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What Bugs Are Making You Itch

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What’s Making You Itch?

So what exactly is making you itch, could it be bedbugs, lice, mites or even fleas, these are all common pest a pest control company in Brisbane would come across on a daily basis.

There’s nothing worse than being bitten by something in your home; when this occurs the first place most people turn to is the internet or more precisely “Google”

The most common phrases people type into Google are “how to get rid of bedbugs” “something is bitting me” “what do bedbugs look like” or what do mites look like” these terms can bring up a whole heap of misleading information.

The one thing I’m seeing these days is that there’s a lot of misleading information out there on the internet.

I was reading a blog just the other day that another Brisbane pest control company had posted; and they were saying that: Bedbugs” have wings.

Bedbugs do NOT have wings, this I can 110% guarantee you, and I personally have done more bedbugs jobs than most Brisbane pest control companies during my time as a pest controller.

Bedbugs are blamed the most when bites and itches found on people these days, and yes they will bite and make you feel very itchy, but it can be other pests also.

How Do I Know What’s Biting Me:

Most homeowners misidentify the pest that is keeping them awake at night or making them itch, this is down to one thing “lack of knowledge”

To work out exactly what’s biting you; you first need to have a solid understanding of the many different types of pests we have here in sunny Brisbane.

A professional pest controller will ask some questions to the occupants of the property to try and build up a picture of what sort of bugs they are dealing with.

One other very important aspect; is to do a thorough inspection of the property and not just the room where the problem is, but all of the rooms.

By asking the occupants of the home some questions and then doing an inspection, it makes it much easier for an experienced pest controller to identify where the problem is coming from.

Once we understand where the issue is we can then narrow it down as to what sort of pest we are dealing with.

A well-experienced pest controller can tell by the bite marks on the host as to what sort of pest may be present.

Picture of an adult bedbug

Bedbug

How To Identify a Pest or Bug:

The most obvious way to identify a pest is to see it with your own eyes; although many customers have called me up saying they have bedbugs, when in fact it turns out to be something completely different.

Some pests are less than 0.05 of a millimetre way too small to see properly with the naked eye, so in this case, we would use a 10X or greater magnifying lens.

To see a pest such as lice or mites you just have to use a magnifier, by doing this it at least narrows it down to a certain species.

Once an insect is blown up by 10, 20 or 30x’s; identification can be made by looking at the body structure the leg structure and the type of antennae and mouthparts they have.

Common pests that cause itchiness and bites:

I will now list the main bugs that will bite you in your bed and also in other rooms in the home; this will give most a better idea of what they may be dealing with.

Let’s start with my favourite the bedbug:

Ok so as I’ve mentioned earlier in the post the bedbug gets the blame for many bites and itches, this is because they are the most well know.

If you have a bedbug’s problem you will firstly be getting bitten, usually, there will be 3 to 4 bites in a row, as bedbugs do like to test bite their host first.

The other tell-tale sign of bedbugs is blood spotting on the sheets, this is from the bites they inflict on their host, and this is something we always check for during an inspection for bedbugs.

Bedbug’s bites are found all over the body and feeding occurs only during the early hours of the night.

Although bedbugs are mainly found on the mattress they can also harbour in other location within a room where the host is sleeping.

Locations can be light switches, bed frames, cupboards, behind painting or pictures, carpet edges, skirting boards, behind tears in wallpaper, and pretty much anywhere they can lay their eggs.

So the most important place to check is the mattress, if they are there they will be in the edging of the mattress, they can also hide in tears and rips within a mattress, this does make spotting them a bit harder.

The mattress needs a very thorough examination, but I can tell you, without doubt, if you have bedbugs they WILL be in or around the mattress.

Bedbugs are very visible they are about 4-5mm long and reddish brown; they do NOT have wings and they can only crawl, and they crawl pretty fast.

If you have bedbugs you will definitely see them during a thorough inspection.

Now let’s have a look at mites:

There are a few different types of mites, “the starling mite” “the poultry red mite” “the Bryobia mite” “the straw mite” “the scabies mite” the grass itch mite”

All mites, if they come in to contact with humans, will cause itching, the most serious of course is the scabies mite, and the scabies mite will need to be treated with creams being applied to the skin.

Picture of a flour mite feeds in flour

Flour Mite

Where scabies mites are a problem a visit to the Doctors is essential.

Mites range in size from 0.1 to 2.0mm so they are very hard to see with the naked eye, in most cases the aid of a microscope is needed to give a positive identification.

If you have very good eyesight you may be able to see some species of mite, but most of the time the aid of a microscope is necessary.

Mites of all species can cause inflamed swelling and itchy skin sometimes for just a few hours or can lead to days and in the case of the scabies mite weeks.

Mites will bite during the day and night depending on the species and can feel worse when the host is in bed; this is certainly the situation in the case of the scabies mite.

The symptoms of mites are pretty much the same as lice; that is they both can course serve itchiness and irritation.

A picture of a straw itch mite

Straw Itch Mite

Now Let’s Look at Lice:

There are around 3000 different species of lice throughout the world, but only about 200 of them are found in Australia.

The more common ones encountered are “body louse” “crab louse” “head louse” all of which can cause skin irritation and itchiness.

The adults are between 1.25 to 3.5mm long they don’t have wings and their body is flattened.

Lice have to spend their entire life on the host; they don’t survive for very long if they are separated from their host.

Much the same as the mite the lice are very difficult to correctly identify without the aid of a microscope, a 10X plus microscope is best.

Lice are bloodsuckers and will feed during the day and night and will make the host itch.

Different species of lice will harbour on different parts of the body, for instance, the crab lice are found in the pubic region and the head lice is found on the head or in the hair.

Hygiene is the main cause of a lice infestation and the most common species is the head lice and crab lice, both of which can be treated by contacting your doctor or pharmacist.

The crab louse and the head louse as mentioned earlier range in size from 1.25 to 3mm in length so a personal examination will most certainly identify them.

Picture of the different lice from the body louse, the head louse, the crab louse

Top: Body Louse Top Right: Head Louse Bottom: Crab Louse

Conclusion:

So we now know that most pests that cause us to itch insanely and leave us with bite marks can be identified with the right information and a careful inspection of a problem area.

It’s always best to have a local professional pest control company out to have a look and properly identify problem pests in and around the home.

Where certain pests such as bedbugs, mites and lice are left untreated it can very easily and rapidly turn into a serious infestation.

If you have any questions regarding a particular pest you may be having trouble with around your home please feel free to send us a picture via our SEND A PHOTO page and we will help you to identify it.

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