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Bed Bugs

A traveller’s biggest fear is waking up in a hotel bed (or even your own bed!) with tell-tale bed bug bites and droplets of blood on the sheets. As more and more South Africans travel abroad and international travellers visit this country, so the chances of a bed bug infestation in South African hotels and homes increase.

Over 40% of respondents of Rentokil’s Travel Survey did not realise that bed bugs could travel with them once they have left an infested establishment. That shows the importance of having the experts in pest control as your bed bug fighting partner.

As part of our bed bug services, Rentokil also passes on our expertise in the form of training for your staff on bed bug early warning signs. Contact our team to find out more.

Signs of bed bugs

Bed bugs hide in tiny cracks and crevices and usually visit their host for a brief feed in the few hours just before dawn. To an expert pest controller, signs of bed bugs are easy to spot. But to the untrained and inexperienced eye identifying bed bugs is a little harder.

Here are a few of the common signs that there may bed bugs in one of your rooms.

Bed bug infestation signs

  • Dark/black stains - on the mattress and surrounding area from bed bug excreta.
  • Sweet scent - an unpleasant, sweet, sickly scent.
  • Small dark spots - small dark blood spots on bedding known as 'faecal pellets'.
  • Live insects - despite being small (adult are only 4-5mm long) it’s possible to spot live bed bugs and shed skins.
  • Blood spots - on the sheets or mattress.

Where will I find bed bugs?

  • Bed frames and headboard crevices
  • Mattress seams
  • Carpets and underlay
  • Skirting boards
  • Between timber floorboards
  • In cracked or broken plaster, behind peeling wallpaper
  • Inside electrical sockets and fittings
  • Drawers and cupboards
  • Wardrobes
  • Bedside cabinets

Have you noticed any of these signs?

An inspection by Rentokil will help to confirm a problem and enable our Technicians to offer the best solution using industry leading bed bug treatments.

Bed bug bites

One of the first signs that you may have slept in a bed with bed bugs are the bites you see after you wake up.

However, it is difficult to tell the difference between a bed bug bite and a bite from any other insect when you look at them in isolation to the other signs.

So, how do you know whether the bite you’ve received is from a bed bug? Here are a few things to look out for.

What do bed bug bites look like?

Looking at the pattern of bites, the location on your body and the approximate time they happened may help to correctly identify the culprit of your insect bites.

Bite Patterns

  • Bed bug bites are generally small, flat, or raised bumps on the skin. Redness, swelling, and itching commonly occur on these spots.

  • Several bites tend to appear in a line or row along an exposed area, such as an arm or leg as a single bed bug may bite more than once in the same area, if disturbed whilst feeding. Bites found in different parts of the body can indicate being bitten by several different bed bugs.

  • A small proportion of people can react very badly to their bites and develop a skin rash. The red spots which indicate the location of a bite may become raised and very itchy over time.

Bite Locations

Bed bug bites can occur anywhere on the body but are often close to blood vessels near the skin. Check for signs of bites on your:

  • neck
  • hands
  • arms
  • legs

When Do Bites Happen?

  • Bites often occur at night when we are sleeping.

  • Bed bug bites are unlikely to wake the host (victim) as bed bugs inject an anaesthetic whilst drawing blood from the host (victim).

Worried About Your Bites?

Prevention is better than cure! Look for signs of bed bugs as soon as you arrive in a hotel.

However, if you do happen to get bitten by a bed bug or two and the bites are causing you pain, seek medical treatment as soon as possible.

Bed bugs are not known to carry any infectious diseases but everyone will react to a bite differently.

Problem with Bed Bugs? Call Rentokil on 0861 117 852, or commercial customers can call on 0861 117 851. Alternatively, contact us for innovative bed bug control solutions to get rid of bed bugs safely and effectively.

1. Contact

We will arrange for your local branch to contact you

  • Local experts
  • We'll return you call as soon as possible (Mon - Fri)

2. Survey

We will discuss your pest problem, arrange a survey if necessary, and provide a quote and recommendations.

  • Appointment at a time convenient to you
  • Solutions tailored to your pest problem
  • SAPCA Certified

3. Treatment

Our SAPCA certified technicians will come out to provide your treatment

  • Appointment at a time convenient to you
  • Environmentally sensitive approach
  • Child & pet friendly treatments

4. Aftercare

We'll make as many visits as you require to ensure your problem is resolved

  • Guaranteed solutions
  • Prevention advice
Contact us today

Common bed bug species in South Africa

Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) shouldn’t be confused with dust mites. Bed bugs are nocturnal parasitic bugs that feed on blood from warm-blooded mammals.

Dust mites are microscopic spiders that feed on shed dead skin cells. Dust mites are not visible to the eye.

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