A once common pest of slum dwellings, now reduced by improved standards of hygiene. Still occur with regularity, particularly in multi-occupancy buildings with rapid resident turnover, for example, hostels, holiday camps and blocks of flats.
Bed bugs are oval flattened insects approximately 5mm in length. They are light brown in appearance when unfed, changing to a deep purple immediately after the ingestion of a blood meal. Adults are wingless and flattened, unless recently fed.
The female of the species will lay approximately 200 eggs during her lifetime, at a rate of 5 per day. These eggs are white with a tiny cap and will be glued to the crevices and harbourages in which the bed bugs live. The rate at which the eggs hatch is temperature dependent, below 13°C the eggs will not hatch whereas above 25°C the eggs will hatch within about a week. The young bed bugs take between a few weeks and several months to attain adulthood via a series of 5 moults. The time taken is dependent on both temperature and the availability of food.
Habits and Habitat
Bed bugs are typically nocturnal emerging just before dawn to feed on their human hosts. Feeding will typically take place every two to three days and will take approximately 10 minutes, at which time the bed bug may ingest 7 times their own body weight in blood. They will also feed on dogs, cats and rodents. Bed bugs hide by day in cracks and crevices in beds, furniture, wallpaper, skirting boards and electrical fittings. One reason why bed bug infestations are so difficult to eradicate is that they are highly resistant to low temperatures and capable of surviving for up to eighteen months without food. After feeding the bed bug will evacuate much of the blood ingested. This leads to the characteristic spotting of infested furniture. The spots will smear when rubbed with a finger.
Bed bugs can be very difficult to eradicate however control may be achieved by the use of powerful insecticides. Such insecticides are only available for professional use. Therefore, unless the infestation is minimal, the use of a reputable professional pest control company is advisable. When spraying with insecticide particular attention is paid to the bed frames, skirting boards, wall switches and any cracks or crevices in which the bedbugs are likely to be hiding
If you suspect you have a bed bug infestation in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee or Perth, call GRAHAM pest control today and we could help.