A Beginner's Guide to Bed Bugs

The common bed bug or Cimex lectularius to use their Latin name have been feeding off humans for thousands of years.

Bed bugs love nothing more than to feast on human blood and they thrive in warm environments. They are typically 4-5mm in length and can grow up to 3mm wide. These dimensions coupled with the fact they’re most active at night, make them very difficult to spot with the naked eye.

Bed bug bites are most commonly found on the arms, neck and face – in other words the areas that are usually exposed while we sleep.

How to tell if you’ve got bed bugs

There are a number of tell-tale signs that you may have bed bugs. Whether it’s in your own home or a hotel/B&B you run, look out for the following clues that bed bugs are around:

A distinctive smell

The smell emitted by bed bugs is often likened to that of rotting raspberries. In other words it’s very sweet and sickly. Bed bugs do give off a very distinctive odour, so if you think you might smell this and notice either of the other signs below, you should call us to come out and check for bed bugs.

Small dark blood spots in and around your bed

Since bed bugs like to feed on human blood, it’s fairly common to spot small dark spots on your bed sheets or around the frame of your bed if you have an infestation. It’s very hard to see individual bed bugs with the human eye, so signs such as these are one of the best ways to tell if you have a problem.

Bed bug skins

Bed bugs have a total of six life stages they go through. At each of these stages they will shed their skins and these can often be spotted in bed clothes.

How to prevent a bed bug infestation

Preventing bed bugs isn’t easy due to the variety of ways they can be brought into your home. For example second hand items of furniture, being carried on pets & humans and infestation in neighbouring properties where there’s a route for bed bugs to travel to yours.

Health problems associated with bed bugs

Bed bugs can have an impact on various aspects of your health if they’re left untreated.


In severe cases, people have woken up to find their face and neck covered with bed bug bites. These can be irritating as well as looking unsightly. If you run a hotel or B&B, the last thing you want is your customers being eaten alive by bed bugs while they sleep as this could damage your reputation.

Allergic reactions

Some people may develop an allergic reaction to being bitten by bed bugs. This may take the form of a rash on their arms, face or neck and can be uncomfortable as well as affecting their appearance.


Bed bugs can cause unnecessary amounts of worry and stress if they’re left untreated. It’s difficult to get a good night’s sleep if you think there are tiny little creatures waiting to bite you in the night.

How to get rid of bed bugs

At Anglo Scottish Pest Control we use an innovative steam based method to eradicate bed bugs from your home or business.

Bed bugs can only survive within certain temperature ranges. Our superheated steam eradication can be used at up to 180°C which is far hotter than the recognised thermal death point for bed bugs.

As well as getting rid of bed bugs in your home, we can also give you our professional advice to minimise the chances of a future infestation.

Find out more about our bed bug pest control service