Bed Bugs: Bed bugs are one of the true ‘bugs’; that is, they are insects belonging to the
Order Hemiptera. This means they all have piercing and sucking mouthparts.
A small proportion of the bugs are ectoparasites of animals, including those belonging to the Family Cimicidae, one of which is the bedbug (Cimex lectularius).
The adult Bed Bug live for around 6 months, growning to 3-5cm (size of an apple seed) Reddish brown, wingless, oval & flat.
The females lay 1-5 eggs per day and around 500 eggs in their lifetime. The eggs take 6-10 days to hatch with 5 Nymphal stages, with each stage needing a blood meal to moult (6-8 weeks).
Bed Bugs tend to aggregate in sheltered places near hosts.
Most of their time they spent hiding in cracks and crevices in fairly close proximity to their sleeping host. (The mattress seam is the most common hiding place). Temperature is very important in host location and in most cases visit their host briefly in the few hours just before dawn. After taking a blood meal they return to their hiding place.
When the Bedbug bites its victim, saliva with anticoagulant properties is injected. The Bed bugs have a tendency to ‘test bite’, which often results in a line of bites, which can cause mild to severe irritation. Movements of the bugs or scratching may facilitate infection of wounds. To date, the Bedbug has not been implicated with any serious disease transmissions.