Bed Bug's

Bed Bugs are a public health pest that has plagued mankind for centuries. In recent times there has been a resurgence of this pest, in particular in hostels and hotels around the world. 

Structure, Appearance and Characteristics

Nymph (the young):

  • Small and colourless.
  • General body appearance of adults.
  • Turn red or purple when engorged with blood.


  • 4-5mm long.
  • Reddish-brown in colour.
  • Wingless (oval structure in their place)
  • Flat, oval shaped body.
  • Body appears to be shiny.
  • Piercing/Sucking mouthparts.

Life Cycle

  • Gradual / Incomplete metamorphosis (egg – nymph – adult)
  • Eggs are white, approx. 1mm long.
  • Eggs are fastened in cracks, crevices, rough surfaces, or anywhere that adults conceal themselves.
  • Eggs not known to be placed on body of host.
  • Female lays approx. 1-5 eggs per day until approx. 200 are laid.
  • Maximum egg laying occurs in temperatures ranging from 21-28 C
  • Eggs hatch in 6-17 days, but incubation can be much longer in cooler conditions
  • Nymphs proceed through 5 instars to reach maturity.
  • Nymphal period can range from 14-48 days, but can take up to 156 days.
  • A nymph cannot moult until at least one blood meal is consumed.
  • 3-4 generations produced annually.


Hide in cracks and crevices during normal daylight hours (e.g. folds of mattresses, coils of springs, upholstery of chairs, cracks in furniture).  Favor harborages close to food source. Heavy infestations will hide in more exposed places (e.g. behind loose wallpaper, behind pictures on wall, under door and window frames, in lighting fixtures). Key to harborages: darkness, isolation and protection.


  • Blood of warm-blooded animals.
  • Humans are the preferred host but will feed readily on poultry, rodents, birds, dogs and cats.
  • A nymph cannot moult until a blood meal has been consumed.
  • Adults can survive more that 12 months without feed, nymphs not as long.
  • Normally feed at night, but can feed during daylight depending on food supply available.

Pest Status

Bed bugs are a major pest of hostels and backpackers, motels, hotels, restaurants, boats, trains, aircraft and even private homes and apartments. Their bites cause irritation and even allergic reactions, while the stigma associated with their presence can cause loss of income in accommodation premises through both bad reputation and having rooms out of service.

Not known to be vectors for disease even though they are known to carry disease organisms. Give off a distinct odor from glands in thorax. Both adults and nymphs are considered pests.

Management and Control

High reproductive rate, in combination with the ability to survive long periods of time without feeding make them extremely hardy. They can detect CO2 and infra red radiation which makes it easier for them to find a host. Because they harbor in cracks and crevices they can be well concealed. The fact that their choice of hosts is very selective and feed while the host is not mobile is a weakness that can be exploited.

Proper management and treatment can only be achieved through a team effort between you and your Port Macquarie Pest Control technician. Please contact your local office for more information.  Our treatment strategies involve a combination of chemical and non-chemical methods - some of which require your participation to ensure successful eradication.

Chemical treatments involve application of residual products to harbourage areas that the bedbugs will most likely encounter as they move around.

Non Chemical Strategies include: Thorough inspections, hygiene measures (particularly bed linen & curtains), vacuuming, heat/cold treatments, staff training and other custom designed management strategies to suit your circumstances.  These need to be discussed with the Port Macquarie Pest Control technician.