Bed Bugs Johannesburg

bed bug control

While public health agencies recommend against the do-it-yourself treatment of bed bug infestations, knowing what’s involved – from correct identification to the range of treatment options available – will go a long way towards ensuring a safe and successful resolution to your bed bug problem.

Bed bugs are stealthy insect parasites that live with people in their homes. Adults are brownish-red, oval-shaped and flattened like a lentil. By day bed bugs hide in cracks and crevices, mostly in and near beds, and by night they become active to feed – but they are happy to adjust to their host’s schedule.  Bed bugs are not known to spread disease, but most people experience painful itching and swelling from their bites. It only takes one mated female to start an infestation, and populations can double within 2 weeks. Bed bugs can last several months in the home, but without feeding, all life stages die after about 70 days.

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    Bed Bugs Control Johannesburg

    Bed bugs are transferred between residences, hotels, and other facilities by stowing away in items that people move around, primarily luggage, clothing, and furniture. They can also move between rooms and apartment units through cracks in floors and walls. Bed bugs are just as likely to infest a clean home as a messy one – even surviving months in an empty home – but clutter does make control more difficult. Here are some important steps you can take to prevent bed  bug infestations.

    There are more than 300 pesticide products approved for use against bed bugs; most of these contain compounds called pyrethroids as the active ingredient. Many bed bug populations have developed resistance to pyrethroids and their botanically derived cousins, pyrethrins. Some bed bug pesticides are restricted for use only by licensed pest control professionals. In general, professionals have the resources and experience to apply pesticides more effectively than residents can do on their own.

    Tips for the Home

    • Seal cracks and crevices around floor moldings, cabinets, and plumbing fixtures.
    • Inspect all rented or used furniture for bed bugs before bringing it home, including antiques and garage sale finds.
    • Do not use bed frames, mattresses, box springs or upholstered furniture found on the street.
    • Be conscious of what visitors might bring in their suitcases, and be aware of the potential risk when helping a friend to move or agreeing to store someone’s belongings.
    • If you suspect you have been in a bed bug-infested room, wash and dry your clothing on hot settings or store it in a sealed plastic bag until you can.

    Tips for Travelers

        • Inspect hotel beds, closets, luggage stands and furniture for signs of bed bugs. Also check overhead luggage bins, taxis and other luggage contact areas. Inform management if bed bugs are found.
        • Keep suitcases on luggage stands pulled away from the wall. Keep belongings stowed away.
        • Inspect your bags before you leave and again before bringing them into the home.  If your suitcase was closed for most of your journey, it is unlikely bed bugs will be inside.  A quick swipe with a lint roller can usually find any hangers-on.
        • If you suspect your baggage has bed bugs, contain and isolate it until it can be treated.  Wash and dry the contents of the suitcase and vacuum the inside and outside of your suitcase to kill any hitchhiking bed bugs.  There are also products available to safely treat luggage with heat, including PackTite decontamination systems.

    How Do I Know If I Have An Infestation?

    Most bed bugs live up to their names by residing in or near beds. Lift the mattress and inspect seams, surfaces and box springs with a flashlight. All life stages can be seen with the naked eye, but using a magnifying glass is helpful. Also check crevices in upholstered furniture, bedroom cabinets, along baseboards, under peeling wallpaper, carpets, and wall hangings. Favorite hiding places include the ceiling-wall junction and under the mattress tag.
    • Clear signs of infestation are the brownish skins shed by growing nymphs and tiny white eggs.
    • Dark or rusty stains from droppings and crushed bugs on sheets and furniture, as well as an unpleasant odor, may accompany infestations.
     
    • Cup-shaped monitoring traps installed on bed legs will capture wandering bugs. Professionals also use dogs trained to detect bed bugs by smell. It is recommended that you use a third party certified bed bug K9 unit, such as those available through Pestec, to provide scent detection and inspection services.

    Low Impact Approaches

    Using a combination of non-chemical methods for treating and preventing bed bug infestations is important for any successful control plan. These are measures that you can take, as well as methods that require special equipment and services provided by pest control professionals.

