Bed Bugs

Appearance:

  • The eggs are tiny and hard to see with a white capbedbug
  • 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.

Lifecycle:

  • 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.

Important:

  • 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.

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