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In recent times there has been an increase in the number of bed bug infestations. Bed bugs are common all around the world and have been found in Australia in small numbers. Recently they've become widespread with infestations increasing substantially in Victoria, and most areas of the world, over the previous ten years. .
The main reason behind the increase is thought to be due to insecticide resistance; modern bed bugs are highly resilient to many of those commonly used insecticides. Other contributing factors include the increase in world travel with bed bugs being dispersed in luggage, shoes and clothing. Once obtained at turnover accommodation, the hitchhiking bed bugs may then be transported and introduced back to the homes of guests in their own luggage.
Many hostels worldwide have now banned the use of travellers own sleeping linen in common accommodation for a security precaution against this pest.
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In early infestations, bed bugs are often found around the seams, beading and folds of mattresses, sleeping bags and sheets. Later, since the infestation spreads, the bugs move to any tiny crevices, which might be in bed heads, skirting boards, cracks in plaster and bedroom furniture. Due to their colour, adult bed bugs can easily be spotted with the naked eye on sheets and bedding, but very tough to see on brown wooden floors and other dark surfaces.
Heavily used hiding areas are evident by black or brown spots of dried blood excrement or spotting. There might also be an offensive candy tacky odour when bed bugs are numerous. This odour called buggy is similar to the odour when a stink bug is squashed. White eggs, the egg cases and moulted skin cubes may also be found near such places, in addition to living bed bugs. .
Bed bugs use pheromones to communicate. This method of communication and the release of alarm pheromones can make them quite hard to deal with as bed bugs become awake and quickly vacate the area being treated if not previously properly quarantined.
Bed bugs may spread into a new residence by traveling between multi-unit housing such as dormitories and apartment buildings. Once they find a suitable host, bed bugs will nourish and therefore are very likely to harbor link in near proximity. In this case, new locations can quickly become infested with bed bugs in a brief amount of time. .
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Different individuals have varying reactions to the bites of bed bugs, depending on a number of factors. Some people have little or no reaction to the sting. In others the sting site can get red and intensely itchy. This can happen during the course of the night or might take up to develop.
The wheals may range from 2 cm to 5 cm in diameter with inflammation common. Anaphylactic shock could possibly happen in individuals that are highly contagious, but this is very rare. .
Discomfort and reduction of sleep is common from the psychological effects of bed bugs. Bites may be found on a variety of places on the entire body. Another characteristic is that the bites are in orderly rows, unlike the random pattern of mosquitoes. The bed bug causes these rows being disturbed during feeding and having to pierce the skin to feed again.
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Bed bugs mainly feed on humans but may feed on other mammals and poultry if necessary. Even though they may carry diseases like hepatitis they're not known to transfer such ailments to other individuals.
Bed bugs are especially problematic to treat, with eradication unlikely to be accomplished with a single treatment. Sprays may kill the bed bugs however, they are largely ineffective on the eggs. Follow up inspections are constantly required and additional treatments are often necessary.
The survival of bed bug eggs is an issue. It is not uncommon for the reside bed bugs amongst an infestation to be wholly eradicated during an effective treatment cycle, only to have the remaining or surviving eggs hatch and populate the exact location once again. The eggs can also have an incubation period up to fourteen days and could be deposited in hidden areas that are difficult to treat. .
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This stubborn tendency of bed bug infestations are made more problematic due to the now smaller size of this newly re-emerged bed bug nymph. Once an infestation is detected, all adjoining rooms need to be inspected and handled if additionally affected.
This can be finished by the use of adhesive tape (if insect numbers are extremely small) to trap the insect. Vacuuming can also be recommended before chemical treatment because it removes all dust and debris from the site of this infestation making it simpler for following chemical control to penetrate and in turn succeed.