Pest Index

Bed bug

Bed Bugs

Binomial Name: Cimex lectulariusbedbug2


  • Overall Length: Adult up to 4.5mm
  • Colour: Reddish brown
  • Other Features:  Bed bugs are small, flat, oval bloodsucking insects.  Nymphs and adults are wingless, adults posses vestigial wing pads

Life Cycle:  Mature Bed bugs may live from 4 months to 1 year or more.  After mating and having a blood meal, the female deposits from 10-15 eggs in irregular masses until 200 or more eggs have been laid.  There are records of a single female laying as many as 500 eggs.  During warm periods hatching occurs within 6-10 days.  Bed bugs develop through incomplete metamorphosis.  Newly hatched nymphs undergo 5 moults, taking a blood meal between moults.  Under favourable conditions, the period from egg hatching to egg laying is 2 months.  Generally, there are 3-4 generations in a month.

BehaviourBed bugs feed mostly at night by biting sleeping people.  If they are very hungry, they will feed during the day.  When feeding, Bed bugs inject an anticoagulant into the skin to prevent the host’s blood from clotting.  The anticoagulant often causes the skin to become irritated and inflamed, welts may develop and itching may occur.  If feeding is undisturbed, a full grown Bed bug becomes engorged with blood in 3-5 minutes.  It then crawls to a hiding place where it remains for several days digesting its meal before emerging and seeking another blood meal.

Signs of Infestation:  Look for Bed bugs: behind your headboard and around the cracks and crevices of your bed; in the seams and tufts of your mattress; inside your box spring and along your bed frame; along bedroom baseboards; in and around nightstands.  Bed bugs are not restricted to the bedroom, they can be in any area of your home.

Their presence is not necessarily the result of poor housekeeping.  If introduced into a home, they may become numerous and irritating which will affect the welfare of the occupants.