Description: Bed Bug adults are reddish-brown, oval, flattened insects from 4 to 5 mm long and 1.5 to 3mm wide before feeding. Engorged adults tend to be swollen and dull red. The eggs are white, oval, about 1mm long and covered in a sticky film which allows them to adhere to surfaces. A newly hatched nymph is almost colourless whereas engorged nymphs are reddish and swolen.
Biology: Although humans are the preferred host, bed bugs feed on many warm blooded animals. Bed bugs usually hide in cracks or matresses during the day and emerge at night to feed. They inject saliva as the feed and allergic reaction to this substance often causes slightly delayed swelling, itching and burning. Under favourable conditions each female layes 200 to 500 eggs and at temperatures above 21oC these hatch in 6 to 17 days. Adults often survive up to 2 months without food, but under certain circumstances can live a year or more without feeding.
Control: The first step to deal with bed bugs is to locate all of their hiding places, Furniture, fittings and even crevices in wallpaper must be inspected carefully, even to the point of dismantling beds etc for easier insepction and possible treatment. An Incecticide will then be used to treat the problem.