Bed Bug (Cimex lectularius and Cimex hemipterus)
Bed Bugs are a public health pest that has plagued mankind for centuries. In recent times there has been a resurgence of this pest, in particular in hostels and hotels around the world; bed bug control must be an ongoing activity for many businesses and in some homes..
Download our Bed Bug Brochure for more information on bed bug control.
Structure, Appearance and Characteristics
Nymph (the young):
- Small and colourless.
- General body appearance of adults.
- Turn red or purple when engorged with blood.
- 4-5mm long.
- Reddish-brown in colour.
- Wingless (oval structure in their place) . This means that bed bug control can be effected with surface prodcuts.
- Flat, oval shaped body.
- Body appears to be shiny.
- Piercing/Sucking mouthparts.
- Gradual / Incomplete metamorphosis (egg – nymph – adult)
- Eggs are white, approx. 1mm long.
- Eggs are fastened in cracks, crevices, rough surfaces, or anywhere that adults conceal themselves. Good bed bug control aims to destory or remove as many eggs as possible along with live bed bugs.
- Eggs not known to be placed on body of host.
- Female lays approx. 1-5 eggs per day until approx. 200 are laid.
- Maximum egg laying occurs in temperatures ranging from 21-28 C
- Eggs hatch in 6-17 days, but incubation can be much longer in cooler conditions
- Nymphs proceed through 5 instars to reach maturity.
- Nymphal period can range from 14-48 days, but can take up to 156 days.
- A nymph cannot moult until at least one blood meal is consumed.
- 3-4 generations produced annually.
Bed bugs hide in cracks and crevices during normal daylight hours (e.g. folds of mattresses, coils of springs, upholstery of chairs, cracks in furniture). They Favour harbourages close to food source. Heavy infestations will hide in more exposed places (e.g. behind loose wallpaper, behind pictures on wall, under door and window frames, in lighting fixtures). Key to harbourages: darkness, isolation and protection. Bed bug control strategies focus on this type of environment.
Blood of warm-blooded animals.
Humans are the preferred host but will feed readily on poultry, rodents, birds, dogs and cats.
A nymph cannot moult until a blood meal has been consumed.
Adults can survive more that 12 months without a feed, nymphs not as long.
Normally feed at night, but can feed during daylight depending on food supply available.
Bed bugs are a major pest of hostels and backpackers, motels, hotels, restaurants, boats, trains, aircraft and even private homes and apartments. Their bites cause irritation and even allergic reactions, while the stigma associated with their presence can cause loss of income in accommodation premises through both bad reputation and having rooms out of service. Bed bug control is an ongoing activity for accommodation premises.
Not known to be vectors for disease even though they are known to carry disease organisms. Gives off a distinct odour from glands in thorax. Both adults and nymphs are considered pests.
Management and Control
High reproductive rate, in combination with the ability to survive long periods of time without feeding make them extremely hardy and bed bug control difficult. They can detect CO2 and infra red radiation which makes it easier for them to find a host. Because they harbour in cracks and crevices they can be well concealed. The fact that their choice of hosts is very selective and feed while the host is not mobile is a weakness that can be exploited in a bed bug control program.
Proper management and bed bug control can only be achieved through a team effort between you and your Amalgamated Pest Control technician. Please contact your local office for more information. Our treatment strategies involve a combination of chemical and non-chemical methods - some of which require your participation to ensure successful eradication. Download our Bed Bug Brochure for more information.
Chemical treatments for bed bug control involve application of residual products to harbourages and areas that the bedbugs will most likely encouter as they move around.
Non Chemical Strategies for bed bug control include: Thorough inspections, hygiene measures (particularly bed linen & curtains),vacuuming, staff training and other custom designed bed bug control strategies to suit your circumstances. These need to be discussed with the Amalgamated Pest Control technician.