Bed Bug Facts

Bed Bug Facts

Common Name: Bed bug Scientific Name: Cimex           lectularius (Hemiptera: Cimicidae)

Background

Throughout recorded history the bed bug has been a notorious           ectoparasite of humans primarily; but it has been observed to utilize           poultry, canaries, sparrows, mice, rats, rabbits, guinea pigs,           hamsters and bats as secondary hosts. It was introduced to the New           World with the early European colonists and has worldwide           distribution.

Recognition

Adult bed bugs measure 3/16± inch (5-6 mm) long, are broadly oval           and flat, and have vestigial wings (tiny wing pads) on the thorax.           Bed bugs are amber-colored, red or reddish black, depending on           whether or not they have fed recently. When present in sufficient           numbers, the odor that bed bugs emit can be detected by a keen nose.           More apparent evidences of bed bugs include the presence of fecal           stains (clustered tiny black dots) in and near daytime harborages           and the appearance of (sometimes itchy) welts at bite sites on those           who are allergic to this insect’s saliva.

The bat bug, Cimex           adjunctus, is a related species to the bed bug that may infest           buildings occupied by bats for extended periods of time. A major           difference between the two insects is that the hairs (setae) on bat           bugs are longer than the width of the eyes, while the hairs on bed           bugs are shorter than the width of the eyes. So, under           magnification, the bat bug has a more hairy appearance than the bed           bug.

Biology

Don't let the bed bugs bite Each female bed bug cements 3-12 eggs per day in cracks,           creases, seams and corners associated with fabric, wood, gypsum           board and other textured materials. Female bed bugs may lay 200           to 500+ eggs during an average lifetime. The pearly-white bed           bug eggs measure 1/32 inch (1 mm) long and hatch in 6-17 days in           warm, humid settings. Under ideal conditions of host           availability, warmth and humidity, the hemimetabolous           development (incomplete metamorphosis) may occur in as little as           35-48 days. There are 5 immature growth stages (nymphal instars)           of the bed bug with a blood meal required for each molt. About 5           to 10 minutes are required for each blood meal, during which bed           bugs inject a saliva containing an anticoagulant. [Bed bugs have           not been found to transmit disease organisms from host to host           through biting and feeding.] Once fed, nymphs can survive 51±23           days; while adults can survive up to a year on one blood meal.           Therefore, being poorly fed can greatly prolong the life cycle           (up to several years in some studies). Not all bed bugs in a           residence will feed concurrently. They remain concealed until           hungry. Although bed bugs are nocturnal, they may feed on a           resting person in a darkened room during daytime hours. The           activity threshold is 57±2°F. Below 61ºF adults enter           semi-hibernation. The lethal heat stress point is 112±1°F.