Bedbugs

Pestipedia-Bed-Bug
  • Common Name(s): Bedbug
  • Order: Hemiptera
  • Family: Cimicidae
  • Common Species: Cimex lectularius
  • Commonly Confused With: Carpet Beetles, Bat Bugs, Louse Flies

Characteristics

How to Identify?
Bed Bugs are generally going to be flattened from top to bottom (like a pancake) and light brown to tan in coloration. After consuming a blood meal they may appear black in color since they are full of human blood. As juveniles, they are going to be almost clear in color and range from about 1.5-3 mm in length, which is comparable to a pinhead! The adults are going to be a little larger in size ranging from 4-6 mm. After bed bugs have taken a blood meal their body will get larger and longer which can cause them to look more like a cylinder and less like a pancake. Bed bugs can be hard for the customer to see as they are elusive and mostly nocturnal. It usually takes a trained expert to diagnose the issue! Things to look out for as a homeowner would be: waking up with bites on extremities or other areas of the body, blood stains or feces on your mattress when you are changing the sheets, or bugs crawling across the bed as you are sleeping/relaxing. If you ever think you may have an issue call Active right away and schedule an inspection!

Habitat

Where do they live?
As the name implies, bed bugs frequently live in the bedroom. They reside behind headboards, footboards, nightstands, mattresses, baseboards, and more. They aren’t just limited to the bedroom. They can be in any frequently used room in the house, like living rooms or playrooms. If you have them in one room, chances are good you’re going to have them in more! They can be transported inside the home from hotels, motels, visiting friends or family, shipped items (letters, packages), etc. Once established they breed quickly and multiply rapidly. All it takes is one fertilized adult female to start an infestation.

Food Source

What do they eat?
They feed on human blood.

Activity

What do they do?
Bed bugs stay hidden during the day and emerge at night to feed on humans as they sleep. While they do not vector any diseases they can be a huge pest due to their vast populations and their feeding habits, which can cause itchy/irritating bumps. Sometimes certain people will react to being bitten and others will show no symptoms; again, it is better to have an expert come to check if you are ever in doubt. They are serious pests which require extensive professional treatment. The use of diatomaceous earth or other home remedies found online doesn’t work and is often hazardous to human health!

Fun Fact

Bed bugs cannot be starved out as they can live from 1-1.5 years without taking a blood meal! They also prefer to feed on females rather than males or pets as body hair can be hard for them to maneuver through.

Author: G. Wyatt West– B.S.E.S University of Georgia 2017; Board Certified Entomologist

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