Flat, reddish-brown, oval insects; appear particularly swollen and reddish after a blood meal. The adult bed bug does not have wings and has a flattened body.
4-5mm long – about the size, colour and shape of an apple seed.
Eggs hatch in 6-10 days. Emerging nymphs readily seek a blood meal. As the juveniles grow, they shed their skins.
Bed bugs are found in cracks and crevices, including mattresses, linens, furniture, electrical outlets, Picture frames and personal belongings such as purses and briefcases. They prefer to be active at night when potential hosts are asleep. After feeding, bed bugs return to hiding where they defecate black to brown stains or mounds. They never sleep, and unfortunately, they can visit any time without notice. Under cool conditions, bed bugs can survive for long periods without feeding but under normal room temperatures, with adequate food they can live for more than 300 days.
Itchy red welts on skin may indicate bed bug activity. To confirm an infestation, you could also see:
• Live or dead bed bugs
• Skins cast off during the moulting process
• Stains or mounds of reddish-black faecal matter
• Tiny cream-colored eggs usually found in dark crevices.
• Live bugs tend to huddle close together and have a distinctively sweet, unpleasant smell.
Bed bugs only feed on blood.
One fertile female bed bug can produce from 200-500 healthy eggs during her lifetime and may lay from 2-5 eggs each day.