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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 many areas of the Earth, within the previous ten years. .
The main reason for the increase is thought to be due to insecticide resistance; modern bed bugs are resilient to many of those commonly used insecticides. Other contributing factors include the increase in world traveling with bed bugs being dispersed in luggage, shoes and clothing. Once obtained at high turnover accommodation, the hitchhiking bed bugs may then be transported and introduced back to the houses of guests in their own luggage.
Many hostels worldwide have now banned the use of travellers own sleeping linen in shared accommodation for a safety 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. 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. Due to their color, mature bed bugs can easily be seen with the naked eye on white sheets and bedding, but rather difficult to view on brown wooden floors and other black surfaces.
Heavily used hiding areas are evident by black or brown spots of dried blood excrement or spotting. There may also be an offensive candy odour when bed bugs are numerous. This odour sometimes described as buggy is like the odour when a stink bug is squashed. White eggs, the egg cases and moulted skin cubes may also be found near such areas, in addition to living bed bugs. .
Bed bugs use pheromones to communicate. This system of communication and the launch of alarm pheromones can make them very hard to treat as bed bugs become awake and fast vacate the area being treated if not previously properly quarantined.
Bed bugs can also propagate 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 likely to haven in close proximity to the sufferer. 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 variables. Some people have little or no reaction to the bite. In others the sting site can get red and intensely itchy. This can occur during the course of the night or may take around 9-14 days to grow.
The red wheals may range from 2 cm to 5 cm in diameter with inflammation common. Anaphylactic shock may occur in individuals which are contagious, but this is rare. .
Discomfort and reduction of sleep is common from the psychological ramifications 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 upset during feeding and having to pierce the skin to nourish 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 are not known to transfer such ailments to individuals.
The survival of mattress bug eggs is also 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 discover here have the remaining or surviving eggs hatch and populate the location once again. The eggs can also have an incubation period of up to two weeks and could be deposited in hidden areas that are difficult to treat. .
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This stubborn tendency of bed bug infestations are created more problematic because of the now smaller size of this newly re-emerged bed bug nymph. Once an infestation is detected, all adjoining chambers need to be inspected and treated if additionally affected.
This can be completed by using adhesive tape (if insect numbers are extremely little ) to trap the insect. Vacuuming is also recommended before substance treatment because it eliminates all dust and debris from the website of the infestation making it simpler for following chemical control to penetrate and in turn succeed.