Bed bugs

Courtesy of Killgerm

Biology and behaviour

The bed bug is found worldwide and still occurs more often than people may think. They are a parasite that feeds principally from humans at night, but also from dogs, cats and even rodents. The bugs generally hide by day.

The insect is not a known carrier of disease; their importance is more associated with unpleasant irritation from their bites.

Bed bugs shouldn't be confused with dust or house mites that we all have in our homes and can't be seen with the naked eye. Bed bugs are in fact quite visible and evidence of them can be seen in an infested area.

Although we use the term bed bugs they don't only infest the area in and around the bed, Bugs can also be found behind pictures, in bedside furniture, wardrobes and also cracks. Females will lay up to 200 eggs in these areas.

What does a bed bug look like?         

  • Very flattened and red/brown when not recently fed, changing to dark/brown following a blood meal
  • Size around 6mm in length
  • Legs that are clearly visible

Signs to look for.

  • Bite marks on the skin, usually in lines or tracks on the upper body
  • Noticeable smell in cases of heavy infestations
  • Bed bug faeces resembling black dots, possibly in the seams of mattresses
  • Small translucent bed bug nymphs in and around infestations

Prevention treatment

Bed bugs have to be introduced to a property and will not just appear in your bedroom. Treatments should be carried out by a competent pest control operative as they can be difficult and very time consuming. Some may also need protective clothing to be worn. Bed bugs are extremely hardy and can go without feeding for many months, making it almost impossible to kill them through starvation.

Precautions to consider

  • Avoid buying second hand bedroom furniture from an unknown source.
  • When travelling, check the areas around the beds where you are staying.


If you suspect you have an active bed bug infestation we are on hand to offer assistance. We respond within three working days. Owners/occupiers of property/land have a legal responsibility to control pests on their premises.

Before any treatment is given, one of our pest control officers will carry out an initial inspection – there is no need for any preparation work before this.

Self-treatment advice to customers prior to an appointment

Regular vacuuming of the mattress and flooring under and around the bed area will help control an infestation of bedbugs, however, it will be necessary to use an insecticide. Empty your vacuum cleaner outside after each use in infected areas as bedbugs can migrate back out of the vacuum and transfer to other rooms. Self-treatment insecticides are available to purchase online. Please follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Book a pest control appointment

An initial assessment by a Pest Control Officer will be needed to identify the right type of treatment. You will be able to book this assessment appointment as part of this process.

Following the assessment if treatment is needed the Pest Control Officer will then book a further appointment with you and the treatment will be carried out.

This service is free of charge. On inspection, if the pest does not match the description provided in this form, you may be charged for this request.

Book an assessment appointment

Customer Services

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Telephone: 08085 834333