Common Name: Bed Bug Scientific name: Cimex lectularius Size 4-5mm
Biology: Female bed bugs lay 1-5 eggs per day with the white eggs being deposited individually in cracks or on rough surfaces and secured with a transparent cement for an average total of 200 eggs; maximum eggs per day is 12, with 541 for a lifetime. About 3-10 minutes are required for each blood meal. Development time egg to adult takes 21 days at 30°C to 120 days at 18°C. With normal feeding and reproductive cycles individuals can live up to 316 days. A tell tale sign of an infestation of bed bugs is red/brown coloured blood spots on walls and furniture, a blood dot and a trail-smear will be visible, this is known as spotting. Humans are the preferred hosts of bed bugs but in their absence bed bugs will feed on poultry, canaries, sparrows, rats, mice etc. Bed bugs have been found to be infected with some 25 different diseases & organisms.
Habits: Bed bugs preferred harbourage points are in cracks and crevices during the day and come out to feed at night. Typically they can be found around mattress buttons and beading, in bed springs or coverings, and in any crevice of a wooden bed frame. Other places to look are picture frames, stuffed furniture, floorboard cracks, behind lose wall paper and door and window frames. Bed bugs are also easily transported from room to room on clothing and laundry etc. Adults can survive for up to 6-7 months if they are well fed and they can feed on other animals if humans are not present.
Treatment: Given the nature of these biting insects, multiple treatments can be required for the eradication of a current infestation and in some badly infested properties it is advised that bedding, mattresses and the bed itself be removed and disposed of to eliminate a high percentage of un-hatched eggs. The treatment itself consists of a full insecticidal spray to all obvious harbourage points used by bed bugs and in most cases we will also use a powdered insecticide for all electrical points and switches etc. We use the most up to date insecticides for bed bugs as they have been showing levels of resistance to some commonly used products.
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