What is a Bed Bugs? What do they look like?
An adult Bed Bug is about quarter of an inch in length, oval in shape (some are more elongated than others), with 6 legs, quite flat in height and reddish-brown in varying degrees of color.
A bed Bug’s head is broadly attached to its wingless body. A Bed Bug’s color ranges between shades of red and brown depending upon the timing and amount of it’s blood meal. The size, in terms of fatness or height, depends upon the size of the last feeding. A hungry Bed Bug looks almost paper thin while a fully fed Bed Bug would appear to have gained some height.
Size: You can see the adults the largest one approach to be nearly ¼ inches in length.
Behavior: Bed bugs crawl scurrying into dark, tight spaces to hide they move as fast as an ant. They can’t jump or fly and you will never find them burrowing into your skin. If the insect you have found came out on its own accord at night when the lights were out, near the bed or a couch, it was probably a bed bug looking for a meal.
Bed bugs are not social insects like ants, so they don’t need a colony. But while they group together in good hiding spots, loners could be hiding elsewhere.
A picture is worth a thousand words so click and enlarge this image to see Red-Brown Bed Bugs, Black feces and white eggs. Notice difference in sizes as they are at varying life stages.
Now you can imagine a small and transparent looking baby Bed Bug being born from among hundreds of these white long eggs that have been cemented onto the surfaces. This is a very high level of infestation that was not treated in time.
Temperature: Bed Bugs prefer warmer temperature like most other bugs. Adults Bed Bugs, nymphs and eggs can survive sustained hot and cold temperatures, as they will adjust in time.
Baby Bed Bugs are called Nymphs. These will grow to become adults in about 5 weeks. They are ready to feed on your blood soon after birth. The more they feed the better their chances of becoming adults and laying more eggs.
You see their black feces ! It is dark color fluid in the beginning. If excreted onto a fabric, it would sometimes burst out into the fibers and would get absorbed and would leave a dark mark. If it is left onto a non-absorbent surface, with time, it will loose moisture and become solid – An extruding dot like mark. If smudged hard, it will leave a black streak.
Skin sheds: Like many other insects, Bed Bugs go through five stages of growing up called molting.
They do not change their appearance (like butterfly does) when they complete each one of the 5 stages to adulthood.
They only loose their skin when they grow a new one. Hence, finding skin sheds is also a sign of having bed bugs.
Egg laying: The female Bed Bug can lay 5-7 eggs in one week.
Bed Bugs feed when people are sleeping or dozing off in couch and usually when it is dark. Bed Bugs would remain in cracks and crevices of the bed when they are not feeling hungry enough to venture out of these safe quarters.
Adults Bed Bugs, nymphs and eggs can survive sustained hot and cold temperatures, as they will adjust in time.
Bed Bugs can be brought into the cleanest of homes. But the clutter and mess near a bed and around a bedroom would make it harder for the residents to spot these pests.