleas and bed bugs conduct most of their activity while we are asleep. The main reason is that we are not moving around, so it makes it easier to travel and navigate a ‘feed’ without detection.
When a bite occurs while we are asleep, it is often not noticed till morning. Fleas will remain within the bed sheets and blankets, often hiding along the seams undetected. This is why Pest Control companies advise a 60deg hot wash and machine dry of all bedding during a treatment. The heat will kill fleas and bed bugs alike.
Bed bugs do not live amongst the bedding as a general rule of thumb, but rather nearby in areas such as along the seams on the mattress, between joints of the wooden bed base, inside the rubber inserts used for a slatted bed etc. They stay in communities in which pest controller’s call ‘harbourages’. As the population increases, so do the number of ‘harbourages’.
Picking up bed bugs while overseas occurs yes, but not as often as commonly feared. As described above on where bed bugs prefer to live, it is difficult to pick up bed bugs during your journey, as they are often hiding away. Unless of course, you have spent significant time where an infestation exists. We accept that out of the ordinary things do occur now and again. We can deal with these situations.
The explanation for the bites that we often get when we come back from our holiday is the common flea. Bites on the feet and ankles is usually a sign of newly hatched fleas seeking their first meal. Adult fleas emerge when they feel a vibration. As we walk through our homes for the first time, the fleas feel the vibrations and all of the new adult fleas emerge at the same time. This is a widespread occurrence with vacant rental properties, but that is another topic. These small fleas jump onto your feet, and the rest is history.
The best thing to do is NOT to rush out and buy flea bombs but to have a professional flea treatment conducted. The carpet needs to be appropriately treated, along with the bedding, couches, pet areas, etc., and professional treatment will be much more effective at ensuring the problem is taken care of properly.
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