What do bed bugs look like?
Adult bed bugs are oval shaped and flat. They don’t have wings and they cannot fly. They grow to about ¼ inch in length. They crawl around at night in search of human blood, which they obtain through the use of a piercing, sucking proboscis. Adults are brown, but may appear reddish-brown when full. During daylight, bed bugs are virtually inactive, so you won’t see them then.
Younger bed bugs look like smaller replicas of adult bed bugs. First stage nymphs are colourless, but they darken with each stage. When nymphs molt, they leave behind a skin, which can be seen with the naked eye. The more bed bugs you have, the more skins you’ll see. Their eggs, which are white, are less than 1 mm in length. They are usually laid in clusters or singly, up to 50 at a time. Bed bug excrement is reddish brown and will leave stains on your sheets or mattress.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Hemiptera
- Family: Cimicidae
- Genus: Cimex
- Species: lectularius
What do bed bugs eat?
Bed bugs feed on the blood of warm-blooded mammals – mostly humans.
What is the life cycle of a bed bug?
Here’s where it gets interesting. Bed bugs are no joke. Each female can produce up to 500 offspring in the span of her life, and three generations can live in one year. This is why you must treat a small infestation vigorously and immediately.Otherwise, things can get out of hand pretty quickly.
Bed bugs go through what is called incomplete metamorphosis, described below.
The egg stage: The female lays eggs, up to 50 at a time. The eggs hatch in 1-2 weeks.
The nymph stage: Before each nymph can molt, it has to consume blood. Before it reaches adulthood, a nymph will molt 5 times. Maturation depends on temperatures. In warmer temperatures, full maturation can take as little as 3 weeks. In colder climates, full maturation can take months.
The adult stage: Adult bed bugs live approximately 10 months.
Where do bed bugs live?
Bed bugs prefer temperate climates, and mostly live up north on the continents of Europe, America and Central Asia. Once in your home, they prefer the folds, crevices and seams of mattresses. Since they depend on human blood to survive, though, they can live just about anywhere in your house. For this reason, don’t assume that throwing out your infested mattress will solve the problem. It won’t.