Pest Defence Bed Bug, Flea and Bird Mite
Bed bugs and fleas can enter your property in a number of ways, such as on pets, belongings, with visitors or guests, or you could bring them home after staying at a hotel or friend’s home. Once they’re in, they can spread quickly through all occupied rooms and even into neighbours’ homes.
The team at Pest Defence in Chelmsford have years of experience and expertise dealing with biting insect and bed bug infestations in Colchester, Brentwood, Southend and other parts of Essex. They begin the process by forming a positive identification of the insect or mite responsible.
Cat fleas are the mostly frequently encountered flea within homes and buildings although dog fleas and bird fleas are not uncommon. Fleas prefer to feed on their natural host but will feed on the blood of humans if their preferred animal is not readily available.
BiologyFleas are small black insects, typically 2.5-4mm long with vertically flattened bodies that allow them to move quickly through fur and carpet fibres. Their powerful legs enable them to jump up to 20cm vertically and 40cm horizontally, and their piercing mouthparts are used to penetrate skin and suck the blood. Adult fleas can lay up to 400 eggs which normally hatch within 1-2 weeks, and the small maggot-like larvae feed on organic material, including the faeces of adult fleas. The mature larvae pupates within a cocoon from which it hatches as the adult flea.
The emergence of the adult flea must coincide with the availability of its first blood meal and it is the vibration created by movement in the local environment that stimulates the flea to hatch and jump onto the passing animal. The flea can remain dormant in the pupal cocoon for up to one year waiting for a passing host. This explains the reason why homeowners and occupiers encounter large numbers of biting fleas when they enter or return to a property that has been empty for several weeks or months, which commonly occurs when people return from holiday or move into a new home.
Pest ControlPest Defence provides a safe and effective treatment for the eradication of fleas using approved professional insecticidal agents. Please call Pest Defence if you require more information.
Pest DefenceBird Mite
The bird mite, or poultry mite (Dermanyssus gallinae) is a blood feeding parasite of many wild and domestic birds including pigeons, starlings, and sparrows. They normally live in the birds’ nests but commonly migrate in large numbers into homes and buildings in search of an alternative blood meal after the birds have vacated the nest. Bird mite will feed on human blood but cannot breed or survive for long periods from a human blood meal. People experiencing a bird mite infestation will typically notice small red spots at the bite mark and a mild irritation and itching.
BiologyBird mite are very small in size (0.7- 2.0mm) but are highly active to the naked eye. Their colour varies from opaque to dark grey depending upon whether or not they have fed. Both nymphs and adults feed on blood and under favourable conditions the full life cycle from egg to adults can be completed in one week.
Pest ControlThe first objective when treating a suspected bird mite infestation is to gain a positive identification of the bird mite, and then to locate the source of the infestation, which is invariably a nearby birds’ nest. The birds’ nest should be removed and the nest site treated with an approved insecticide. The infested areas of the property should also be treated to eliminate migrating bird mite.
At Pest Defence, we are qualified and experienced to identify bird mite infestations and provide a safe and effective treatment for the eradication of bird mite in homes and buildings. Please call Pest Defence if you require more information.
Pest DefenceBed Bugs
Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are true human blood feeding parasites and are more commonly encountered today than for the past few decades. The vast majority of bed bug infestations are found in homes, hotels and other residences, predominantly in the bedrooms where they are closest to the sleeping human host. The bed bugs harbour in secure cracks and crevices during the night and emerge at night to feed on the sleeping host. Bed bugs infestations are commonly introduced on second hand furniture or equipment that has originated from an infested premises, or on personal belongings when returning from holiday, but it is known that bed bugs can also originate from neighbouring properties.
The majority of bed bugs will occupy harbourages on the bed frame or in folds of the mattress and head-board, but up to 40% will be elsewhere hiding in furniture, under carpets, skirting, behind pictures and wallpaper – anywhere that provides a dark and secure harbourage. The harbourages are not always easily found but are marked by dark faecal spotting, cast nymphal skins and live bed bugs.
Bed bugs do not have to feed every night, and can survive long periods, up to eighteen months, without a blood meal.
Bed bug bites can be found on any part of the body causing welts and irritation, but some people can be bitten without experiencing a reaction.
BiologyThe adult bed bug is approximately 5mm long and 3mm wide and has a flattened reddish brown body. The juvenile nymphs are naturally smaller ranging in length depending upon their stage of development – there are five nymphal stages and their colour ranges from opaque to reddish brown depending upon whether they have fed. In ideal conditions a female can lay up to 350 eggs during her 18 month life and the life cycle from egg to adult bed bug can be completed in 9-18 weeks. Both nymphal and adult bed bugs possess piercing-sucking mouthparts with which they feed on the blood of the human host.
Pest ControlThe first objective when treating a suspected bed bug infestation is the positive identification of bed bugs, which can be difficult in low level infestations. This requires a thorough inspection by a trained and experienced technician, and sometimes the employment of effective bed bug monitors. Once a bed bug infestation has been positively identified, the next objective is to identify the extent of the infestation and the location of bed bug harbourages. Then the treatment strategy can be applied.
At Pest Defence, we are qualified and experienced to identify bed bug infestations and provide a safe and effective treatment for their eradication. Please call Pest Defence if you require more information.
We will then be able to provide an effective treatment strategy against the biting insect infestation: a flea or bed bug control using legally approved insecticides and monitoring traps to achieve a fast, safe and efficient eradication of the problem.
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