What are Bed Bugs?
Bed Bugs are blood feeding insects
with an oval shaped, flattened body around 5mm
long. They are a pale brown colour
when they have not fed, but after feeding the body swells and becomes a reddish
brown colour. Young Bed Bugs are known and nymphs.
These are similar to the adult but are
smaller and paler in colour. Although Bed Bugs
cannot fly, they are able to crawl and
The female Bed Bug lays her eggs in
cracks and crevices. The eggs will only hatch at temperatures above 13 degrees
centigrade. Under conditions where a good food
supply is available, egg lying is
almost non-stop at around three eggs per female per
day. The eggs hatch into nymphs, which
are smaller versions of the adult, although
they are paler in colour. The nymphs
develop into adults through a series of moults
although the time taken to develop
will depend on temperature and availability of food.
Bed Bugs feed exclusively on blood,
and are generally nocturnal. They have specially adapted mouthparts to enable
them to feed on blood from a live host. They will live in areas such as cracks
in walls, floorboards and skirting boards, behind loose wallpaper and in the
seams of bedclothes and mattresses. Bed Bugs can survive for long periods without
food (possibly up to 12 months). Modern homes with central heating and double
glazing help Bed Bugs over-winter and allow them to live and feed continually throughout
the colder months that would normally kill the younger insects.
As they cannot fly they are often
carried into buildings on clothing, furniture and
luggage. Back packers are well known
carriers of these insects because of the quality of accommodation used and the
high number of locations visited.
Bed Bugs are not thought to transmit
disease to humans, but their habit of feeding on blood can lead to considerable
irritation, loss of sleep and a lowering of general health.
The bite often causes a hard, whitish
swelling, which differs from the dark red spot
caused by a flea bite.
Evidence of Bed Bugs can be found, not
only by the appearance of bites, but by
characteristic dark brown spotting of
excrement often found on bedclothes, a distinctive almond like smell in heavily
infested areas and the discovery of the insects themselves.
Control of Bed Bugs
You will not be able to successfully
treat an infestation of bedbugs yourself, and the
advice of a professional pest
controller should be sought. Vertech is
offer a treatment for Bed Bugs.
The treatment will consist of an
application of a residual insecticide, followed by a
revisit in approximately 5-6 weeks. If
you arrange for Vertech to carry out a
treatment for Bed Bugs at your
property you will be given advice on what you need to do before and after the