Bed bugs are wingless, with a paper thin body that is red/brown in colour if it has not recently eaten, to a dull red on a full stomach. They can measure anywhere from 4-5 mm in length.
Bed bugs are nocturnal parasitic insects that feed on human blood, though, can also feed on domestic animals like dogs, cats or even rodents. Bed bugs have mouth parts designed to pierce the skin, after which they can ingest up to seven times their own body weight in blood.
Bed bugs can be a major problem to B&Bs, hotels, hostels and lodging houses, as they can be brought in via luggage, bedding material, furniture or especially by people themselves. Bed bugs can live for months without eating, even up to a year in rare cases, so people moving into a new house could be the hearty meal they have been waiting for.
In the right conditions a female can lay 200-500 eggs, and at temperatures above 21c, these will hatch in as little as 6-17 days.
Bed bugs are more of a nuisance rather than a destructive pest, but can create an unpleasant odour.
It is recommended that treatment be carried out by a qualified pest control operator who has several options to choose from when dealing with this pest.
Beds and bedding should be thoroughly cleaned and a suitable insecticide applied to all; cracks in walls, skirting boards, bed frames and furniture. Insect growth regulators can also aid control.
Although following treatment process there should be no more signs of these pests, don’t forget, a missed bed bug can live for months without food, hence the importance in the use of a growth regulator.