Characteristics Of Bed Bugs

Species and location

Bed bugs are small nocturnal insects of the family Cimicidae that feed on warm blooded animals and capable of surviving without feeding for many months on end. These bed bugs come in varied species; the most common bed bug is Cimex lectularius considered to be adapting well to the human environment. This specie has been known since the ancient times, found mostly in temperate climates throughout the world. Other specie includes Cimex hemipterus seen in tropical regions like Florida that infests not only humans but also bats and poultry. Leptocimex boueti found in West Africa and South America is another specie. There is also Cimex Pipestrella and Cimex Pilosellus primarily feeding on bats, while Haematosiphon inodora feeds only on poultry in North America.

Bed bug size

Bed bugs usually are as tiny as inch in length, but after engorging themselves in human blood could grow to 4 to 5 mm and their inability to move quickly in their state helps a keen observer to notice them. The newly hatched nymphs are rather lighter in color as compared to the adults reddish brown hue. Care need be maintained as these bugs when fully engorged bear little resemblance to their original state and you may mistake them to be a different insect altogether.

Bed bug habits

Studies reveal that bed bugs tend to be active only at nighttime, say a peak attack on the victims usually occur about an hour before dawn. Maybe the warmth and the presence of carbon dioxide attract these blood suckers to pierce its host with two, creepy hollow tubes; one tube injects saliva containing anesthetics and anticoagulants, and the other gently withdraws the blood. They feed for about five minutes and quickly scamper off to the hiding place. The aftereffects result in lesions and itches, just like those of a mosquito bite. These bugs have the tendency of feeding after every five to ten days, even capable of staying alive without feeding for as long as eighteen months.


One thing about these bed bugs is that, they are attracted not by dirt as assumed but by presence of carbon dioxide. So proper airing is a good solution. Also these bed bugs have never been linked to the transmission of any diseases, though believed to harbor pathogens like hepatitis B and plague. They do cause a lot of stress and alarm, not to forget the allergic reactions. For some there are moderate cases of delusory parasitosis.

Bed bug reproduction

One fearful characteristic of the bed bugs is the female can lay up to five eggs per day, an average of five hundred in her lifetime. In warm weather, these eggs will have an incubation period of ten days and the newly hatched bugs will molt in between feedings by shedding their exoskeleton. These new generations of bed bugs will immediately seek a blood meal and when they are done, will leave tiny sores to remind you of their midnight hunt. Soon will start laying more eggs.