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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 have been found in Australia in small numbers. Recently they've become widespread with infestations increasing substantially in Victoria, and areas of the Earth, within the previous ten decades. .
The main reason behind the increase is supposed to be caused by insecticide resistance; modern bed bugs are highly resilient to many of the commonly used insecticides. Other contributing factors include the increase in world travel with bed bugs being dispersed in luggage, shoes and clothing. Once obtained at large turnover accommodation, the hitchhiking bed bugs could then be transported and introduced back to the houses of guests in their own luggage.
Many hostels have now banned the use of travellers own sleeping linen in shared accommodation as a safety 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. Later, since the infestation spreads, the bugs proceed to any tiny crevices, which may be in bed heads, skirting boards, cracks in plaster and bedroom furniture. Due to their colour, mature bed bugs can easily be seen with the naked eye on white sheets and bedding, but very 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 may also be an offensive sweet sticky 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 these places, in addition to living bed bugs. .
Bed bugs use pheromones to communicate. This method of communication and the launch of alarm pheromones can make them quite difficult to deal with as bed bugs become awake and fast vacate the area 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 suitable host, bed bugs will feed and are likely to harbor in near proximity. In this case, new locations can easily become infested with bed bugs in a short amount of time. .
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Different people 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 bite site can become red and intensely itchy. This can happen during the course of the night or might take up to 9-14 days to develop.
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 allergic, although this is quite rare. .
Discomfort and reduction of sleep is common from the effects of bed bugs. Bites may be found on a variety of places on the entire body. Another feature is that the bites are sometimes in orderly rows, unlike the random pattern of mosquitoes. These rows are brought on by the bed insect being disturbed during feeding and having to pierce the skin to feed again.
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Bed bugs mainly feed on humans but will also feed on mammals and poultry if necessary. Even though they may carry diseases like hepatitis they are not known to transfer such diseases to other individuals.
The survival of mattress 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 of up to fourteen days 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 because of the now smaller size of the newly re-emerged bed bug nymph. Once an infestation is discovered, all adjoining chambers need to be inspected and handled if additionally influenced.
This can be finished by using adhesive tape (if insect numbers are extremely little ) to trap the insect. Vacuuming can also be recommended before chemical treatment because it eliminates all dust and debris from the site of this infestation making it simpler for following chemical control to penetrate and in turn succeed.