Bed Bugs (Cimex lectularis)
The Bed Bugs (Cimex lectularis) is a nocturnal parasite which feeds exclusively on mammalian blood, most commonly human.
The Key Facts Abut Bed Bugs…
Bed Bugs were almost completely eliminated from the UK in the early 1940’s due to widespread use of highly toxic chemicals such as DDT, which is no longer considered safe. In the years since, knowledge and understanding of this pest issue diminished.
However, in the last 10-15 years the numbers have started to increase again and we are now observing a Bed Bug epidemic with reported infestations in large cities such as London, Glasgow and Edinburgh increasing exponentially. This is now a common trend worldwide with increased infestations even being encountered in rural settings.
Bed Bugs (Cimex lectularis) are always associated with human habitation, hiding in furniture and structural cracks and crevices, emerging at night between 1-3am to feed. A Bed Bug will feed on human hosts by breaking the skin with its piercing mouth parts and taking a blood meal. The Bed Bug will feed for 5-10 minutes in up to 3 locations until completely engorged with blood beforereturning to its hiding place. During feeding the Bed Bug will inject its saliva through a separate tube to the feeding tube. This saliva contains anticoagulant and anesthetic properties as to help mask their presence.
Bed Bugs (Cimex lectularis) Significance of Control…
Bed Bugs (Cimex lectularis) are not known to be frequent carriers of disease or blood borne infections like HIV (see article) despite common fears. The most significant issue is the unpleasant irritation following their bites. The distress that can be caused by a Bed Bug infestation can be extreme with people reluctant to sleep in their beds or homes and in some cases the infestation leads to associated physiological trauma.
There is evidence to suggest that Bed Bug activity may be partly responsible for the lowering of social standards in areas of infested housing, where some householders are tempted to move away from the area to avoid the trouble and the stigma of the problem.
Bed Bug Infestations are also potentially devastating to the business and reputation of many hotels, hostels, guest houses, bed and breakfasts and the Hospitality Industry in general. In this setting the correct course of action and adequate Staff Training on Bed Bugs (Cimex lectularis) is essential to safe guard businesses. There have been many newspaper stories and legal cases in recent years to show the impact of Bedbugs on the Hospitality Industry.
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