Bed bugs have been living with humans since ancient times.
Although the pest was once said to be eradicated in the developed world, but the rise of new cases worldwide since 1995 indicate otherwise.
This is mainly due to pesticide resistance and increase in international travel.
Bed bugs are parasitic insects that live exclusively on blood.
They are called bed bugs because their preferred habitats which are near or inside beds and bedding or other sleep areas.
They are especially active at night and suck blood without being noticed at night-time.
Unlike mosquitoes, bed bugs are 100% blood sucking insects.
Bed bugs are drawn to humans primarily by carbon dioxide and warmth.
Bed Bugs sucking blood by using their mouth part that pierce through skin and inject saliva that stop blood from coagulating and also numb the feeding spot.
They prefer exposed skin on the face, neck and arms of a sleeping person. Besides humans, they also suck blood from other animals.
They obtain moisture from water vapor in the surrounding air.
When Bed Bugs are hungry, they will leave their hiding place and search for a host.
If they successfully feed, they will return to their hiding place.
If not successful, they will continue to look for a host.
This activity will continue until the break of day where all Bed Bugs, regardless whether they are fed will return to their hiding places.
Under warm condition, they will feed at 5 to 10 days interval and survive for 5 months without food.
They also survive a wide range of temperatures (40 oC to -10 oC).
Their flattened body-shaped enable them to hide in places that are difficult to reach by insecticide sprays.
Bed bug is really a tough pest to control.
Bed Bugs are likely to travel on backpacks, luggage, shoes and other belongings of us when we are travelling.
Regardless of how many stars a hotel you are staying in during your holiday trip, there is possibility that you might bring the pest back to your home if the hotel room is infested.
After mating, female lay their eggs singly or in clusters into cracks and crevices.
A female bed bug can lay between 200 to 250 eggs in her lifetime.
The eggs hatch in about 6 to 10 days into nymphs (young bed bugs).
After hatching from eggs, nymphs bed bugs begin immediately feed.
A nymphs molt (shed their skin) five times to become a final sexually mature adult.
Fertilized female with enough of food can lay 3 to 4 eggs per day until they die (about 9 months).
Thus, a female can produce up to 500 eggs in her life time.
It was reported that a single surviving pregnant female of insecticide sprays can produce a new infestation over a matter of weeks by rapidly producing generations of offspring.
The life cycle of the mosquito goes through four stages, i.e. adult, egg, larva and pupa.
A: Adults – Adults live about 9 months and can survive months without sucking blood.
B: Eggs – Females lay eggs singly or in clusters. Eggs hatch into nymphs in 6 to 10 days.
C: Nymphs – Nymphs pass through 5 molts (shedding of old skin to grow). They become adult in 5 weeks.