Bed Bugs

Bed Bugs

Appearance
A Bed Bug (adult) is 6 mm in length.  They are flat and oval shape (when they have not recently fed).  Red brown in colour changing to dark mahogany colour if recently fed.  Bed Bugs have six legs that are clearly visible.

Life Cycle
Bed Bugs follow the state of incomplete metamorphous Egg – nymph – adult.

After feeding off the host mating takes place, the female attaches up to 200 eggs to the structure in small numbers of 4 or 5 per day.  The local environmental temperature must remain above 10-13 degrees centigrade for the eggs to hatch.  The resultant nymphs resemble in miniature the adults and develop through a series of molts (usually 5) to reach full development.  This takes from as little as a few weeks to several months (averaging about 4 months) depending on food and temperature.

All nymphal stages feed on mammalian blood.  They feed at night, which takes about ten minutes.  They produce a characteristic smell from their faeces and sweat glands.

Diet
They feed principally on human blood by piercing the skin with a long beak and sucking blood into their stomachs.  They feed mostly at night, but will feed during the day if hungry and the light is dim.  They can ingest up to seven times their own body weight in any one meal

Where to look for Bed Bugs
Thoroughness is required and is important when looking for and treating the insects.  Bed Bugs hide in furniture and structural cracks and crevices, they are found worldwide.  Smears or spots of excrement may be seen close to the harborage as fully-fledged bugs remove excess water.  The insects may be transferred on second hand furniture, bedding and can be carried in luggage.  Due to this they are commonly found in hostels, hotels and lodging houses.

Why are Bed Bug’s pests?
The Bed Bug bites its host and feeds off their blood.  Bites may cause severe allergic reactions, swellings rash and general irritation to the effected area.  However they are not known as disease carriers.  Infested mattresses and bedding should be disposed of or fumigated.  All other furniture and the surrounding areas should be treated with an insecticide.