About Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are small mahogany coloured parasitic insects. These pests make their way into our environment during people’s day to day activities; by climbing into suitcases and other luggage such as backpacks and attaching to clothing when visiting an infested premise.
There are various methods available of treating beg bug infestations, and the most suitable solution will depend on the specific circumstances.
Bed bugs are typically found near their place of feeding, which is often the bed area so that they do not have to travel far to feed and the increased risk of exposure during travelling. Over 80% of bed bug infestations occur within the bed area, however they may travel up to 20 feet for their meal.
These insect pests do not discriminate having no consideration of wealth, culture or hygiene. Bed bugs can reproduce at a prolific rate and it will not take long for the situation to get out of hand and become a major problem. We are seeing an increase in bed bug activity within the London area with reports of large increases year on year being recorded.
Common Bed Bug (Cimex lectularius) Biology and Habits.
- Bed bugs are often present for weeks or even months before a single insect is ever seen by the occupants of an infested premise.
- Adult bed bugs are about 5mm long and 3mm wide, brown to reddish-brown mahogany colour, with oval, flat bodies. Ideal to squeeze and hide in cracks and crevices the thickness of a credit card but not too small to see, often a common misconception.
- Harbourages are generally in cracks and crevices associated with bed frames, head boards, mattresses and box springs. However, they will also disperse away from the bed often between or beneath floorboards, carpeting, under decorative mouldings, in or under furniture, behind picture frames, inside wall voids or behind peeling wallpaper, etc.
- Adult females can lay 1-5 eggs per day and may lay between 200 to 500 eggs in her lifetime. These are often laid around and away from the harbourage typically in bedding and carpets, including clothing and will stick to anything.
- Females have no genital opening and fertilisation takes place by the male piercing the body of the female. One male can fertilize several females within 24 hours.
- Eggs hatch approximately 6-10 days after being deposited by the female. Eggs are white in colour and you will require a magnifying glass to see them adequately as they are only 1mm in length.
- Development from egg hatching to the adult stage takes approximately 1 ½ to 2 months and is dependent upon surrounding environmental conditions and food availability.
- The newly hatched nymphs resemble the adults, but are smaller and lighter in colour appearing translucent or white until they feed.
- Bed bugs have to go through a series of moults, 5 in total from the nymph to adult stage and have to feed during each stage to develop.
- Bed bugs do not necessarily seek a blood meal everyday and may go several days or more between feeding.
- Bed bugs feed for anything between 3 to 10 minutes and the bites are typically painless and often go undetected. Bed bugs puncture the skin with a sharp mouthpiece and insert an anaesthetic along with an anti-coagulant to ensure the flow of blood and to remain un-noticed whilst feeding.
- Bed bugs can easily survive for several months or more without feeding.
- Under normal room temperatures and with an adequate food supply, bed bugs will typically live up to a nearly a year.
- Bed bugs are understood to be mostly inactive between blood meals, hiding in secluded harbourages.
- Bed bugs are not limited to the bed or the bedroom and often disperse throughout a property.