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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.

  • The first you may be aware that you have bed bugs are from very itchy bites, or you may see bed bugs on the bed linen or around the bed frame
  • You may also notice blood spots on sheets where the bed bugs have bitten you
  • Where there is significant infestation of bed bugs there also may be an unpleasant almond smell
Bed bugs are very difficult to treat; we therefore have a comprehensive treatment plan to treat infestations as thoroughly as possible
  • An officer will visit and carry out a thorough inspection of the infected areas, in some cases monitoring traps may be installed to aid identification. Specialist equipment is used to identify bed bugs; this will require moving mattresses and other bedroom fixtures.
  • The officer will also advise of the action needed to be taken by the householder to ensure the treatment can be carried out , this may include hot washing all soft furnishings, clothes, bedding and curtains and tumble drying or freezing to destroy all bed bugs and eggs.
  • At the end of the visit, another appointment will be made to carry out the treatment, allowing time for the occupier to carry out all necessary works.
  • Depending on the extent of the infestation 1 or 2 pest control officers will carry out the bed bug treatment. This involves spraying insecticide on all bedding, surrounding furniture and bed frames. A ULV machine may also be used to ‘fog’ the room. The insecticide used will have a residual effect which will help to treat the bed bugs as they hatch from the eggs. The occupier will continue to sleep in the bedrooms to encourage the bed bug lifecycle.
  • The treatment can take up to half a day. At the end of the treatment an appointment is made for a further treatment in 2 - 3 weeks.
  • A second treatment is carried out, this is done as bed bugs are so difficult to treat it is essential that the affected bedrooms are treated effectively. At the end of the second and final treatment the officer will arrange a follow up visit in 2 - 3 weeks.
  • A final visit is carried out to re-survey the property to identify whether the infestation has been cleared. It must be remembered that as bed bugs will search for small holes to hide for example cracks in wallpaper or behind electric sockets that even with one missed bed bug the infestation will return. This is why two treatments are carried out. In the unlikely event that it is identified that the infestation is still active then the treatment will need to be repeated and the fee will be re-payable.
  • Bed bugs are not known to carry diseases
  • However as they feed on humans the bites can cause a significant nuisance and as they are nocturnal can lead to lack of sleep and in serve cases anaemia
  • The bites on humans can be identified as hard white swellings; they are very itchy and in some individuals can lead to allergic reactions
  • Bed bugs are very difficult to treat, one or two bed bugs will very quickly multiply, and therefore the best prevention is not to bring them into your property
  • Avoid buying second hand furniture, particularly when you are unsure of its origin, especially bedroom furniture
  • If you have been away from home either in this country or abroad and believe where you have stayed may have bed bugs please contact us for advice or as a minimum thoroughly wash all clothes and bags at the highest possible temperature

What does it cost?

Concessionary Cost
1 bedroom house£280£182
Each additional bedroom£100£65
Bed bug survey
(no treatment needed)
Appointment Cancelled
(on day of appointment or after midday the last working day before)
Missed Appointment£40£40

Concessionary cost

The qualifying benefit that is accepted is for those receiving Council Tax Reduction (CTR) please note that this discount does not include Single Persons Council Tax discount.

We reserve the right to check those claiming a discount to ensure they are currently in receipt of CTR.


Treatment (per hour)£99
Call out fee
(if no treatment necessary)
Appointment cancelled
(on day of appointment or after midday the last working day before)
Missed appointment£52


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Last updated: 1 April 2020 | Last reviewed: 1 April 2020