With the increase in the number of international travellers, people moving more frequently, overcrowded living conditions and the lack of effective insecticides, the number of bed bug infestations have increased significantly.
Although their mobility is restricted to crawling they will infest adjacent rooms or neighbouring buildings. There are two species of bed bugs in Australia Climax lectularius (Common bed bug) & Cimex hemipterus (Tropical bed bug).
Where are Bed Bugs found?
In luggage and clothing. In mattresses, especially in the seams and behind mattress buttons.
In bed frames and in and behind headboards especially if fixed to the wall.
In and behind furniture i.e. bed side tables, closets, clothing draws, wardrobes, book shelves etc.
Along and under the edge of wall-to-wall carpeting and under carpet tack strips.
Inside electrical and electronic fittings and equipment i.e. light fittings, inside clocks, phones, televisions and smoke detectors.
In upholstered chairs and sofas (especially in the seams, cushions, cushion buttons).
Bed Bug Prevention
Prevention is better than cure and in many cases improving standards in hygiene and housekeeping will make premises less favourable for bed bug infestations. The following guidelines will also help prevent bed bug infestations.
When travelling, inspect the hotel bed and furniture especially the mattress and bed head. Keep luggage (suitcases) and personal items away from the bed and off the floor.
Avoid placing suitcases and backpacks in or on areas that are used by many people, unfortunately sometimes this is unavoidable when flying and your luggage needs to be checked in, or when you are on a cruise or it has to go into a luggage department.
Before packing for home, check along the seams and folds of luggage for live bed bugs.
When returning home, unpack luggage outside or place clothes directly into a plastic bag or when unpacking, wash laundry right away; and closely inspect items that can’t be washed or dried
Be sure to thoroughly check all second hand, used or rented furniture for bedbugs before bringing it into your home. This particularly applies to bedroom furniture.
If you suspect you have been around bedbugs, prevent further spread by immediately washing and drying your clothing or isolating items that you suspect have been infested.