Adults are reddish-brown, oval, flattened 6 to 9 mm
long and 1.5 to 3 mm wide before feeding.
Engorged adults are swollen and dull red.
The white, oval egg is about 1 mm long.
Although humans are the preferred host, bed bugs
feed on many warm-blooded animals. Animal hosts
include poultry, rats, mice, dogs, cats, pigeons,
canaries, rabbits, and guinea pigs.
After hatching the bed bug goes through five nymphal stages that resemble the adult, though they are
smaller in size. A newly hatched nymph is almost colourless. Engorged nymphs are reddish and swollen.
Wild animals, including bats, swallows and house martins may also serve as hosts and may be
responsible for causing infestations in or around buildings.
Bed bugs usually hide in cracks or mattresses during the day and emerge at night to feed. They inject
saliva as they feed. An allergic reaction to the saliva often causes slightly delayed swelling, itching, and
burning which may persist for a week or more.
Female Bed bugs lay eggs throughout their life, generally around 2 to 3 per, each female could produce
around 400 – 500 eggs during her lifetime.
The eggs are deposited all around the environment in which the Bed bug is living.
At temperatures above 21°C (70°F), eggs hatch in 6 to 17 days. At lower temperatures, hatching may
take as long as 28 days.
Bed Bug Facts
They are not known to be disease carriers.
They feed on human blood by stabbing the victim with their hollow mouthparts, injecting an anticoagulant
to prevent the blood clotting, and sucking the liquid blood into their gut.
Infestations are usually detected by the skin irritation caused by bites, usually limited to itching and
They prefer to feed when it is dark and the host is still and asleep.
Bedbugs can ingest up to 7x their body weight in blood in a single feed.
Bedbugs can go without feeding for up to 12 months with older bugs surviving longer than young ones
They are commonly transported in furniture and luggage.
They are unable to fly or jump.
The first step to dealing with bed bugs is to locate all of their hiding places:
Furniture, particularly bedroom furniture must be inspected carefully, even to the point of dismantling the
bed for easier inspection and possible treatment.
Check under and behind other pieces of furniture, such as chairs, couches, dressers, etc. It may be
necessary to remove the dust covers on the undersides of chairs and couches. Pull drawers out of
dressers, inspect them carefully and examine the interior of the dresser.
Remove and inspect objects, such as pictures, mirrors, curtains, etc., that are hung or mounted on walls.
Check obvious cracks and crevices along baseboards.
Inspect torn or loose wallpaper and decorative borders.
Check clothing and other item stored in areas where bed bugs have been found.
The next step is to treat the possible daytime hiding places of bed bugs. Such applications are best done
as a “crack and crevice” treatments to gaps around baseboards and other such items using a broad band
residual insecticide through a coarse sprayer or as an Ultra-Low Volume Insecticide through a mister or
To prevent bedbug infestations
Inspect all used furniture, especially beds and travel luggage before bringing them into the house.
Eliminate potential harbourages.
To eliminate an existing infestation
The treatment of existing infestations is notoriously difficult and is best carried out by a qualified pest
The programme should include the following:
A thorough inspection of the infested property.
Confirmation of the presence of bedbugs.
The sealing of cracks and crevices in the walls and floors.
The securing of loose wallpaper and elimination of other areas of insect harbourage.
Treatment or removal of infested furniture.
Use a space spray to penetrate an infested area.
Treat mattresses and soft furnishing with an approved product.
Apply a residual insecticide to cracks and crevices.
The implementation of regular laundering of bedding and the frequent vacuuming of carpets. The used
vacuum cleaner bag should be disposed of in a sealed plastic bag when finished.