Bed bugs (cimex lectularius) are small blood sucking insects that can live in cracks and crevices in and around your bed. Attracted by body heat and carbon dioxide, they crawl out at night to bite your exposed skin and feed on your blood. There has been a huge increase in bed bug infestations around the world. It is likely that tourists and resistance to insecticides are the main reasons for this. Bed bugs are not dangerous, they do not transmit disease. However their presence can be upsetting and stressful. Adult bed bugs are visible to the naked eye. They are oval shaped, flat and reddish brown. And up to 5mm long. Females lay 200-500 eggs over a two month period. These white specks are not easy to spot. They hatch to form straw coloured insects that take about six to eight weeks to grow to adults. As they grow they shed there skins. This looks like mottled brown shells on your mattress.