For bed bug control knowing about bed bugs is very important. The term “bug” is slang for insect. Used technically, however, it refers to the thousands of species of the order Hemiptera, “true bugs,” which includes bedbugs. Most species of true bugs feed on plants; many feed on animals, other insects in particular; some are aquatic. Feeding is accomplished when the bugs pierce tissues with slender thread-like stylets (located in a “beak” on the front of the insect’s head) and suck up liquids. Bedbugs are indeed true bugs that suck blood.
This wingless bedbug, a notable blood-sucking parasite of humans throughout written history, has moved with us all over the world. The bedbug’s adaptation to humans is so complete their bites are nearly painless. In the United States, bedbugs have been one of the most important pests. They were disliked more than cockroaches, but DDT so effectively used for bed bug control in the late 1940s that they are of minor importance today.
Bedbugs are dark reddish brown, oval and very flat. Adults are almost 1 /4 inch long and become mature in about four weeks when host blood is available and temperature, humidity, and harborage are favorable. If hosts are scarce, bedbugs can survive for a year without feeding.
Hosts include many species of vertebrates besides humans, including poultry, rodents, dogs, and cats. They infest shelters along hiking trails and cabins of summer camps and parks. The surprise occurrence of bedbugs in urban homes often can be traced to these recreation facilities.
Eggs. Eggs are deposited several times each day in protected places near the host’s sleeping area; several hundred might be deposited. Hatching occurs in one to two weeks, depending on temperature—the warmer the weather, the shorter the incubation time.
Nymphs. Nymphs, tiny and colorless at first, go through five molts, taking a blood meal between molts. This nymphal period can last from several weeks under favorable conditions to as long as a year when hosts are unavailable and temperatures are low.
Adults. Undergoing gradual metamorphosis, the bedbugs mate soon after becoming adults. Adult bedbugs prefer humans as hosts. Though they have been known to harbor several human diseases, there has been no record of disease transmission.
Under normal conditions, bedbugs feed at night. Flat bodies allow them to hide in cracks in beds, bedside furniture, dressers, wallboards, door and window frames, behind pictures, under loose wallpaper, and in rooms near host sleeping areas.
BED BUG CONTROL IN DUBAI
The bedroom is usually the center of infestation. All dark cracks and crevices are potential harborage.
■ Inspect camping sleeping equipment.
■ Inspect outdoor animal sheds and coops, even if not recently occupied.
Because bedbugs have alternative hosts besides humans (e.g., rodents, some birds, etc.), excluding these animals is very important. Though it is difficult, infested woodland cabins must be vermin-proofed.
■ Tighten, caulk, and screen routes of entry.
■ Store mattresses in protected areas.
■ To prevent mouse nesting, do not fold mattresses on cots when they are not in use.
■ Open protective harborage inside, such as wall voids, or tighten it up completely.
■ Open cabinets. This discourages rodent nesting.
■ Make crawlspaces accessible to predators and light.
■ Move woodpiles away from the structure.
■ Keep weeds and shrubs away from the foundation.
■ Eliminate garbage.
There is no tolerable number of bedbugs in occupied structures. Camps and hiking shelters should be treated only when there is evidence of an active bedbug infestation. Rodents found inside should be trapped or baited. Several general application pesticides labeled for bed bug control are available.
■ Dust or spray desiccating dusts or labeled insecticides, etc.
■ Use crack and crevice application methods to treat harborage thoroughly.
■ Treat furniture joints.
■ Ensure that treated tufted mattresses or depressed seams dry and are covered with bedding before they are used.
■ Leave time for drift or droplets to settle before bedtime.
■ Do not use space treatments or fogs. They are not effective.
■ Check state regulations. Some laws allow the use of appropriately labeled residual pesticides for cracks and crevices. This reduces the need for repeated applications.
Follow-up for bed bug control
If treated infestations recur, evaluate to determine whether some harborage was missed or if the structure is being reinfested; revise the management plan. Monitor structures where periodic reinfestation occurs. Remember, camps used only seasonally should have a pest management plan too. Keep good records on pesticide use and application methods. Educate clients and maintain communication. Emphasize that bedbugs do not transmit diseases.