The vampire’s amongst us

Forget Twilight and The Vampire Dairies, Bed bugs are the true vampires living amongst us. This prehistoric little bug, about the size of an apple pip has been cohabiting and feeding on man since caveman days and has over time evolved a strategy of “hibernation” for surviving a periodically absent and nomadic host. Once bed bugs go into hibernation they can survive up to 18 months without feeding and simply remain in this state whilst the host is not around to feed on. Bed Bugs were introduced to Australia with the arrival of the first European settlers in the 18th and 19th century and which continues to the present day with the steady influx of new settlers moving to Australia. Bed bugs are very adept at ‘hitch-hiking’ a ride on an unwilling hosts and are easily transported from one place to another. One of the most common ways people can introduce bed bugs into their property is by coming in contact with bed bugs after staying in infested accommodation like hotel’s or B&B’s etc. Another possible cause is buying second hand goods. It is always good practice to be aware of introducing any second hand goods into your property and check for sign of bed bugs.

Despite the name, bed bug infestations are hardly ever just confined to the bed, as the infestation grows, bed bugs will start to infest surrounding furniture, fixtures and fittings, laying eggs as they go. The eggs are approx. 1mm across and translucent in colour, they are very hard to spot unless you know what you are looking for. The eggs are nearly always found around bed bug spotting (black dots of bed bug excrement).

A female bed bug can lay up to 500 eggs over her lifespan, so just discarding infested items will not resolve the infestation. It is more likely that you will leave behind many bed bugs eggs that are located elsewhere, which will just repopulate any new items you bring in.

It is also equally likely that many of the bed bugs on the infested items you remove will drop to the floor or onto your clothing! Therefore reinfesting your own property or possibly neighbouring properties if you live in apartment block.

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