Bed bugs are not only a snooze time problem, causing itchiness and discomfort. More than that, the psychological effects of a bed bug infestation are often more damaging.
These bugs are rust brown (turning to a deeper red brown following a blood meal) coloured wingless insects, more or less oval in shape, 4-5mm long when fully grown, and are fast runners. Bed bugs have specialised mouthparts, adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood. When feeding, they inject saliva which has anticoagulant properties. Bed bugs are thin and can easily hide in narrow cracks and crevices, making detection often very difficult.
These blood-sucking insects are attracted to the warmth and carbon dioxide of a host, preferably human and the only contact is for a meal with the majority of occurrences taking place at night.
Bed bugs shelter in a variety of dark locations, most close to where people sleep and include places under mattresses, floorboards, paintings and even carpets. Bed bugs tend to stay in close contact with each other and heavy infestations are accompanied by a distinctive sickly-sweet smell. Blood spotting on mattresses and nearby furnishings are a common tell-tale sign of an infestation.