Adult bedbugs are wingless insects about 5mm long and oval in shape – similar to a lentil. Their colour is nearly white after moulting, then ranges from tan to burnt orange. After a blood meal, they’ll appear dark red or black.
Their flat bodies enable them to hide in dark, cosy cracks and crevices in beds, skirting boards, sofas and drawers, and even behind wallpaper and electrical socket plates. That’s where they nest during the day, typically not far from where they’ll find their host – that’s you – at night.
These little bloodsuckers dine on you without causing you to lose sleep. The next morning, you’ll discover lesions that resemble the bite of a mosquito or other insect. Bedbugs are not attracted to dirt, so having bedbugs doesn’t mean a hotel, home or dorm is not clean.
Although they live on blood, adults can live for a year between meals, so just because a room hasn’t been used for some time doesn’t mean it will be bug-free. They could just be dormant.
Bedbugs don’t transmit any human diseases, but that doesn’t mean they should be ignored. Females lay 200-500 eggs in two months, so you could have lots of unwanted company very quickly.