The Common Bed Bug is a small (4 to 5 mm in length) parasitic insect in the Order Hemiptera (family Cimicidae). They are found in temperate climates around the world. Although there are several species of bedbugs, the Common Bedbug is the one most adapted to feeding on humans (Potter 2010). These are flightless insects and are flattened, oval or rounded, and brown in colour (Cannings and Scudder 2005). They are active at night and bite people while they sleep. During the day, they hide close to where they feed, often in mattresses, box springs, and headboards.
Although they are a pest, causing itchy rashes and allergic symptoms, bedbugs are not known to transmit any diseases to humans. "Although bed bugs can harbor pathogens in and on their bodies, transmission to humans is considered unlikely. Their medical significance is chiefly limited to the itching and inflammation from their bites. Antihistamines and corticosteroids may be prescribed to reduce allergic reactions, and antiseptic or antibiotic ointments to prevent infection. Though not known to carry diseases, bed bugs can severely reduce quality of life by causing discomfort, sleeplessness, anxiety, and embarrassment." (Potter 2010)