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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 tiny numbers. Recently they've become widespread with infestations increasing substantially in Victoria, and parts of the world, over the previous ten years. .
The main reason behind the increase is supposed to be caused by insecticide resistance; modern bed bugs are resilient to many of the commonly used insecticides. Other contributing factors include the increase in world traveling with bed bugs being spread in bags, shoes and clothing. Once obtained at large turnover accommodation, the hitchhiking bed bugs may then be transported and brought back to the homes of guests in their own luggage.
Many hostels worldwide have now banned the use of travelers own sleeping linen in common accommodation for a security precaution against this pest.
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In early infestations, bed bugs are usually found around the seams, beading and folds of mattresses, sleeping bags and sheets. Later, since the infestation spreads, the bugs proceed 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 white sheets and bedding, but very tough to see 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 be an offensive sweet 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 shells may also be found near these places, as well as living bed bugs. .
Bed bugs use pheromones to communicate. This method of communication and also the release of alarm pheromones can make them very difficult to deal with as bed bugs become alert and quickly vacate the region being treated if not previously properly quarantined.
Bed bugs may 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 feed and therefore are very likely to haven in close proximity to the victim. In cases like this, 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 bite. In others the bite site can become red and intensely itchy. This can happen during the course of the night 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 happen in individuals which are highly contagious, but this is rare. .
Discomfort and reduction of sleep is common from the emotional ramifications of bed bugs. Bites may be found on many different areas on the entire body. Another characteristic is that the bites are sometimes in orderly rows, unlike the random pattern of mosquitoes. These rows are caused by the bed insect being disturbed during feeding and having to pierce the skin to nourish again.
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Bed bugs mainly feed on humans but will also feed on mammals and poultry if necessary. Although they can carry diseases like hepatitis they're not known to transfer these ailments to individuals.
The survival of mattress bug eggs is also an issue. It is not uncommon for the live bed go 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 location once again. The eggs can also have an incubation period of up to two weeks and may be deposited in hidden areas that are difficult to deal with. .
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This stubborn tendency of bed bug infestations are made more problematic due to the now smaller size of the newly re-emerged mattress bug nymph. Once an infestation is discovered, all adjoining rooms need to be inspected and treated if additionally influenced.
This can be finished by the use of adhesive tape (if insect numbers are very small) to trap the insect. Vacuuming is also recommended before substance treatment as it eliminates all dust and debris from the site of the infestation making it easier for following chemical control to penetrate and in turn succeed.