Bed Bugs

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Protecting businesses and homes in Malawi from Pests

Bed Bugs

Whether they’re in your home or hotel, bed bugs are definitely unwanted guests. All ‘beds’ are at risk, but most at risk are those beds in establishments with a large number of international travellers, or your bed at home if you are a frequent traveller.

By detecting the early onset of bed bug activity action can be taken to ensure that they do not spread to other parts of your premises.

How to identify a bed bug infestation

Since bed bugs can be difficult to spot, not having seen one does not always mean that your premises is free of bed bugs. There are some clear signs of a bed bug problem which indicate an infestation. These are:

  • Live bed bugs - Bed bugs come out at night and are attracted to the warmth of our bodies and carbon dioxide in our breath. They are flat and oval in shape and around 5mm in length.

  • Hide-out areas - Bed bugs are usually found in bedrooms and hide in cracks and crevices during the day. The most commons shelter for bed bugs are in the seams of mattresses, in crevices in the bed frame, behind furniture surrounding the bed (especially the headboard) or where the wall meets the floor. 

  • Sweet scent - An established bed bug infestation is associated with a sweet and sickly smell.

  • Blood spots and dark spots - When you have a bed bug infestation, you will be able to notice cast nymphal skins, faecal pellets, and blood spots on your sheets or mattress.

If you have noticed any of these signs of a bed bug problem, an inspection by Rentokil will help to confirm a problem and enable our technicians to offer the best solution using industry leading bed bug treatments.

Bed Bug bites

Bed bug bites are unlikely to wake the host (victim) as bed bugs inject an anaesthetic whilst drawing blood from the host (victim). Bites can occur anywhere on the body, and in most cases are found on the neck, legs, arms and hands.

A single bed bug may bite more than once around the same area. However, bites in different parts of the body indicate being bitten by several bed bugs. Bed bug bites are generally small, flat, or raised bumps on the skin. Redness, swelling, and itching commonly occur on these spots. Early in a bed bug infestation, the victim may not yet be sensitised to the bed bug bites and they may not feel itchy.

Are you concerned about bed bug bites?

Be sure to look for signs of bed bugs as soon as you arrive in a hotel.  However, if you do happen to get bitten by a bed bug or two and the bites are causing you pain, seek medical treatment as soon as possible.

Bed bugs are not known to carry any infectious diseases but everyone will react to a bite differently.

Prevention tips for bed bug control

There are some preventative steps you can take for bed bug control - especially if you are a regular traveller - to deter them from invading your home or business.

In Your Home

If you are worried that you might have brought bed bugs home with you after your travels, you can do the following to prevent them from spreading to your home:

  • Leave your luggage in your garage or in the bathroom. Bed bugs don’t like the tiles or concrete and if they are present they are easier to spot on tiles and concrete than on carpets!
  • If you’re very worried, take your clothes off in the garage or bathroom and put them straight into the washing machine.
  • Wash and dry clothes at the highest possible temperatures.
  • As a further bed bug control precaution, you can place your suitcase in the sun - away from the house - for a couple of days to help get rid of bed bugs.
  • Vacuuming can significantly reduce the size of the bed bug population, but only when they’re clearly visible. It cannot guarantee total elimination. (Empty and clean the vacuum to avoid transferring eggs to other rooms.)

In Your Hotel or Establishment

With the number of guests moving in and out of your hotel rooms, it is impossible to completely prevent bed bugs. However, there are ways you can prevent an infestation through early detection:

  • Train your staff on how to identify common signs of a bed bug infestation.
  • As part of room cleaning processes, ensure thorough checking for bed bugs.
  • Have a procedure in place for handling bed bug complaints.
  • Inspect adjacent rooms to identify if bed bugs have spread (although Rentokil will do this as part of our emergency response survey).
  • Immediately contact Rentokil to arrange a thorough inspection and bed bug control program.

A bed bug problem can spread very quickly and if left uncontrolled can put your business at risk of loss of revenue, reputation or even forced closure. The presence of bed bugs also poses a high risk of distressing bites for you and your customers.

Professional steps to get rid of bed bugs

Bed bugs are very difficult to find and treat and for this reason we recommend that you do not try to get rid of bed bugs without professional help.

Rentokil technicians are trained and experienced professionals. They understand the habits of bed bugs and use their knowledge to choose the correct control methods and materials to develop an effective management program.

Once you have discovered a bug bug problem, the following actions will be taken:

  • 1 - We will respond to your call-out and arrange a survey of your property to identify the extent of the bed bug problem.

  • 2 - Once all treatment options have been discussed and a treatment plan is agreed on, a Rentokil technician will arrange to come back to your business to begin the bed bug treatment.

  • 3 - All our treatments are based on the cube approach, which is critical to effective and long term bed bug treatment. This approach includes treatment to an infested room

  • 4 - Let the Rentokil experts help you manage the risk of future infestations through risk assessment, staff training and proactive bed bug inspections.

If you would like further advice on how to get rid of bed bugs in your home or establishment, or to arrange a visit by a Rentokil Pest Control expert, call our Blantyre branch on 0885886575, or our Lilongwe branch on 01756593.

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