Firstly let’s begin with how this day started. We had received a call into the office asking if we could visit an address in Newbury to look at a ladybird problem in the bedroom. This made us think that this would be the Harlequin Ladybird clustering in the corner of the room or even in the windows – a very common sight at this time of year.

When we arrived, an elderly gentleman on walking sticks opened the door and invited us in. We made our way upstairs ready to inspect the bedroom, identify the problem and treat accordingly, however we were greeted with a sight that totally shocked us.

In all the years we have been providing pest control services in Newbury, we have never seen a sight like this. On entering the room, we saw bedbugs crawling up the walls, over the ceiling and across the bed – literally hundreds of these parasitic blood sucking bedbugs not even bothering to hide but right out in the open. It was easy to see why they thought they might be Ladybirds because they were so red with blood sucked from their victims!

Treating bedbugs has to be done in a very structured and systematic way, using tried and tested methods, so the first thing we needed to do was back out of the room and place a barrier strip with a chemical barrier spray across the doorway, to ensure that when the treatment starts there is no escape.

Once this was done, we donned the chemical suits, the slip over boots and sprayed our outer footwear protection with insecticide. Then the job started.

Firstly, we checked the bedside cabinets, slowly opening the drawers, emptying the contents, checking for parasites, then sprayed the cracks and corners to kill any juvenile and eggs.

Once complete, it was on to the bed. On removal of the sheet we saw the mattress was crawling with all the stages of bedbugs, including eggs, cast skins and young. The base unit was beyond words.  In fact it was almost moving on its own!

It was at this point, we needed to go and speak to the client. Normally, with most infestations, you do not have to throw away a bed or mattress but instead use mattress protectors specially designed for this type of scenario, however with such an infestation there really was no choice but to dispose of it. So we went downstairs to give them the bad news that they had an major infestation of bedbugs and that they needed to dispose of the bed and all the furniture and carpets.

As we said before the elderly gent could hardly walk and his wife was doubled over with arthritis and Parkinson’s disease. It turns out that they both had been sleeping downstairs in chairs and settee because they just could not face calling a pest technician as they felt ashamed that they had bedbugs.

A big part of this job is dealing with people, and this is a classic case of that. We sat them down and went through bedbugs with them, how they operate and move from home to home etc. This is nothing to do with cleanliness or filth, which is what this dear old couple thought, so once we had put their minds at ease, we could get on with dealing with the problem for them.

Once we knew the bed was going, we really set to work on the room. Knowing everything was going to be replaced allowed us to spray everything, including the mattress and base (mattresses are never sprayed by Rapid Pest Control). Once the main chemical spraying had been done, we proceeded with a ULV fog treatment of the room to ensure all insect life is killed, before shutting the door and sealing it for a week.

When dealing with bedbugs, is important to look at adjoining rooms to make sure they are not infested too, but amazingly in this case the other rooms were all fine.

The following week we returned to inspect the results of our treatment only to find hundreds of dead bedbugs all over the room. We inspected the bed and cupboards and all life had expired, allowing us then to bag up all the furniture, bed and mattress in readiness for disposal. Using sealed bags is vital so as not to risk cross contamination to other rooms.

After moving everything out, an insecticide spray was re-applied to the doorway, hall and stairs to make sure nothing has or can escape.

On our final inspection this week, no bedbugs were found and the couple seem much more relaxed and chatty, looking forward to getting the room decorated and to spend their first night in a new bed for many weeks.

If you suspect you or one of your elderly relatives have a bedbug problem, act quickly to get it identified and treated – nobody should ever feel ashamed of asking for help with this diabolical insect – call Rapid Pest Control now for advise or an inspection. With Offices in Newbury and Oxford, we cover 5 counties in the South of England, call or email us now.

Below is a gallery of actual shots taken in this house: