Bed Bugs Australia
To put it bluntly, Australia has a bed bug problem. It wasn’t always this way though, with the majority of the bed bug population eradicated in the 1950s by insecticides. So why have the bed bugs made such a comeback in the last 22 years or so? What are the characteristics of Australian bed bugs compared to the rest of the world? How can you deal with a bed bug infestation at home in Sydney, Melbourne, or any other part of the country?
We’ve put together this article as a guide to understanding bed bugs in Australia, while also giving you some simple solutions to a problem in your home.
Bed Bugs in Australia – The Increase and Why
As stated earlier, bed bugs have only become a real problem again in Australia since the year 2000, which can be attributed to a variety of factors. According to a well-regarded survey, bed bug levels rose in Australia by around 4500% between 1999 and 2006, which some believe is partially as a result of harsher pesticides becoming less common the world over. Another common theory is that bed bugs have spread due to the increase in affordable air travel within those years.
Some would also argue that the massive increase of bed bugs in Australia can be at least somewhat traced back to the 2000 Sydney Olympics. With millions of travellers from all over the world converging in one place, many of whom stay in shared, budget accommodation, the city was ripe for an outbreak. The increase was already taking place, but many believe that the Olympic Games were the straw that broke the camel’s back so to speak.
Since the increase took place the Australian Government has taken steps to stem the spread and impact of bed bug infestations. Policies for controlling bed bugs, along with specified methods for extermination were outlined in A Code of Practice for the Control of Bed Bug Infestations in Australia, which has been applied as law since its inception (with various editions coming out in subsequent years).
Bed Bug Sprays in Australia
Since bed bugs became a rampant issue in the country, people have taken it upon themselves to deal with infestations in their homes. While a bed bug infestation can be dealt with by professionals, such as the team at Rentokil, there are a number of DIY solutions available, with sprays being a popular choice.
The Code of Practice document outlines many of the shortcomings of sprays, however, stating that despite their effectiveness when nozzled into specific spaces, they’re not to be used as “space sprays for bed bug elimination”, due to a lack of comprehensive efficacy. Another shortcoming of pesticide sprays is that even though they have been made less toxic, they still contain toxic chemicals which can be harmful to humans. This means that after a heavy spraying, your home might be uninhabitable for a little while, which is why we recommend using powdered pesticides, like the Bed Bug Killer Powder we stock in our Bed Bug Barrier range.
Bed Bug Bites in Australia
Bed bug bites in Australia don’t particularly differ from the bites you might get in any other part of the world, with the only difference being that you might get a few more in Aus than anywhere else. Understanding bed bug bites symptoms, along with how they look and the non-physical effects they can have on us is an important part of developing your mitigation strategy.
Bed bug bites are probably more irritating than painful, but if they’re allowed to build up, they will start to cause a real problem. Bed bugs will often bite in straight lines, with each bug taking a few bites to get its fill. Frustratingly, you can’t catch a bed bug in the act, as they’ll generally only feed at night and the bites themselves contain some natural anesthetic, meaning you’ll be fed on in your sleep and unable to feel it. While some may have a very minor reaction to the bites later on, some will be more intense, and it’s better not to find out firsthand.
Also, as often ignored, the association with bites and your bed can cause people to develop real anxiety issues, even leading to cases of insomnia. To avoid this outcome, it’s up to you to take measures against bed bugs, especially in Australia where they have such a profound presence.
Pictures of Bed Bugs in Australia
It’s important to know your enemy, which is why we’ve collated some pictures of bed bugs under a microscope, so you can have a better idea of what it is exactly that you’re coming up against. With a better idea of what to look for in your rooms and furniture, you should be better prepared to deal with an infestation. The common species of the bed bug is known as the Cimex lectualarius, which is the species showcased in these photos.
As you can see in this photo, bed bugs have a reddish-brown colour, pincers, and 6 legs. Their shape is ovular, however, they become more rounded and swollen after a feeding.
In this photo you can see the size of a bed bug on the human body, in comparison to the tiny, almost invisible hairs found all over the skin. This demonstrates how hard they can be to see.
This is an adult bed bug caught in the act of feeding, which as you can see is performed with a very thin, needle-like beak.
This photo further demonstrates the size of an adult bed bug, making it clear that one is only around 5mm in length, which means you have to be very meticulous when searching for them.
Our Bed Bug Treatment Methods
At Bed Bug Barrier, we pride ourselves on our innovative methods for dealing with bed bug infestations, bypassing harsh chemical sprays and pyrotechnics for organic, home-friendly techniques. With our poison-free products and methodology, our aim is to reduce the cost of pest control, make it easier for the average joe, provide eco-friendly solutions, and generally educate people on bed bug issues.
Our methods and products come in four distinct formats:
1. Bed Bug Killers: Eco-friendly, non-toxic powders and steamers used to kill bed bugs.
2. Bed Bug Barriers: Easily installed pieces of hardware for your bed legs to kill bed bugs and their nests.
3. Mattress Covers: Covers to trap and kill bed bugs on your mattress.
4. Luggage Encasements: Encasements to protect your belongings during travel.
These formats could also be considered the right order in which to treat an infestation.
Our Bed Bug Traps, Barriers, & Steamers
Our flagship method for dealing with the creepy crawlies is our namesake Bed Bug Barriers, which take the form of plastic barriers for bed installation and our mattress covers. These are physical DIY solutions, focused on keeping bed bugs off your bed and also killing them so they can’t survive for very long.
Bed Bug Barriers in Australia:
The plastic barriers in our range are designed to keep bed bugs from climbing up the legs of the bed, keeping them further away from your body, AKA their meal ticket. They’re cheap, easy to install, and effective. This range also includes a tape that uses the same principle, creating a slippery surface that the non-flying bugs can’t clamber up.
Mattress Encasement Traps:
Along with our barriers, we’ve also designed special mattress encasements that can be used to trap and kill bed bugs once and for all. If you’re aware that your mattress is infested, covering it in one of these encasements will keep the bed bugs in, meaning they can’t reach your skin and therefore your blood. Their lifespan without food is greatly reduced, which along with their eggs being hatched in captivity should do wonders for dealing with your infestation.
However, these methods are more solutions to the issue of bed bugs in your actual bed, but along with our powders, we also provide more preventative, aggressive methods for getting rid of the pests.
Bed Bug Steamers Australia:
We use a method that differs from commercial steamers, being less intense in terms of blowing power, much less expensive, and significantly more effective. With exposure to temperatures of 45 degrees Celsius or higher, bed bugs will die quickly, which is what our steamer provides, without being so strong that it simply blows and spreads the bugs around.
Now that you know more about the history of bed bugs in Australia, what they’re capable of, and how to deal with them, you’ll be better prepared than ever if you have to face an infestation. Visit our website for more on our products, along with various blogs to educate you on the creepy critters in detail.
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