    Exclusion
    Don’t panic! Most items can be treated and saved. Throwing everything out is expensive, could further the spread of bed bugs and cause more stress, so discard infested belongings only if necessary.

        • Seal as many cracks as possible that bed bugs can enter through and use as hiding places. Bed bugs will take advantage of all cracks and crevices, especially inside walls and around doors and windows.
        • Temporarily prevent bed bugs from accessing a clean bed. First, move the bed away from the wall and other objects. Then make the bed legs impossible for bed bugs to navigate by either placing each leg into a container of water or oil to form a moat, or coating the legs in petroleum jelly.
        • Place interceptor traps on all legs of a piece of furniture to help prevent bed bugs from infesting it and reduce the movement of bed bugs already on that piece of furniture to the rest of the room. Interceptor traps are inexpensive an can be made out of common household items.
        • Consider using mattress covers specifically designed to keep bed bugs from establishing a population in your bed. Note that more research is needed on their effectiveness.

    Sanitation
    Sanitation is key for both treatment and prevention. Keep clutter down to reduce hiding places.

     

        • Use a vacuum wand with strong suction to remove adult bed bugs, nymphs, and eggs.
        • Target the mattress seams, cracks, and other nooks where bed bugs live.
        • Follow a thorough vacuuming routine in coordination with other treatment methods and promptly dispose of the vacuum bag each time.
        • Launder bedding and clothing in hot water and dry in high heat for at least 10 minutes. The hot-water wash will kill many bed bugs, but the dryer will really finish the job.
     

    Heat Treatment For Rooms
    Pest control professionals have developed total-room heat treatments that are highly effective at killing bed bugs and their eggs. Pestec was an early adopter in using heat to manage bed bug infestations for residential, commercial, and hospitality clients and continues to use this technique for treating heavier infestations, cluttered spaces and contaminated items.

        • Using large heaters, temperatures are gradually raised 130 to 140 ºF (54.4 to 60 ºC) for two to three hours within an infested room.
        • High velocity fans are used to blow the superheated air into all corners of the room, where heat sensors are strategically placed to monitor temperatures in cracks, crevices and other hard-to-reach areas where bed bugs like to hide.
        • Once all sensors show that the thermal death point (113 0F) has been reached, the heating process is continued for another hour or more to kill all bed bugs and their eggs.
        • Belongings, including most electronics such as computers and appliances, remain unharmed. Before heat treatment, unplug electronic devices and check the manufacturer documentation for heat sensitive devices like plasma TVs to find the safe temperature range.

    Steam Treatment for Beds and Furniture
    Steam cleaning is an effective way of reducing bed bug infestations, particularly in locations where insecticide use may be undesirable.

        • Using a professional steamer, go slowly to ensure that heat concentration (160-180 0F) is maintained over every inch of surface. A good pace is 12 inches every 30 seconds.
        • Once you start the treatment, it is best continue cleaning all surfaces in the same time period to prevent bed bugs from relocating back into treated areas.
        • It is important to have a device with a large steamer head, a long length of cord and a large water tank to allow for a continuous cleaning session.
        • The eggs are difficult to kill with one steam treatment. Instead, aim to repeat the steaming process at weekly intervals for a few weeks so that you can kill them as they hatch.
        • Steaming is a methodical process that requires patience to successfully treat mattresses, carpets and furniture.
     
     

    Cold Treatment for Infested Items
    Exposure to an extended period of below-freezing temperatures can kill all life stages of bed bugs.

        •  Temperatures below 25oF will kill bed bugs within hours. Home freezers are usually not cold enough to be completely effective.
        • Putting items outside in freezing temperatures can kill bed bugs, but it can take at least 4 days when the temperature is 0° F and almost a week when the temperature is 20°F.
        • Some pest control companies use commercial freezers or use spot-freezing equipment to treat areas where bed bugs are found or suspected. Used correctly, this will kill bed bugs and eggs.
        • Use of cold treatments provides is no residual protection against re-infestation. Spot-freezing and steaming methods also have a limited ability to penetrate wood, fabric and other materials bed bugs inhabit.
     
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