Bed bugs are a growing problem here in Singapore as well as around the world. The reason is due to high-density urban populations which facilitate the ease of spread of bed bugs. Moreover, bed bugs are difficult to eradicate and exterminate due to their being hardy in nature.

Bed bugs are usually 5mm long. They feed on the blood of mammals. Before feeding, they are flat and light brown in colour. However, their body is engorged and reddish after feeding. Bed bugs are usually active at night and hide during the day. They are attracted to the warmth of our bodies and the carbon dioxide in our breath.

Bed bugs usually hide in the crevices of the bed frame and in the seams of mattresses. Moreover, they could also hide in the surrounding furniture near the bed. Signs of bed bug infestation include the presence of live or dead bed bugs, blood stains, cast skins, bite marks and unpleasant scents.

Management Strategies

Inspection

Treatment

The flow of steam at high degree Celsius to eliminate all stages of bed bugs. The use of steam and sanitizing solution enabled the de-aggregation of the viscous substance that binds eggs to surfaces and the removal of the typical smell of bed bugs. It can be delivered in the presence of humans.
A residual insecticide is sprayed on bed bug hiding and harbourage sites, and along the indoor perimeter of the premises.

Preventive Measures

  • Inspect bed and furniture and keep the luggage off the floor and bed when staying in the public accommodations. Check luggage and clothing before leaving.
  • Check rented/used furniture before bringing back to the premises or if possible, avoid using them.
  • Use vinyl-covered or seamless mattress. If a box spring is being used, encase it too.
  • Avoid using headboard if possible.
  • Replace plush furniture with metal and plastic, or items easily cleaned with water and soap.
  • If bed bug is an issue, wash items (e.g., bedding materials, clothing, curtains, rugs) and dry on the highest setting.
  • Seal cracks, crevices, voids, gaps, holes in walls, floors, window frames, and furnishings.
  • Repair cracks in plaster, repair or remove any loose wallpaper, and tighten light switch cover.