Bed bugs are tiny parasitic insects that feed on blood. The common bedbug (cimex lectularius) is the most infamous species of the family and has a distinct preference for human blood. The name ‘bed bug’ is derived from the insect’s preferred habitat of houses – especially beds or other areas where people sleep. Bed bugs are mainly active at night, but are not exclusively nocturnal, and are capable of feeding on their hosts without even being noticed. Bed-bug bites can cause a number of adverse health effects, including skin rashes, allergies and psychological issues.
Bed bugs can be picked up at hotels and guesthouses by unsuspecting travelers, and subsequently brought home in luggage or on clothing. They can also gain entry to a premises via infested furniture or used fabrics. Bedbugs can even travel between rooms in multi-occupant buildings such as apartments, flats and dormitories.