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Bed Bugs – The UK’s #1 Pest….well almost!

Cimex lectularius is going places, this little fellow is poised to steal the lime light. Hannibal Lecter more like it! Already America’s #1 pest and fast becoming Britain and the developed world’s #1 pest, top of the charts and top of the pops let’s hear it for the Bed Bug Boogie. This persistent little bug is a pest controller’s nightmare. Clients ask, “How much will it cost and can you guarantee that you will get rid of them for me?” We answer , “No sir/madam, we cannot guarantee anything, all we can guarantee is that we will spray and treat your room with an insecticide, there is really only a 50/50 chance that the treatment will be successful, we can start by using a carbamate based treatment, if that doesn’t do the trick we will then try a pyrethroid (often two treatments are required), very thorough treatments are the key to success, (councils estimate it takes 10 man hours to treat a small house) we will charge you lots of money for doing this (usually c£100/room with discounts for multiple rooms), you will need to prep all the rooms thoroughly and properly with all the contents in black bags placed in the centre of each room and at the end of the treatment we may not be successful due to resistance issues, we will also only be able to spray in limited areas. We are not prepared to soak your infested mattress with a toxic insecticide and then let you sleep on it a few hours later, I wouldn’t want to sleep on it and neither should you. As for the resistance issues; are your bedbugs resistant? Where have they come from? Have they already been treated, if so with what chemicals? Have they never been treated? What shall we use?” Quarantining each room is important, customers rarely realize this. Also, someone will need to sleep in the room following the treatment to see if the bedbugs are still there. We always recommend human baiting to get the bugs out. A bug will only come out when it sees a heat source. This is good, they are more likely to come into contact with the insecticide; not reoccupying the room only compounds the problem. After a human blood feast they the adult female lays 2-3 eggs per day. Adult bedbugs can lie dormant for up to two years, just hiding in cracks and crevices during the daytime waiting for their next blood meal to come in and lie down. Bites are notoriously difficult to identify, bedbug vs dust mites, they all look very similar. How long have you had them (the bugs), the best way to see if they are bedbugs is by considering their population growth…why, because in six months one bedbug will have turned an infested a room into bedbug city, with 70,000 eggs; 123,000 nymphs and 8,000 adults, if you are still sleeping in there with this lot you will be getting bitten all the time and there will be signs of them. Finally, after a thorough inspection, we can say to the client, “Hi, yes we’ve found them, your right they are bed bugs, we can spray them for you but we may not be successful in getting rid of them”….play it again Sam!

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