Scary bed bug mutation

Hello all. This is my first post for Rentokil, but I felt I just had to share what happened with me today with people as it was really shocking. I work for Rentokil as a Technician, and much of my day is made up of visiting homes and businesses looking for pests and helping get rid of infestations. Today started out pretty normally (get my equipment ready, plan my route, a couple of visits to business sites) and then got really weird.

hand-bugI visited a residential customer, who had called about being bitten during the night. I reckoned it might be bed bugs or fleas or some other little insect (its hard to tell normally) but once I got there it was really obvious that they had a bed bug problem! Normally these little things are hard to find, and you have to look very carefully to find them in mattress seams, cracks and crevices. This time though, well, let me just say I saw a monster bed bug straight away. It was the size of cockroach! Literally! I nearly jumped out of my skin when it started walking towards me – see the picture!

ruler-bugNormally bed bugs are tiny, its just about possible to spot an adult, but a nymph, forget it (they can grow to about to about 5mm as an adult). This one was nearly 20mm – 4 times as big as any I have ever seen! I had to force myself to catch it and put it in a jar that the lady who lived there gave me. Luckily I only spotted the one…

I have handed over the bed bug to our Divisional entomologists to see if they can see what has happened – but I reckon it’s some sort of mutation or maybe even a cross between a bed bug and a cockroach!

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