Bed Bugs

Cimex Lecturalius L.
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What do bed bugs look like?

a bed bug crawling on upholstered furniture in phoenix home

Adult bed bugs are flattened oval-shaped bugs ranging from a light brown to rust-red color. They are wingless, have six legs, and are equipped with antennae. Both bed bug eggs and newly hatched bed bugs are white to off-white in color. Nymphs will remain white until they begin to feed. 

Life cycle of bed bugs

Gradual metamorphosis

Bed bugs attach eggs to surfaces using an adhesive secretion.  The eggs are white, elongated, and about 1/25 inch long.  The bed bug will hatch and feed instantly on a host for a blood meal.  A blood meal is required during the 5 instars (molt stages) until mature. 

At maturity, five weeks to four months after hatching depending on environmental conditions, the male and female will mate through a process called traumatic insemination.  The male penetrates the female abdomen to successfully fertilize eggs. The female generally requires a blood meal prior to laying eggs. 

A minimum of 1-5 eggs is released each day for the rest of her lifetime which is typically one year.

Are bed bugs dangerous?

Bed bug bites, arranged in a rough line or a cluster and typically located on the face; neck; arms; and hands, may become red and extremely itchy but they are not considered dangerous. Bed bugs are not known to transmit disease.  

Where do bed bugs hide?

They readily hide in small crevices, so they may accompany as stowaways in luggage, furniture, clothing, pillows, boxes and other objects.

Used furniture, particularly bed frames and mattresses, are of greatest risk of harboring bed bugs and their eggs. They also wander through voids in walls and holes through which wires and pipes pass.

Interesting facts about bed bugs

The young bed bug feeds for about three minutes with adults feeding 10-15 minutes to become engorged.  Females will intake more blood than males.

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