Heppro Ltd North East Pest Control, Property And Grounds Maintenance

by on September 27, 2011

Heppro Ltd North East Pest Control, Property And Grounds Maintenance

With HepPro Ltd you can be sure of a service you can rely on. We have contracts with some of the leading insurance companies, dairies, local Authorities and provide services to the NHS.

HepPro Ltd taking bookings now with special rates for timber decking construction and gardening services.

Also discounted rates on bathroom installations.

Bed Bugs

Bedbugs – what’s the score?
Wall lice, bug flats, crimson ramblers, chinches, Norfolk Howards, mahogany flats, etc., etc.. The humble bed bug (Cimex
lectularius) has gained a place in world-wide folk lore and is universally reviled. Many years of onslaught in the UK had
reduced their populations significantly, but recently this troublesome pest has had a resurgence, both in terms of numbers
and in several instances of pesticide tolerance. Why? Let’s begin with a review of the pest and its habits.
As man moved from a hunter-gatherer to living in urban settlements, many insects took advantage of this localised
situation. Initially, flies and beetles were attracted to food storage and preparation areas. Bed bugs moved in as the human
dwellings improved and became more permanent. They are closely related to the bat bug (Cimex pilosellus) and probably
first became associated with man when they were living in caves in Africa.
Humans (very much as they are now) were sought for a blood meal whilst they slumbered on the floor of the cave. The
bugs would locate their host by detecting their body heat and the carbon dioxide given off in their breath and through
their skin. Interestingly, there is still a species of bed bug (Leptocimex boueti) that still feeds off the blood of both humans
and bats in West Africa.
As civilisation evolved, the bed bug became our bed fellow, moving into our homes in ever increasing numbers. Sanitation
and personal cleanliness were offered as a defence against lice and other bodily pests. In 1602, Ulysses Aldrovandi, a
renowned social observer, reported that bed bugs were much more common in houses of the poor than in those of the
rich, because the rich had the means to keep their houses cleaner than those of the poor. In the late 1800s, bed bugs
were regarded as probably the most serious urban pest. Commercial pest control companies began to form in the larger
cities across Europe at this time. Their preparations ranged from chemicals that we would run a mile from today, to several
that we still recognise and use today – mercuric chloride in alcohol was regarded as an excellent treatment for bed bugs,
and pyrethrum and rotenone were beginning to arrive from the Orient.
In more recent times, the success of pesticides, such as organophosphorous compounds and pyrethroids, has meant
wide-scale eradication of bed bug populations. We realise now that dirty housing is not a pre-requisite for bed bug activity,
but it is thought that the unfortunate decline in social standards in some areas of the populous, coupled with an increase
in close-packed communities HMOs (houses of multiple occupancy, student accommodation, bed-sits and not forgetting
down-and-outs) have led to bed bug populations increasing significantly.
So what exactly is a bed bug? These insects are members of the order Hemiptera, the true bugs, which includes bugs
that attack house plants and pond skaters that live on the water’s surface.
The bed bug has a simple or incomplete metamorphosis. Mating is a rough affair, with the male actually puncturing the
female’s abdomen to inject sperm directly (a process known as “traumatic” insemination for obvious reasons!). A female
can lay up to 200 eggs over about two months. There are five nymphal stages which take 35 to 150 days to pass through,
depending on conditions. Adults are able to survive long periods in unoccupied houses or in furniture in store. In
desperation, they can survive on other species, such as poultry, sparrows, rats, mice and guinea pigs (which may explain
some long-term continued infestations). Adults that are well fed can then resist long periods of starvation – timescales of
nearly one and a half years have been recorded.
Nymphal instars take about three minutes to have a blood meal, but adults need over ten minutes to become engorged.
The mouthparts are adapted to form two pairs of stylets that puncture the skin. The outer pair is provided with barbs to
saw into the skin, and the inner pair form two tubes, one for sucking up the blood, and one for injecting saliva containing
an anticoagulant. A fully engorged adult can be 6-8mm long.
For many, the bite is painless, but some can detect it straight away. A typical red “wheal” is left by the biting insect,
caused by an allergic reaction to the saliva. The location

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