Bed bugs – Hitch-hikers; travelling via land, sea or air, nocturnal blood-sucking ectoparasites

Commonly found in Singapore:

  1. Common bed bug, Cimex lectularius
  2. Tropical bed bug, Cimex hemipterus

General Identification

  • Incomplete metamorphosis
  • Egg à nymph à adult
  • Female lay 1-12 white eggs (1mm long) per day in cracks or on rough surfaces and secured with a transparent cement for an average total of 200 eggs
  • Nymphs molt 5 times before becoming a full grown adult
  • Adults about 4-5mm long; broadly oval and flat, wingless
  • Color – brown to reddish brown (after feeding)
  • Harbor in cracks and crevices during the day
  • Sign of bed bugs infestation: blood stains on bedding, scattered cast skins or exoskeleton, eggs, dead or alive bed bugs, pungent odour (heavy infestation)

Fun Facts

  • Received its common name from its close association with human sleeping beds where it often seeks refuge during daylight, only to come out to feed on the bed’s occupants at night
  • Do not transmit any disease or pathogen
  • Able to survive up to 6 months without feeding
  • It can feed on animals if human is not available
  • Prefers to feed on human to animals because humans have more exposed skin for them to feed on compared to furry animals
  • Attract to high amount of carbon dioxide and body heat of human
  • More active at night when the host is asleep
  • Can lay over 500 eggs in a lifetime