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Adults are 5mm long, reddish brown in colour with well developed antennae. The primary hosts are mammals, from cats and dogs to humans. Any household can be invaded by bed bugs, and as they cannot fly, they must either crawl or be passively transported in clothing, luggage, furniture or any other object that can be used as a harbourage. Even pets can unknowingly transport them.
Possible sources may be from areas of high population density such as hostels, hotels and holiday camps. These choose to make their home in warm areas, typically in bed linen, mattresses, and even woodwork near beds, although they can infest sofas and other items of upholstery.
Like fleas, they feed on blood, although most species only feed on humans when there is no other food available.