- Bed bugs are blood sucking parasites; the adults are reddish-brown, with oval flattened bodies, approximately 4 to 5mm in length and 1.5 to 3mm in width before feeding.
- Although humans are the preferred host, bed bugs also feed on many warm- blooded animals.
- They are wingless but have well developed legs allowing them to crawl up most vertical surfaces e.g. bed legs.
- Their eggs, white, oval and 1mm in length have a sticky film allowing them to adhere to surfaces and crevices close to the hosts (humans).
- Bed bugs hide in mattresses or cracks during the day and emerge at night to feed.
- Each female lays 200 to 500 eggs that hatch in 6 to 17 days.
- Bedbugs can live for a year without feeding, although they typically seek blood every five to ten days.
- Their bite can cause severe itching and irritation.
|Adult bedbug after feeding
||Eggs, nymphs, adults, smear marks
- Live adults and nymphs on the bed and head board.
- Black smear marks in areas that adults are harbouring, such as bed frame, head board, mattress, behind picture frames, bed side furniture and skirting boards etc.
- Clusters of white eggs on head boards and mattresses.
- Blood spots on sheets, caused by bleeding bites.
- Unpleasant smell, itching and irritation to the host when bitten.
- The application of residual insecticide to the complete bed and mattress. Treatment requires the bed to be stripped, bed side furniture and wardrobes emptied and the room cleared as much as possible to allow for a thorough treatment.
- The following items will also need to be sprayed, behind pictures, curtain rails and curtains, skirting boards and complete floor areas.
- This treatment will kill all stages of the life cycle except the eggs. The room should be heated after the treatment to encourage the egg stage of the cycle to hatch and the treatment should be repeated after 2-3 weeks.
- If a room is not prepared for a thorough treatment, it is unlikely to be successful and any time and money spent would be wasted.