It turns out that two things people like: safer pesticides and world travel, are to blame for the resurgence in bedbug populations. Back in the days when it was thought old-fashioned insecticides like DDT weren’t all that dangerous to humans, they became very scarce indeed. But in recent decades, the particularly harmful pesticides have been taken off the market because we recognize their dangers. The hardy little bugs then gradually became resistant to the less harmful pesticides, turning them into tough-to-kill little monsters.
At the same time, global travel became the norm rather than the exception, and budget travellers making use of motels and backpackers hostels may have been the unwitting carriers who brought bed bugs into their homes after returning from their adventures.
“Researchers found that bedbugs just love dirty laundry, and you know how it is when you’re travelling. There are always a few items of dirty washing in your luggage. So if you’re staying in a place with tropical bedbugs, a relatively new species on the Australian scene, and there’s dirty laundry in your bag, you might just pick up some unwelcome hitchhikers,” says Mr Maddocks.
Now that they’re back and breeding, just about any home can become a bedbug’s buffet. According to Maddocks, a person hardly feels the bite: “When they find a host, they inject an anaesthetic at the same time as delivering the bite. So you only feel it later on when you begin to itch. But there are several insects that deliver itchy bites, so the next step is to look for the culprits.”
Bedbugs like to lurk in dark places, hiding in the seams or beading at the edges of mattresses – but that’s just the start. Once they become well-established, they’ll take over just about any crevice, and since they like a short commute, it will initially be near the bed. The newly hatched insects are very small and hard to spot, but it’s usually possible to see the adults easily enough. However, finding them is just the start.
“There are effective ways to treat bedbugs, but as soon as you begin to hurt them, they raise the alarm using pheromone signals, and the survivors nearby will be quick to move out unless you’ve blocked every possible exit. They’re just biding their time. They’ll be back to catch you napping,” says Lee.
Nevertheless, if someone is in the early stages of a bedbug infestation, they might just be able to nail the bugs themselves. High temperatures will kill them, so applying a steam iron to your mattress could do the trick. Be sure to heat treat bedding too and wash it afterwards to make extra sure. Small items can spend the night in the freezer before washing, and of course, thorough vacuum cleaning can help to get rid of them. Dispose of any waste or discarded items by sealing them in plastic first to prevent escapees from getting out.
Completely getting rid of an established bedbug population is a tricky business. “They move into the sneakiest spots – even behind wallpaper,” says Mr Maddocks. “And there’s also the problems of eggs lying dormant until the right conditions come along. A lot of people say they think they’ve got their bedbug problem under control, only to find it recurring.”
The good news is that bedbugs don’t carry disease – but they will disturb your sleep and leave you full of itchy bites. If everything has been done to control bedbugs but they keep coming back, it’s time to get professional help in the battle of the bug. “It’s a process rather than an event,” says Mr Maddocks. “We need to follow up to make sure we’ve really got them, but we always win in the end.”
For more information on all things pest control and ridding your home of unwanted guest including bedbugs or to learn more about how Richards Pest Control can keep your home properly maintained, visit the Best Pest Control In Gold Coast & Tweed | Richards Pest Control or call Lee and his team for a no obligation quotation on (07) 5533 9512.
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It may horrify you to know that there are thousands of species of cockroach out there, but the vast majority of them aren’t household pests. “Most cockroach species are perfectly innocuous,” says Maddocks, “and they have an important ecological niche. You can consider them as a team on nature’s recycling crew that prepares dead organic matter for the important decay process that cycles nutrients through ecosystems.”
“Our household pest species include the Oriental Cockroach, the German Cockroach, the Australian Cockroach as well as the Brownbanded, and Smoky Brown Cockroaches. All of these can be a problem in Australian homes, but the German cockroach is by far the hardest to deal with.”
Anyone who has had cockroaches in their home will know that cockroaches are far more likely to be seen running away or lurking in unexpected places than to be spotted just hanging out in the open.
“If we consider what their role in nature is, it’s easy enough to understand why cockroaches like hiding in dark places and damp areas. In nature, they’d be hiding under leaf debris or under decaying tree stumps. They can’t defend themselves against predators, so they rely on concealment and forage under cover of darkness,” says Maddocks.
“Unfortunately, we inadvertently create perfect cockroach habitats in our homes. There’s food, there’s moisture, and there are plenty of dark places to hide away. And in case you were wondering, just keeping your home spotless isn’t enough. They’ll eat things we wouldn’t consider as being food, too.”
You’ve probably heard that if you see one cockroach, there are probably hundreds or even thousands of them. Their prolific breeding is one of the reasons why one can end up with literally thousands of cockroaches in a single home.
Just one cockroach female can produce hundreds of young during a relatively short space of time. They mature quickly and begin to reproduce too, so the numbers grow exponentially. A single female can produce up to 50 eggs at a time and will do so between four and eight times in her lifespan. A bit of simple mathematics shows us that just 10 female cockroaches can produce up to 4,000 young. That’s a lot of cockroaches and we aren’t even counting the roachy grandchildren!
“Yuk factor” isn’t the only reason we shouldn’t let cockroaches establish themselves in our homes. Despite the fact that cockroaches are obsessive groomers, they can and do carry bacteria around with them.
Apart from their scuttling, germ-spreading habits, they also leave droppings everywhere. Pest experts like Mr Maddocks use that to help identify cockroach infestations, but as you can imagine, having cockroach droppings around the place isn’t exactly a healthy state of affairs.
“How bad is it? Pretty bad! I’ve read that apart from more common germs, cockroaches can even carry polio, typhoid, and even leprosy,” says Mr Maddocks. “Given that these are rare diseases in modern-day Australia, that would be unlikely in your household, but it underlines the fact that cockroaches and potentially harmful bacteria go together.”
According to Maddocks, allergy sufferers and children vulnerable to allergies are the biggest sufferers. Cockroaches shed their skins as they grow, and dust containing cockroach proteins can trigger allergies and asthma.
We at Richards Pest Control would like to let everyone know that we are still operating during the government’s latest shut down policies.
All of our technicians have now completed the COVID-19 training for infection control through the Australian Government Department of Health and been issued our Certificate of Accreditation.
We are staying up to date with the latest developments with the COVID-19 virus and implementing measures where required. When out on a job our technicians ensure all due care is taken to ensure the well-being of our customers.
We don’t know how long this shut down will be enforced or if the government will release further measures to try and contain the virus.
What we do know is that by holding off on treatments can end up been quite costly. For example if you hear rodents in your ceiling by ignoring the issue could lead to severe electrical wiring or plumbing damage, or not having a termite inspection or treatment carried out the termites can move throughout your house resulting in a costly repair bill.
During these next coming months if active termites are found during an inspection or you are interested in a termite barrier we can now offer a payment plan as we also understand that unexpected expenses at this time are difficult possible to cover.
For more information please contact our office on 07 5533 9512 or via email at [email protected]