A common pest once associated with unhygienic surroundings, is now prevalent due to increased travel and therefore spreading the bed bug from country to country. These bugs still occur with regularity, particularly in multi-occupancy buildings with rapid resident turnover, for example, hostels, hotels, holiday camps and blocks of flats. The early stages of the Bed bug (nymphs) are hard to detect with the naked eye, making it hard to identify an infestation before biting occurs.
The adult bug resembles a small brown disc, about 6 mm long – the size of a match head. It is wingless but the legs are well developed and it can crawl up most vertical surfaces, e.g. bed legs. The elongated eggs are cemented in cracks or crevices close to the hosts (which for bed-bugs are humans).
The young resemble the adult and grow by moulting. Each nymphal stage needs one full meal of blood before it proceeds to the next stage. Fully-grown bed bugs can endure starvation for up to a year in some cases.