Bed bugs are parasites which feed on human blood and their bites lead to rashes, which while not harmful, can cause much itchiness and discomfort. They are small insects which can hide in nooks and crannies around the house, such as seams of mattresses and dark corners, making them hard to detect. Being able to survive at temperatures of up to 45 degrees Celsius also makes them difficult to eradicate without special treatment.
Singaporeans are increasingly well-travelled these days, so it is no surprise that Singaporean households are affected by the worldwide resurgence of bed bug infestations that has arisen due to globalisation and travel in the past few decades. Bed bugs can easily be spread across countries if bugs or eggs get into a traveller’s clothes or luggage. You may unwittingly bring bed bugs home from your holiday, or they may enter your home from your neighbour’s house. An important thing to note is that bed bug infestations can happen to anyone, anytime. They are not a sign of poor hygiene or cleanliness.
Tell-tale signs of bed bug presence are the moults of the bugs, blood stains on your bed sheets and faecal matter around your house. You may be able to get rid of bed bugs by using a steam vacuum, washing and drying your clothes at temperatures above 45 degrees Celsius frequently, or more drastically, throwing away mattresses and other furniture affected. Other methods include insecticide sprays, but these are not advisable for bedding.
While you can easily find do-it-yourself solutions to bed bug infestations on the Internet, it is still advisable for you to consult a bed bug control company. This is because what looks like a bed bug problem could actually be an infestation of a different insect. Also, bed bug infestations are usually widespread throughout the home. You may mistakenly believe that the problem is limited to one area when it could be much worse. The professionals will check thoroughly and rid your whole house of the pests once they positively identify it as a bed bug problem.
How should you choose the right bed bug control company? A good bed bug control company will be professional, efficient, effective and discreet. They will check carefully and accurately for bed bugs. The inspection process should be thorough so that they do not miss out any areas of your home which may be affected. They will use a torchlight to check places like your bed frames, crevices of sofas and areas where the floor and wall join and bugs can hide. This process could take up to a few days, depending on the size of your home. They will also be able to determine if it is indeed a bed bug problem or another insect.
Based on the problem areas they will then recommend a treatment plan. A good company will discuss all options with you and ensure that you are agreeable before they start work. For instance, you should not hire a company which wants to spray chemical insecticide on your bedding, because while effective, this could have adverse impacts on your health. Instead, they will recommend that you discard the mattress if it is infested. For other pieces of furniture, they may use low-odour sprays and pesticides. This usually involves spraying the target areas with high concentrations of bugs and then using a mist for the surroundings to kill any live bugs.
A good pest control company will educate you about the integrated approach to pest management, and they will encourage you to adopt preventive measures to complement the methods they use to exterminate the bed bugs to increase the effectiveness. For example they may ask you to seal any cracks in your walls to prevent bugs from hiding there, while they spray to kill them too. You could also use a steam vacuum to clean your home in addition to their commercial steam cleaner. They would also advice you on how to prevent future infestations, such as by avoiding second-hand clothes and furniture, and washing your clothes at high temperatures immediately upon returning from a holiday.
More than one visit may be needed to fully eradicate all the bugs and eggs. A good company will not make false promises that they can solve the problem in one visit, but will provide follow-up action. They will ensure that the problem is completely solved with multiple sessions before closing the case. The company should understand your need for discretion too, if you do not wish your neighbours to know of your affliction. While they might want to check your neighbour’s home for bed bugs which may have entered your home, they should not proceed without your agreement.
Although bed bug infestations can happen in even the cleanest houses, you may still feel uncomfortable letting others know that you face this problem. However, as bed bugs reproduce quickly, time is of the essence to tackle this problem. Instead of suffering in silence and bearing with the itch, call a bed bug control company. With the right bed bug control company, you will be able to sleep soundly at night, like the commonly heard ‘Good night, sleep tight; don’t let the bed bugs bite’.