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LOUSY PROBLEM, MITEY SOLUTION

Bedlam aerosol is not only suitable for the direct treatment of bed bugs, but can be used to target fleas, lice and dust mites.

Bedlam is well known for its role in bed bug control – an ideal spot treatment solution, killing even resistant bed bugs. However, it’s also a great option for other pests found in bedrooms – lice and dust mites.

When customers complain of getting bitten in bed, it may not be due to the two most common culprits, fleas or bed bugs. It could in fact be the result of a lice infestation. Most parents would be familiar with head lice, but there is also the body louse (Pediculus humanus corporis) and the pubic louse or “crabs” (Pthirus pubis).

In terms of determining the source of any suspected lice infestation, it is important to remember they are most commonly spread through close human contact – pets do not play a role in transmission. As they are crawling pests, they do not fly in from outside. If your client has discovered an infestation, it will have been transmitted from either a friend or possibly while travelling on public transport or within other close contact areas.

The head louse, Pediculus humanus capitis

In dealing with a lice problem, any on-person treatment should be prescribed by a physician and any infested clothing and bedding will need be washed in hot water or dry cleaned. However, for items that cannot be washed or dry cleaned such as mattresses, a chemical treatment will often be required. Spraying mattresses until damp with Bedlam will eliminate any lice on the mattress (allow to dry before use). Treating the mattress helps provide the customer with peace of mind and a good night sleep,without having to worry about any creepy crawlies in the bed. Such an episode also provides the opportunity to sell a mattress protector.

Unlike lice which are an occasional pest problem, dust mites are present in every home. Although they don’t bite, their caste skins and droppings can cause allergic reactions, typically resulting in breathing issues and eye irritation. Indeed, dust mites are considered one of the major causes of asthma. As dust mites are hard to see (around 0.2 – 0.3 mm in size), whether residents suspect they have a problem with dust mites will largely depend on the level of infestation and their sensitivity to the dust mite allergens.

A heavy infestation of dust mites, Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus

Dust mites are so called as they feed on ‘dust’ – primarily skin flake sheddings, as well as any organic matter found in carpets, bedding or fabrics. With a life cycle taking around a month, a life span of up to two months and laying one to two eggs per day, under ideal conditions and poor cleaning regimes, a significant infestation can build up over time.

Dealing with a dust mite problem relies on an integrated pest management approach. Regular cleaning using a vacuum with a HEPA filter is a must, while keeping humidity low in the problem rooms will prevent a population explosion. Regularly changing bed linen, vacuuming mattresses and using a mattress encasement will reduce problems when sleeping. Replacing carpets with floorboards or tiles can reduce dust mite numbers. Once rooms and mattresses have been vacuumed, spraying the carpet or mattress until damp (do a stain test first) will kill any dust mites present and provide several weeks residual control. As with all liquid insecticides, it is recommended to do a test spray on an inconspicuous area first to check for potential staining issues.

Bedlam is one of the few products on the market labelled for use in the control of dust mites, and is specifically formulated as a specialised bed bug, flea, lice and dust mite product, designed for use on mattresses, carpets and other furnishings.