Bed Bug

Cimex lecturalius L.

Bed Bug

Physical Features


Bed Bugs are oval, flattened shaped ranging from a light brown to rust-red color.  They are white when first hatched.  They are wingless, have six legs and antennae. They grow to a length of 1/5 inch and 1/8 inch wide.

Life Cycle


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, 5 weeks to 4 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 1 year.

Interesting Facts


The young bed bug feeds for about 3 minutes with adults feeding 10-15 minutes to become engorged.  Females will intake more blood than males.

Symptoms


The site of bed bug bites is usually red. Extremely itchy, arranged in a rough line or cluster. Usually located on the face, neck, arms, and hands.

Nesting Sites


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.