Bed bug protection
HealthGuard aims to prevent the growth, infestation, and spread of nuisance pests in a way that is effective and safe for those using the product. Globally, bed bugs are among the top-ranking nuisance pests affecting humans, and can be incredibly difficult to manage without an effective protection product such as HealthGuard Cimex-Pro; our tailored solution for those requiring protection from bed bugs in a range of settings.
As far as pests go, it can be difficult to know what it is that you’re dealing with at first, especially with small pests such as bed bugs. On this page, we will lift the lid on bed bugs and bed bug protection by explaining everything you need to know about these increasingly problematic pests.
What are bed bugs?
When we refer to bed bugs, we are talking about a group of parasitic insects that make up the cimicid family. Cimex lectularius is the scientific name for the ‘common’ variety of bed bug, which is known for its exclusive taste for human blood.
In the early-to-mid 20th century, bed bugs were almost completely eradicated in many parts of the developed world. Reliant on pesticide products that were later found to be unsafe and banned by regulators, or that enabled bed bug populations to develop hereditary resistance to traditional pesticides, this eradication was short-lived. In recent decades, an explosion in the prevalence of bed bug infestations has been observed, including in developed nations. As a result, bed bugs are once again considered one of the most serious nuisance pest problems plaguing human populations across the globe.
These small (4 to 5 millimetres long), light brown or reddish-coloured insects are oval-shaped and start life as tiny semi-translucent nymphs that can be difficult to spot. A key feature of the bed bug is a change in colouration after feeding, with bed bugs at various stages of the life cycle becoming visibly red in colour after consuming the blood of a human host. In addition, bed bugs are known to emit a scent like that of rotting raspberries, which may be related to their use of pheromones in communication. This characteristic ‘bed bug scent’ enables an infestation to be identified with the use of special equipment, or in some cases, specially trained bed bug detection dogs.
Bed bugs are so named due to their preference for warm, cozy indoor habitats (especially on, near, or inside beds used by humans) where they have access to a ready supply of their favourite food. As a result of countless generations of preying on sleeping humans, these pests have adapted themselves to the point that they often go unnoticed until their unwitting hosts begin to show symptoms associated with bed bug bites (also known as cimicosis).
Bed bug bites (cimicosis)
Bed bugs are able to pierce human skin using specialised mouthparts, which also deposit the bugs’ saliva into the wound. Bed bug saliva is known to contain chemical compounds with painkilling and anticoagulant effects, used to ease the extraction of blood from human hosts.
The effects of bed bug bites vary depending on the number and frequency of bites, individual differences in allergic response to the bites, as well as environmental factors and any contamination that may be present in the bed bugs. Some people develop a very uncomfortable, itchy red rash after being bitten by bed bugs. In addition to the pain and discomfort caused by bed bug bites, the fear of being bitten may disrupt the victim’s sleeping habits, and in some cases can lead to traumatic psychological reactions.
Adult bed bugs typically feed once every 5-10 days. However, if an infestation is present, the host is likely to suffer almost constant bites and attempts to attach and feed by the infesting bed bugs. Symptoms of bed bug bites are not uniform and some people may not develop any symptoms at all, though the annoyance and pain associated with being bitten by bed bugs is still present. It is not uncommon for symptoms to take days or longer to become noticeable following the initial biting episode. Additionally, the swelling and rash-like symptoms of bed bug bites may fade over time as the victim becomes sensitised to the inflammatory compounds and irritants present in bed bug saliva.
Bed bug bites are known to cause a range of unpleasant symptoms, including allergic-type reactions and skin rashes that can become inflamed or infected if not treated appropriately. For this reason, it is always best to prevent an infestation and the resulting bed bug bites before things progress to this stage.
Bed bug infestation
Adult bed bugs can survive for a year without feeding, making them durable, relatively long-lived pests that can be carried from place to place by people. Attracted to the body heat and carbon dioxide emitted by humans, bed bugs will quickly converge on a suitable host if they are inadvertently delivered through infested items such as clothes, furniture, luggage etc.
A number of risk-factors exist for developing a bed bug infestation, including infestation of neighbouring or near-by homes or buildings, as well as wild animals or pets with bed bugs clinging to them.
The only solution with regard to an infestation is the eradication of the bed bugs themselves, either by mechanical means such as heat-treatment or vacuuming of affected surfaces to remove the bed bugs. But even this method is not always effective, as bed bugs tend to hide in areas the naked eye cant see. The most effective method is prevention, which can be achieved through the use of an appropriate biocidal product that safely and effectively prevents the bed bug infestation.
Bed bug protection and preventing infestation
The effects of bed bug infestation can be enormously costly for affected businesses, particularly those in the hospitality, hotel and leisure sector. In the United States, the rapid rise in reported incidents of bed bug infestation and related problems has resulted in changes to public health laws. Since the early 1990s, it has been observed that the newly-resurgent bed bugs were able to spread quickly through hotel/motel and apartment complexes made up of connecting units. These infestations are difficult to control once the bed bugs have become established, as a few dormant individuals may survive and appear in an adjoined unit, attracting survivors from unsuccessful eradication attempts and restarting the infestation.
Due to the negative impacts a bed bug infestation is likely to have on the physical and psychological wellbeing of those occupying affected unit and motel complexes, public health laws in the US now include legal requirements for management/lessors to use a ‘professional level of response’ when a bed bug infestation is discovered on their premises. These concerns about the negative commercial and health effects of bed bug infestation are relevant across the globe, regardless of legal initiatives, and highlight the need for safe and effective measures to prevent bed bugs from becoming a problem in the first place.
Preventative measures are the preferred means of addressing the threat of a bed bug infestation. Using an appropriate bed bug treatment product ensures that favoured sites for infestation, including beds, carpets, or other material are unsuitable for bed bugs and will prevent them from establishing themselves.
The above is particularly true if you have reason to believe that your premises is prone to infestation problems, which might be through the presence of old/loose carpet and/or floor surfaces and an abundance of nooks and crannies which bed bugs can hide in when they aren’t feeding.
Unfortunately, many of insecticidal products and pesticides are not effective in preventing or eradicating a bed bug infestation, and it is the bugs’ resistance to these products that has led to their astounding resurgence in recent decades. It is very rare to find a commercial exterminator who will promise to eradicate a bed bug infestation in one or two visits, as initial attempts to use pesticides often result in dispersal of the bed bugs throughout the premises. This makes them more difficult to find and eradicate, especially seeing as adult bed bugs can go up to a year or longer without a meal.
The anti-bed bug solution
Due to the difficulty of detecting bed bugs before an infestation is already well-established, in addition to the ineffectiveness of pesticides and insecticidal products (not to mention health risks), the only solution to bed bug infestation is a non-invasive, combined treatment product such as HealthGuard Cimex-Pro. Able to counter and prevent the growth of microbes, dust mites, and bed bug infestations, HealthGuard Cimex-Pro renders foam, fabric, and other material inhospitable to unwanted pests. Formulated and manufactured in compliance with the EU’s stringent BPR requirements, HealthGuard Cimex-Pro is a safe and effective solution for those with a commercial, domestic, or industrial interest in preventing and treating bed bug infestation in a range of settings.
So when bed bugs, mites, microbes, and other nuisance pests threaten to take hold in any setting, give yourself the peace of mind that comes with choosing the world’s leading product in anti-bed bug solutions. By doing so, you will save yourself the time, money, and effort spent on fruitless attempts at eradicating these hardy and persistent pests in whatever setting you encounter them in.