What are bed bugs?
Bed bugs are small insects that feed on the blood of mammals and birds. Adult bed bugs are oval, wingless and rusty red coloured, and have flat bodies, antennae and small eyes. They are visible to the naked eye, but often hide in cracks and crevices. When they feed, their bodies swell and become a brighter red. In homes, they feed primarily on the blood of humans, usually at night when people are sleeping.
What does a bed bug bite feel and look like?
Typically, the bite is painless and rarely awakens a sleeping person. However, it can produce large, itchy welts on the skin. Welts from bed bug bites do not have a red spot in the centre – those welts are more characteristic of flea bites.
Are bed bugs dangerous?
Although bed bugs may be a nuisance to people, they are not known to spread disease. However, they are known to cause allergic reactions from their saliva in sensitive people.
How long do bed bugs live?
The typical life span of a bed bug is about 10 months. They can survive for weeks to months without feeding.
How does a home become infested with bed bugs?
In most cases, bed bugs are transported from infested areas to non-infested areas when they cling onto someone’s clothing, or crawl into luggage, furniture or bedding that is then brought into homes.
How do I know if my home is infested with bed bugs?
If you have bed bugs, you may also notice itchy welts on you or your family member’s skin. You may also see the bugs themselves, small bloodstains from crushed bed bugs, or dark spots from their droppings in your home. Bed bugs often hide in or near beds and bedroom furniture, and in the tufts, seams, and folds of mattresses and daybed covers. In more severe infestations, they may spread to cracks and crevices in bed frames and box springs; behind headboards; inside nightstands; behind baseboards, window and door casings, pictures, and mouldings; and in nearby furniture, loosened wallpaper, and cracks in plaster and flooring. Bed bugs may also hide in piles of books, papers, boxes, and other clutter near sleeping areas.
How can I get rid of bed bugs?
Suspicions of bed bugs in Singapore are handed by a pest control professional licensed by NEA. These professionals should be consulted to evaluate what type of pest is present and to exterminate them if required. A careful inspection must be undertaken and all possible hiding places within infested and adjoining rooms examined. Once all likely sources have been identified, then an approved insecticide, which has some residual activity, should be applied to all harbourages.
Non-chemical approaches to control involve the use of hot air and/or wrapping up infested materials in black plastic and placing the articles in the sun, thereby killing the bed bugs with the heat generated. However, this should be used only for small items, if at all. Clothes can be washed in hot water and dried on the hot cycle of the clothes dryer. Delicate materials can be placed into the freezer. Generally, pesticides will need to be applied in conjunction with any non-chemical means of control. Good housekeeping practices and a judicious approach in reducing possible harbourages such as cracks and crevices will discourage repeat infestations. As bed bugs are cryptic in their habits, complete control is often difficult to achieve with the first treatment. This is especially so with heavy infestations and thus a post control treatment evaluation is always advisable.
If I have a bed bug infestation, what can I do myself?
If you have a bed bug infestation or if you or your family has been bitten, you should consult with a licensed, professional pest control company and enquire about bed bugs treatment in Singapore. Some of the things you can do yourself, include:
• Place infested delicate materials into the freezer for 10 days. Temperatures below -4°C will freeze and kill bed bugs.
• Wash all bedding, draperies and clothing in hot water on a regular basis. Thoroughly clean all bedding, linens, curtains, rugs, carpets, and clothes. Washing items in hot water and drying them on the highest dryer setting will kill bed bugs. For those items that may be harmed by washing and drying at high temperatures, soak in warm water with lots of laundry soap for several hours before rinsing.
• Vacuum and steam-clean carpets. Wipe away or vacuum all dust from the bed frame, nearby furniture, floors and carpets. Vacuum mattresses carefully. After vacuuming, immediately place the vacuum cleaner bag in a plastic bag, seal it tightly, and throw the bag away in an outdoor container.
• If you find bed bugs on the mattress, buy a waterproof zippered mattress cover. These covers often say “allergen rated,” or “for dust mites.” Scrub the mattress seams with a stiff brush to dislodge bed bugs and any eggs. Then enclose the mattress in the cover for at least one year. This will trap any remaining bugs inside the cover, killing them.
• Throw away and replace an infested box spring if necessary.
• Remove all clutter from bedrooms and any other furniture that people may sleep or nap upon. Place this clutter into a plastic garbage bag, seal it tightly, and throw it away. If you need to save it, make sure it stays sealed up for a year.
• Repair any cracks in plaster and all loosened wallpaper, especially in bedrooms.
Bed bugs can be difficult to get rid of because they hide so well. If two weeks have passed since you first tried to rid your home of them and you still notice signs of their existence, repeat the above steps. For heavy infestations, contact a pest control professional.
Can I prevent bed bugs from entering my home?
Some infestations can be prevented by washing clothing and bedding immediately after returning from a trip. Inspect all used beds, sofas, or upholstered chairs and bedding for signs of bed bugs before bringing them into your home. Never bring discarded bed frames, mattresses, box springs, or upholstered furniture into your home.