Bed Bugs 

 

Appearance and Habits

The adult bed bug is 5mm long, reddish-brown in colour and flattened when not recently fed.Most bed bug infestations are in bedrooms. They hide away

in crevices for most of the time only coming out at night to feed on the blood of their hosts. Their hiding places will be close towhere people sleep, usually

the skirting board, bed head board, bed frame or mattress. Signs that indicate that you may have bed bugs are bite marks on the upper body and arms

caused by the bugs feeding on your blood during the night. There may also be small bloodspots on the bedding in the morning and you may notice an

unpleasant almond like smell. Bed bugs are not regarded as carriers of disease, but their blood feeding can cause irritationin people. The bite often gives

rise to a hard whitish swelling.

 

Life Cycle

The female lays up to 200 eggs, at a rate of about 3 per day. They are cemented to thestructure (often behind wallpaper). Nymphs hatch from the eggs

and take around 18 months to reach maturity. During this time they appear very similar to the adults except smaller and paler in colour and feed in the

same way as the adults.

 

Treatment and Control

As bed bugs cannot fly, they must either crawl or be passively transported on clothing, second hand furniture or luggage. They can withstand several

months without feeding. Thorough vacuuming of mattresses, cracks, crevices and bed frames should help to remove some of the bed bugs, bedding

should be hot washed. However, to eradicate the infestation insecticidal treatment will be required.

 

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