Bed bugs love humans but we do not love bedbugs.
There is nothing worse than the thought that something is biting you while you are sleeping, except for the bite marks the next morning that signal the reality that there actually is something biting you. What's more is that getting rid of them can become a game of cat and mouse. Let's examine these critters a little closer....
Bed bugs are parasitic insects that are easily seen with the naked eye. All bed bugs start off as eggs (approximately 1mm in size) and lie dormant in furnishings such as beds, couches and pillows. Usually the eggs are transported by infested carriers including furniture, luggage and clothing. Once they hatch, the larva must move through distinct life stages before becoming mature adults (approximately 6.5mm in length) that are capable of breeding.
Each bed bug must make one complete blood feed or 'blood meal' to progress to the next stage. The most common variety, Cimex lectularius, feed exclusively off human blood and prefer to do their feeding at night. This makes them fiercely determined to travel long distances to eat and likely to move in if they find a reliable food source.
They are found in both developing and developed countries in areas where there is population density. Most feed without waking their humans and so the most common tell tale sign of infestation are bite marks - especially on exposed areas such as arms and legs. In some cases there may be blood smears on bed linen as well as squashed bug bodies if killed accidentally during slumber.
Repeated exposure to bed bug bites can cause allergic symptoms, skin rashes and understandably psychological ill health. Bed bugs are not fun. For full details on how to get rid of them, watch this space.