If you’re worried you may be a victim of the bloodsucking bed bug and want to know exactly what are bed bugs, this article will give you all the information you need.
Bed bugs are small oval-shaped wingless insects that are a light brown to reddish brown in colour and can grow up to 5mm long and 3mm wide. They feed on the blood of a variety of warm blooded animals including humans by piercing the skin and using a combination of anticoagulants and painkillers in their saliva.
The Common Bed Bug (Cimex lectularius) and the Tropical Bed Bug (Cimex hemipterus) are the most familiar bed bugs that you will come into contact with. There are also many times when bed bugs can be confused with other small insects including; carpet beetles, cockroaches, ticks and lice.
Bed bugs do not live on their host, after feeding they will return back to a safe refuge. They are most notably found within the nooks and seams of your mattress, any crevices of bedside furniture, floors and any other small cracks and areas where they can hide. Bed bugs do not need consistent human blood for survival, as they can live within your house for over six months without any food.
Bed bugs have some natural predators including; cockroaches, mites, ants and spiders. However, these predators cannot eradicate a bed bug infestation and will usually add to the pest problem.
Infestation can come on quickly, with adult females able to lay up to three eggs a day that are very small and hard to see, approximately 1mm long and creamy white. Bed bugs need to go through five molts before they become mature breeding adults. They must have a blood meal to be able to grow and shed their exoskeleton so they can move into their next life stage. It takes approximately two months for bed bugs to reach sexual maturity.
One pregnant bed bug can be accountable for a completely new infestation over a short period of time if you do not treat them with a proven, effective treatment.
So what are bed bugs? Little opportunistic insects that enjoy living in your furniture and sucking your blood when you least expect it.