Bed Bug Control

Bedbug Control

When a well-established bedbug infestation is troublesome, it is likely that improvement in standards of hygiene will be a necessary backup to any chemical treatment provided.

Where normally hygienic premises have become infested by the importation of bugs in second hand furniture or by some other means, it is likely that a thorough treatment of the premises with careful attention to cracks and crevices will give total eradication, which may last until any future importation.

An essential first step in bedbug control in buildings is to determine the extent of infestation. By questioning the occupants and carefully inspecting the premises, the pest control technician can establish the extent of the infestation and thus be more certain that potential sources of reinfestation are not overlooked during treatment. All possible hiding places should be inspected, including furniture, wall linings, skirtings, architraves, curtain rods, light fittings, picture frames, picture railings, shelves, appliances and bedding, including the mattress.

Non-chemical methods for bedbug control

Thoroughness in housekeeping is likely to make rooms less susceptible to bedbug infestation. As well, a reduction in potential harbourage areas (eg. cracks behind skirtings, loose wallpaper) may help to make premises less vulnerable. Thorough inspection of second-hand furniture before it is brought into the house may avert possible infestation. This particularly applies to bedroom furniture such as wardrobes and beds, and especially mattresses.

Bedbugs are very sensitive to heat and are rapidly killed when exposed to temperatures over 45oC.

If heat is used for bedbug control, it is important that the high temperatures are applied suddenly; a gradual rise in temperature will cause the bedbugs to disperse, thereby potentially spreading an infestation. Placing infested materials into black plastic bags and putting them in the sun for several hours on a hot day may kill the bugs. However, scientific investigations have shown that this is ineffective with large items such as mattresses.

The most practical method of exploiting extreme heat is through the use of steam. The great advantage is that it will kill all bedbug stages, including the eggs. As steam is composed only of heated water, some people favour this treatment over chemicals, particularly for their mattress and

bed. However, bedbug control cannot be achieved with steam alone, and studies have shown that a program of steam followed by insecticides provides better long term control than by using steam alone. Like any tool, steam machines are only as effective as the operator. To achieve anywhere near control, an intimate knowledge of the bug and its ecology are essential. Inspections must be diligent, and the treatment process must be meticulous, using the correct type and settings on the steam machine, to avoid dispersing the bugs further. Also, the limitation of using steam is the wetting of items, thereby making it unsuitable for items such as light fittings, electrical sockets and appliances.

An alternative to extreme heat is extreme cold, i.e. freezing the bugs. This has the advantage that heat sensitive materials will not be damaged. While this method cannot be directly used by pest control technicians, it can be recommended to the home owner for small items. Any item for freezing should be placed loosely into a bag, and as always, this must be done in the infested room prior to removal. The amount of time in the freezer would be dependent on the size of the item; the larger the item, the longer in the freezer. A few hours (>2) would be sufficient to kill bugs in small items, assuming that the freezer is operating at or around -20oC. Dense items may take several days for the centre to cool to kill the bugs and the longer an item is kept frozen, the more likely the bugs will be destroyed.

Chemical control for bedbug control in Gibraltar

In Gibraltar, the chemicals mostly used for bedbug removal are Carbimate products. The proper and effective application of insecticides for bedbug control relies on proper inspection and knowledge of harbourage areas. Thus equipped, the bedbug control technician can ensure contact of the bugs with the insecticides. Careful application to cracks and crevices is usually necessary.

Where possible, particularly in conditions of poor hygiene, a clean-up prior to insecticide application can be most beneficial. Follow up inspections are necessary to evaluate effectiveness of initial treatment, and due to the possibility of eggs hatching after the initial treatment, the possibility of re-treatment should be addressed to ensure reinfestation doesn’t occur.

For more information on Gibraltar Bug Busters Pest Control’s expert Gibraltar bedbug removal service contact us today!