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Bed bugs

The adult bed bug is an oval insect, 5mm long by about 3mm broad. If the bed bug has not recently fed it is very flat and red-brown in colour. Once it has fed it changes to a dark mahogany colour and becomes more rounded.

The female bed bug attaches up to 200 pearly white eggs approximately 1mm long in small numbers of four or five a day to the structure of buildings or furniture where they are 'glued' into cracks and crevices in furniture and building fabric. 

Under suitable conditions it is possible for the bed bug to produce several generations of young a year.

The environmental temperature must remain above 10°C for the eggs to hatch. 

The babies (nymphs) develop into adults over a period of six to eighteen months dependent on conditions.

Bed bugs feed on mammalian blood (including other animals in domestic situations). 

The adults live for up to eighteen months usually feeding weekly, but can survive for over a year without blood.

The bed bug emerges at night when hungry to search for prey, and bites tend to occur more often on the upper part of the body leaving specks of blood on the skin. 

The bed bug can consume up to seven times its body weight at one meal.

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