Bed bugs are wingless insects that are oval in shape. They are approximately 4 to 5 mm in length and are extremely fast runners. Rust brown in colour, their colour will deepen to a red/brown following a blood meal. Bed bugs are also extremely thin, allowing them to hide in small cracks and crevices.
They like to shelter in dark locations, generally close to where people sleep. Locations can include under mattresses, floorboards, behind paintings, underneath carpets, and in various cracks in walls, furniture and also behind loose wallpaper.
Feeing solely on the blood of warm blooded animals, blood spotting on mattresses or sheets is often an indicator of a bed bug infestation.
There are 7 stages within the life cycle of a bed bug. There are five juvenile stages where the bed bugs are simply a miniature version of an adult. Each stage requires at least one blood meal to moult to the next stage. Complete engorgement occurs within 5 to 10 minutes. The entire juvenile or nymphal development takes 6 to 8 weeks and adult bed bugs can live for 6 to 12 months.
All stages of the life cycle require blood for nutrition and development and after mating the female lays 2 to 3 eggs a day throughout her life. These eggs are cream in colour and will generally hatch within 10 days.
Bed Bug Control
A professional pest treatment is the best way to thoroughly rid your home of bed bugs. This will involve a thorough inspection of your home and then a chemical treatment of all infested items and areas. Infested clothes should be washed in hot water and dried using the hot cycle on the clothes dyer.
Thorough cleaning of your home and a reduction of potential harbourages will reduce the likelihood of re-infestation. However this on its own wonât rid a home of an infestation.
As bed bugs are difficult to control, if a re-infestation is experienced after a full professional pest treatment has been completed a follow up treatment should be arranged as soon as possible.