- The eggs are tiny and hard to see with a white cap
- Adults – around 6mm their bodies are oval and flattened.
- Recently fed they will then change to a red – brown colour.
- They have piercing mouthparts adapted for sucking, simple antennae, legs and claws for clinging on to hosts, whilst feeding.
- Eggs – Up to 200 are laid in a life time.
- 4 – 5 are laid per day and are glued in cracks and crevices.
- Newly hatched nymphs are no bigger than a pinhead.
- These only hatch above 13°C.- Nymphs – 5 moults taking from a few weeks to several months depending on food and conditions.
- Limited access to a blood meal extends the development time. As they grow, they shed their skin.
- A blood meal is needed between each successive moult.
Habits & Behaviour:
- They can be found in any cracks and crevices such as: headboards, behind peeling wallpaper, broken plaster, light switches, plug sockets, under carpets and skirting boards.
- Their flattened bodies enable them to fit into tiny crevices but are also found in soft furnishings such as clothes, mattresses seams, curtains, bed sheets.
- Feeding usually takes around 10 minutes and although nocturnal they may appear in the day when hungry.
- Bed Bugs prefer to hide close to where people sleep.
- They lay dormant and wait until a host is asleep before feeding.
- Many people will be bitten without even seeing any evidence of the bugs.- Although Bed Bugs prefer feeding on humans, they will also bite other warm-blooded animals, including pets.
- Bed Bugs can be transported on clothing, in luggage, bedding and furniture but are very rarely found on hosts.
- They can ingest 7 times their body weight in blood.
- This enables them to go for prolonged periods without feeding.
- The adults are highly resistant to starvation (up to one year) and low temperatures so thorough treatments of surrounding areas must be carried out.