Bedbugs can be difficult to treat as they can hide in the smallest and most unusual places. They have been found inside mattresses, inside small cracks in bed framing, under carpet and underlay, in books, inside picture frames, furniture, behind architraves and wallpaper, inside light fixtures, roof voids and can travel from other rooms.
Their preferred food source is human and they will usually visit their victim for a meal in the early hours of the morning. After this, they travel back to their hiding place where they are usually found in groups and may remain here for several months as they can survive a long time between blood meals.
Bedbugs will not bite all people. It is possible for them to attack only one person in a bed, leaving the other untouched. They do not appear to be associated with the transmission of disease to date, but people bitten will usually have an allergic reaction at the site of the bite (usually several bites which become large red lumps) which is followed by itching and scratching and may result in infection.
Adults live between 50 days to one year depending on conditions. In this time, they will lay up to 500 eggs, which hatch every 7-30 days. Bedbugs are 5mm long, are a dark brownish colour and are oval shaped.
Prevention is the key with bedbugs. When on holiday, check all clothing thoroughly before packing and returning home as they can hide in pockets, cuffs and in the bags themselves. Check any cracks and crevices of secondhand furniture for signs of bedbugs and, if in doubt, have it treated before you bring it into your home. Overseas visitors in your home may be unwittingly bringing bedbugs into your home with their luggage.
Treatment is essential and several treatments may be required if the infestation is severe. We no longer treat bedbugs. The most effective treatment available is to treat with steam. The chemical products which were available to us to treat bedbugs indoors were not effective enough, so we have decided to no longer treat them.