A Beginner's Guide to Bed Bugs

The common bed bug or Cimex lectularius to use their Latin name have been feeding off humans for thousands of years.

Bed bugs love nothing more than to feast on human blood and they thrive in warm environments. They are typically 4-5mm in length and can grow up to 3mm wide. These dimensions coupled with the fact they’re most active at night, make them very difficult to spot with the naked eye.

Bed bug bites are most commonly found on the arms, neck and face – in other words the areas that are usually exposed while we sleep.

How to tell if you’ve got bed bugs

There are a number of tell-tale signs that you may have bed bugs. Whether it’s in your own home or a hotel/B&B you run, look out for the following clues that bed bugs are around:

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Pest population explosion feared as council spending cuts bite

Pest controller Bob Howard checks the attic of a house for evidence of rat or squirrel infestation. Photograph: Frantzesco Kangaris

“If you leave your front door open, don’t be surprised if there’s someone sitting in your living room,” sighs Bob Howard as he scans the walls of a house in commuter-belt Hertfordshire and tries to determine whether rats or squirrels are laying stealthy siege to its loft.

According to the veteran pest controller, rodents aren’t the only creatures making themselves comfortable in our midst: pest populations, including bedbugs, appear to be on the rise across the county just as the money needed to tackle them dwindles. Budget cuts of almost 30% mean that local authorities no longer have the funds to deal with pests. As they have no statutory duty to provide such services, some have reduced their pest control teams and outsourced the work to private contractors; others have introduced charges, while some have ceased offering services altogether.

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Bought from the Burnham-on-sea branch, Paul Streeter from Weare, Somerset, said his girlfriend was sick after the carcass was discovered in the baby leaf and rocket salad.

Neither he, nor his vegetarian wife, could believe their eyes, especially as his wife was seconds away from eating the decomposed and shrivelled bird. Upon investigation it was thought the bird was a baby starling.

There will be some red faces at Tesco, and their supplier, who said it would be conducting a “thorough investigation”.

To view the full TV report on the BBC click here.

An Edinburgh kebab shop owner has been fined £1350 after cooked beetle larva was found in a kebab sold from his takeaway.

City of Edinburgh Council food safety inspectors made a visit to The Olympus Takeaway on 13 October 2010, after a food complaint.

During the visit, the officers found that there was extensive evidence of both mouse and Larder beetle activity.

Mouse droppings were also found throughout the premises, mostly in the preparation room and basement. Both dead and live beetle larvae were found in the food preparation room.

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