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In recent times there has been an increase in the number of bed bug infestations. Bed bugs are common all over the world and also have been found in Australia in small numbers. Recently they have become widespread with infestations increasing substantially in Victoria, and most parts of the Earth, within the previous ten years. .
The main reason behind the increase is thought to be due to insecticide resistance; modern bed bugs are exceptionally resilient to many of those commonly used insecticides. Other contributing factors include the increase in world travel with bed bugs being dispersed in bags, shoes and clothing. Once obtained at turnover accommodation, the hitchhiking bed bugs could then be transported and brought back to the homes of guests in their luggage.
Many hostels have now banned the usage of travelers own sleeping linen in shared accommodation for a security precaution against this pest.
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In early infestations, bed bugs are found around the seams, beading and folds of mattresses, sleeping bags and sheets. As the infestation spreads, the bugs move to any tiny crevices, which might be in bed heads, skirting boards, cracks in plaster and bedroom furniture. Because of their colour, adult bed bugs can easily be spotted with the naked eye on sheets and bedding, but rather tough to view on brown wooden floors and other black surfaces.
Heavily used hiding places are evident from black or brown stains of dried blood excrement or spotting. There might also be an offensive candy odour when bed bugs are numerous. This odour described as buggy is similar to the odour when a stink bug is squashed. White eggs, the egg cases and moulted skin shells may be found near such areas, in addition to living bed bugs. .
Bed bugs use pheromones to communicate. This method of communication and also the launch of alarm pheromones can make them very difficult to treat as bed bugs become awake and fast vacate the region being treated if not previously properly quarantined.
Bed bugs can spread into a new residence by traveling between multi-unit housing such as dormitories and apartment buildings. Once they find a host, bed bugs will nourish and therefore are likely to haven in close proximity. In cases like this, new locations can easily become infested with bed bugs in a short amount of time. .
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Different individuals have varying reactions to the bites of bed bugs, depending on a number of variables. Some people have little or no reaction to the bite. In others the sting site can get red and intensely itchy. This can happen during the course of the night click or may take up to grow.
The red wheals may range from 2 cm to 5 cm in diameter with inflammation common. Anaphylactic shock could possibly occur in individuals that are highly allergic, but this is quite rare. .
Discomfort and loss of sleep is common from the psychological effects of bed bugs. Bites may be found on many different areas on the entire body. Another characteristic is the bites are in orderly rows, unlike the random pattern of mosquitoes. These rows are brought on by the bed bug 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 also feed on mammals and poultry if necessary. Even though they may carry diseases like hepatitis they're not known to transfer these ailments to other individuals.
The survival of bed bug eggs is also an issue. It's not uncommon for the live bed bugs amongst an infestation to be completely 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 two weeks and may be deposited in hidden areas that are tough to deal with. .
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This stubborn tendency of bed bug infestations are made more problematic due to the now smaller dimensions of this newly re-emerged mattress bug nymph. Once an infestation is detected, all adjoining chambers need to be inspected and handled if also affected.
This can be completed by using adhesive tape (if insect numbers are extremely small) to trap the insect. Vacuuming can also be recommended before substance treatment as it removes all dust and debris from the website of the infestation making it easier for following chemical control to penetrate and in turn succeed.