Bed bugs are nocturnal, reddish brown insects that feed on the blood of humans and other warm-blooded animals. They are wingless insects and have flattened bodies, allowing them to hide in small areas such as mattress encasements, floor cracks, carpets, bedding, mattresses and even upholstered furniture.

A bed bug’s life begins as an egg which is grain-like and milky-white in colour. Female bed bugs lay between five and 12 eggs each day and may lay up to five hundred eggs within her lifetime. Bed bug eggs are laid either singly or in clusters and are usually placed in tight cracks and crevices. A single bed bug egg is approximately one millimetre in length and is comparable in size to two grains of salt. Eggs hatch within a week and newly born bed bugs will immediately begin to feed.

Young bed bugs, or nymphs, pass through five molts (growing stages) before reaching maturity. Nymphs can appear similar to adults but are smaller in size and are not yet sexually mature. Nymphs are also yellow-white in colour, while adults are reddish-brown. In order to complete a molting (growing) stage, a nymph requires a blood meal. Nymphs can molt and become adults within five weeks at room temperatures.

The life span of a bedbug most commonly ranges from four to six months. Some bedbugs may live for years and can go months without feeding.

If you believe you have identified a bedbug within your home, or place of business contact your local pest control company immediately to schedule a bed bug inspection.