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Bed Bugs Fact Sheet

Infestation Identification: Bed bugs are up to 5mm long, flat and oval in shape, similar to an apple seed. They are different shades of red and brown depending on when they last fed, they are also translucent if they have not fed for some time, making them almost impossible to see with the naked eye. A bed bug bite can be hardly noticeable but they can also become red and very swollen, itchy welts, sometimes with several bites in the same area, they can look similar to flea or mosquito bites. The bites can become infected if scratched, if this happens you must seek medical assistance. You can sooth the itchiness by using a mild steroid cream or antihistamine. Their eggs are tiny and white, a torch is needed to see them. There will be very small blood spots on the mattress or sheets, this is the bed bug faecal matter. Bed bugs shed their skin when they grow, these will be found usually in bedrooms and living rooms. There can also be a musty scent in properties.


Common Names: Bed bugs, Cimex Lectularlus, Cimex Hemipterus


Diet: Bed bugs feed on human blood or any warm-blooded animal at night and usually hide during the day. They feed by injecting the skin with their saliva which prevents the blood from clotting and is an anaesthetic which allows them to feed without the host feeling it. Bed bugs can live for months without feeding, which makes it difficult to tell if a new home has an infestation or not.


Habitat: Bed bugs live inside and in; bed frames, mattresses, headboards, sofas, clothes, wardrobes, chest of drawers, carpets, wall crevices, under skirting boards, plug sockets, smoke alarms and anywhere which is well hidden.

Mainly found in; residential properties, hotels, hospitals, offices, schools, shops, airplanes, public transport, taxis,


Prevention: It is very difficult to prevent a bed bug infestation from occurring, however the following tips will help:

After travelling, hoover all suitcases and wash all clothes on a hot wash or tumble dry. Inspect mattresses, sofas and chairs for bed bugs or small blood spots if you visit another property. Check for bed bugs seats on public transport before you sit down.


Life Cycle: A female bed bug can lay over 200 eggs in its lifetime. The eggs hatch and have five different nymph stages before becoming an adult, after each nymph stage, they moult.


General Information: Bed bugs do not spread disease. Bed bug bites are usually painless, but some people experience a reaction to them which occurs between a few minutes up to two weeks later, should this happen, seek medical attention. They can also cause asthma attacks because of their skin shedding and faeces becoming airborne. 


Treatments: Bed bugs are usually easily treated by professional Pest Control Services and if preparations are carried out correctly, please use our Bed Bug Preparation Guide.  Using professional chemicals to fumigate infested properties is the best way to eradicate bed bugs because the chemicals are very strong and will be applied correctly. Bed bug traps are a good method of identifying the severity of infestations, however they will not eradicate it. Chemicals and powders which are available to purchase in shops can contain chemicals which bed bugs can build up a resistance to or do not have high enough chemical strength, making them ineffective.


Quick Facts:

  • Bed bugs like to travel in suitcases, on clothes, in boxes and anything they can attach themselves to.

  • They inject the skin with their saliva to feed without the host feeling it and prevents the blood clotting.

  • They live in bed frames, mattresses, headboards, sofas, clothes, wardrobes, chest of drawers, carpets, wall crevices, under skirting boards.

  • Bed bugs are flat and oval in shape and are different shades of red and brown.

  • A female bed bug can lay over 200 eggs in its lifetime.

  • They can survive in temperatures which are nearly freezing up to 122 degrees.

  • Bed bugs can live for several months without feeding.

  • They can crawl more than 30 meters a night, but usually 2 meters from where their host sleeps.

  • Each feed lasts approximately 5 to 10 minutes.

  • Bed bugs are attached to the carbon dioxide humans and warm-blooded animals release when breathing


Ensuring you are prepared for bed bug treatments is essential for eradicating infestations. It is important that you carry out the preparation below, before the pest control technician arrives.



1; Do not move items out of rooms, if you do you are risking spreading the infestation into rooms which are not infested.

2; Where possible move beds, cabinets, wardrobes, furniture and other items away from the walls.

3; Removed bed covers from the beds and empty the clothing contents of drawers and wardrobes and place into black sacks and tie the top tightly.

4; If possible remove the head boards from the beds.

5; Remove items from under beds.

6; Remove pictures, mirrors, etc from walls.

7; Unplug electrical items which are not needed to be plugged in.

8; Vacuum the entire property thoroughly, take the vacuum outside and empty the contents into the outside bin. Do not bring the bin back inside the property.

9; Throw all rubbish away and place in outside bins.

10; Ensure any pets are placed in a room which will not be being treated (usually the kitchen or bathroom, depending on the circumstances).





1; The rooms are safe to enter after 2-3 hours, once the spray has dried, we would suggest ventilating rooms for 1 hour after re-entering.

2; Launder all clothing and bedding from the treated rooms. Ensure you check the labels of the garments and linen for laundry advice.

We suggest that clothes are either;

Washed on a hot setting,

Tumble dried on a hot heat for approximately 30 minutes,

Dry cleaned

Placed in a freezer for a minimum of 3 days.

3; Place all black sacks which contained clothing and linen, in bins outside.

4;  Do not vacuum clean the treated rooms for at least 2 weeks.

5; You can continue to sleep in the beds. Normally we can treat infestations without you having to        buy new beds, unless the infestation is severe, the technician will advise you if you need to replace them. If you wish to buy new beds, do not do so until after the infestation in fully eradicated.

6; It is important that you keep all of the appointments to ensure the treatment is successful. Usually only 3 treatments are required.

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