Adult bedbugs are reddish-brown, flattened, oval, and wingless.
Bedbugs have microscopic hairs that give them a banded appearance.
A common misconception is that they are not visible to the naked eye.
Adults grow to 4–5 mm in length and 1.5–3 mm wide.
Newly hatched bedbugs (known as nymphs) are translucent, lighter in colour and become browner as they moult and reach maturity.
Signs of infestation:
The main way to tell if you have bed bugs in your home is to check daily for any bites that you or any family members may have received overnight.
Some bed bug symptoms include:
Large wheals which reduce to a red mark and then gradually fade over a few days
Reddening of the skin
Blisters around the bites
If you do find bite marks on you but you have not yet developed any symptoms, here are a few ways to check for bed bugs:
The bed bugs are quite hard to see because they hide in small cracks and crevices. So a thorough examination is needed to find them.
There may be small bloodstains from any crushed bugs on the bedding.
Rusty or dark spots of bug excrement can be found on mattresses, bedding and walls.
If you notice an offensive, sweet, musty odour it may be from their scent glands which may be detected when infestations are severe.
A female bed bug can lay as many as 500 eggs during her lifetime.
Bed bugs can go up to a year without a blood meal.
A bed bug’s saliva features an aesthetic to numb the pain as it bites. It also contains anti-coagulant to keep the blood of its meal host flowing.
Problems associated with Bedbugs:
When a bed bug bites it injects an anti-blood clotting chemical into the skin. Some people may actually be allergic to bed bugs and the degree of itching is determined by how allergic a person is. If you notice any signs of infection, call your doctor immediately. Scratching the bites can also result in an infection. If you do not get an infection, the bites are simply an irritating nuisance.