Small, ovoid-shaped, and wingless insects are bed bugs. The insects resemble apple seeds in size. The clusters of white eggs are present. The size of the eggs is comparable to a pinhead. Bed bugs can conceal themselves in a variety of microscopic spaces, including cracks, crevices, electrical outlets, box springs, bed frames, headboards, behind wallpaper, and other items on the floor or surrounding beds thanks to their flattened bodies. Bed bugs are unable to fly or jump, and they cannot climb metal or highly polished surfaces. Bed bugs normally only consume blood once every week, though they can go months without eating. They live for about a year, during which the females are capable of producing 200–400 eggs, which hatch in about 10 days. The insects typically emerge at night to prey on human and animal blood, biting their victims as they slumber.
How does infestation happen?
Bed bugs can migrate quite quickly through plumbing, electricity, and hallways. They may climb onto clothing or into bags. Typically, they feed at night and seek cover during the day. These critters prefer the dark and frequently hide close to the bed. They look for a human host up to 20 feet away.
Who is in danger?
Anywhere that humans reside or visit, bed bugs can be found. Employees, janitors, visitors, customers, vendors, clients, and others may unintentionally bring bed bugs into the office. Those who handle bedding, clothing, or furniture where bed bugs may be hiding are potentially more at danger. Those who work in or visit hospitals, long-term care facilities, shelters, rooming houses, hotels, motels, and apartments include firefighters, health care professionals, housing management personnel, housekeeping and custodial employees, police, and social workers.
What signs are present?
Bed bugs are not known to transmit diseases, and the bites are typically not painful. The presence of bite marks while sleeping on the face, neck, arms, hands, or any other body parts can be a sign of a bed bug infestation. A bed bug bite, however, can take up to 14 days to manifest, depending on the individual. Bed bugs inject an anesthetic and an anticoagulant into the victim's bloodstream when they bite, making it difficult for the victim to feel the bite. Others may experience minor skin reactions, while other people do not respond at all to the bites. The bite marks resemble those left by mosquitoes or fleas; they are a slightly swollen, red region that may itch and be uncomfortable. Rarely, some patients may experience serious allergic responses. Try not to scratch the bites, and keep the bite locations tidy to prevent infection. Antihistamines and antiseptic creams or lotions may be helpful. Consult your healthcare physician for suggestions.
How can I identify bed bugs?
You may come across bed bugs when working in a client's house or while traveling for work, or you may find them in some workplaces. It can be challenging to see bed bugs, but you can try to look around electrical outlets and light switches, as well as soft and hard furniture (such as the headboard, nightstand, mattresses, and box springs). Check for bugs, eggs, or blood stains or droppings along seams, between cushions, in the folds of blankets or drapes, etc. One alternative is to scratch these spots with a sharp item (like a credit card) to spook any potential bugs. Inform your supervisor if you think there may be bed bugs at the office. You can notify your joint health and safety committee or health and safety representative of your concerns if they are not promptly handled. By speaking with your neighborhood public health department or a pest treatment professional, you might be able to determine whether you have bed bugs.
How may bed bug infestations be avoided?
The easiest approach to avoid bed bugs is to check frequently for indications of an infestation. When purchasing used furniture, be cautious. Before using, carefully examine each item and wash or clean it. Reduce clutter since bed bugs love it whether it's at home, school, or the office. Bed bugs will have less places to hide thanks to this housekeeping effort, and you won't have as many chances to bring them home with you. Separate your possessions from those of others when storing them. Consider keeping your items in a separate plastic bin if bed bugs are a known issue at your place of employment or in your child's place of education. Be on the lookout for bed bugs in places like break rooms, storage spaces, upholstered furniture-filled offices or lounges, or areas where people might relax. When arriving at work, think about changing into business attire and removing your shoes before leaving (when there is a risk of infestation).
What duties does the employer have?
Employers are required to take all reasonable steps to protect the health and safety of the employee under the occupational health and safety Acts and any related Regulations. Based on a workplace risk assessment, the following precautions can be implemented to avert bed bug infestations and safeguard the worker: Establish reporting guidelines and regulations for bed bug infestations (on-site and off-site workplaces). Keep a note of any infestations, noting the location, date, and time, as well as the size of the infestation. All employees should receive bed bug education, including details on how to recognize them, how to spot an infestation, and how to prevent them. Utilize a licensed pest management service provider to carry out integrated pest management activities. If necessary, give workers coveralls, shoe covers, or gloves. To safeguard the tools or possessions of the workforce, offer sealable plastic containers.
How are bed bugs eliminated?
Bed bug infestations are commonly treated by chemical spraying. An integrated pest management system which combines a variety of techniques and products is usually the best option. Information on the safety data sheet should be read and used as directed. To reduce exposure to the chemicals being used for treatment/spraying, it should not occur while employees are in the area. Always follow safe work procedures when working with or near pesticides. See the series of documents about pesticides for more information. Other physical methods of controlling bedbugs include steam cleaning, vacuuming, heating, freezing, washing, or throwing out items. Steam cleaning should be done before vacuuming, as the steam will flush any bedbugs out of hiding. Heat treatments should be done by professionals. Whichever treatment is used, it will only be effective if physical control methods and preventative measures are used together. If you suspect bed bugs have entered your suitcase or clothing, prevention steps include to unpack outdoors, wash clothes using hot water, dry everything in the dryer at the highest temperature for at least 30 minutes, and vacuum your luggage thoroughly."""