Bed Bugs (Cimex lectularius)

Key Features

Beds bugs have been known as parasite for many thousands of years. Adult bed bugs are light brown to reddish-brown, flattened, oval-shaped and have no hind wings. They grow to 4 – 5 mm in length and feed on humans when no other host is available. Bed bugs prefer exposed skins, normally the face, arms or legs of the sleeping human. Their bite normally produces a swelling with no red spot though when many bites occur, red spots can be seen when the swelling subsides. Domestic animals may also be attacked.


Bed bugs can live for a year without feeding and survive a wide range of temperatures. The female bed bug lays eggs throughout her life, which can range from days to many months. Eggs are small (1mm long) and whitish yellow in colour.


Many bed bug bites can cause irritation and itching and in some cases anaemia, psychological effects and allergic symptoms. They are not known to transmit any diseases. Infestations have been on the increase in the 20 – 30 years. Some people fail to notice that they have been bitten. If in doubt then advice from a properly qualified pest control agency should be sought – such as Merlin Services Wiltshire Ltd.


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