Bed Bug Facts, Identification and Control
Scientific Order: Hemiptera
Common Bed bug (Cimex lectularius)
Bat bug (Cimex pilosellus)
Eastern Bat bug (Cimex adjunctus)
Size: Eggs are approximately 1/32 of an inch long while adults are approximately 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch long.
Color: Their eggs are white, while babies (nymphs) are colorless, and adults are a mahogany or rusty brown color.
Signs of Infestation
Bed bugs leave behind a lot of visual cues to let you know you have an infestation. Inexplicable small brown or red stains on your sheets are a common sign that you have an infestation. On top of these stains you should be able to see visual cues of the bugs with clusters of eggs and bugs (little dark spots) in all the seams and crevices on your bed or fabric furniture.
Treatment and Prevention
The best way to control bed bugs is to find where they're hiding and keep those areas as clean as possible. Consistently vacuum all upholstery, mattresses, and pillows. Launder all clothing and bedding weekly in the warmest setting possible. Get rid of bed skirts or dust ruffles and keep blankets or covers off of the floor.
If an infestation occurs, treat mattresses, box springs, couches and other upholstered furniture or cushions should be treated with “dry” steam using professional-grade steamers with low vapor flow rates. Cimex Rest Assured, an all-natural bed bug killing spray that is distributed by Assured Environments, is an excellent solution for treating small bed bug infestations.
Behavior and Diet
As soon as they hatch, the nymphs look to find a host to begin feeding. Once they find the food source and are ready to eat, they attach to the skin and begin to probe for a good ‘access point.’ Bed bugs are nocturnal creatures, feeding only at nights.
It takes anywhere from 3-10 minutes for a bed bug to complete a meal, by which time they are completely engorged. However, once they leave the host, they will return to their hiding place for several days in order to completely digest the meal. This cycle is repeated each time the bed bugs are hungry. Normally, bed bugs attempt to feed every five to 10 days.
Reproduction and Life Cycle
Bed bugs only become fertile upon reaching their final, adult life stage. On average, a female bed bug will lay 131 eggs in her lifetime, or approximately one to five eggs each day. Their nests can be found in bed frames, floors, walls and other similar sites within homes or businesses.
Bed bug eggs can take anywhere from 6 to 28 days to hatch, depending on the environmental settings and temperatures. Bed bugs develop very quickly and can reproduce so often that it is possible for bed bugs to produce offspring of 5-7 generations in one year.
All bed bugs are oval shaped and have six legs. Their feet have claws, not pads, making it harder for bed bugs to move about freely on slicker surfaces, such as plastic or metal.
Bed bugs are wingless insects that are flattened on the top and bottom with microscopic hairs that give the impression of a wrinkled appearance.
After feeding, they become engorged with blood, increasing their body length and swelling at the sides while typically expressing a more dull-red or red-brown color.