Most infestations are found in domestic premises, although hotels, hospitals, prisons etc are also likely habitats. Infestations usually centre around the bed but are not limited to it. Able to survive for long periods without feeding, the bedbug is translocated in laundry, luggage, clothes and on human hosts.
Mating takes place away from the host, the female attaching up to 200 eggs to the structure in small numbers. Temperatures above 10°c must be available for hatch. Nymphal stages resemble adults, and pass through approx 5 moults before reaching adulthood (6 - 18 mo). All nymphal stages feed on mammalian blood.
The bed bug is an important public health pest, having worldwide distribution, and feeding on human hosts while they sleep is characterized as one of the more unpleasant pests.
Where appropriate and permitted, treatment of local structure with a residual insecticide may be required. Disposal or sterilisation of mattresses and bed coverings is advisable. Survey and treatment should pay particular attention to bed frames, skirting board, wall switches and all cracks and crevices.