Order and Family:
Hemiptera, Cimicidae – Blood Feeders
The adult is brown, flattened, oval, wingless and about 4mm to 5mm in length when unfed. Newly hatched bugs are tan and somewhat translucent. When fed, the body becomes swollen and elongated and the color becomes dull red to darker brown.
Bed bugs depend on blood for their complete nutrition. Bed bugs most commonly attack man but may also use other hosts including bats, chickens and other domestic animals. Bed bugs grasp human skin with their forelegs, pierce the skin, and inject anticoagulant and anesthetic-containing saliva. Bed bugs feed at night, approximately an hour before dawn. However, if the conditions are favorable, they also feed during the day. Feeding takes 3-12 minutes. Adult bedbugs can survive without a meal for a year or longer.
Females can deposit one to five eggs a day, and may lay 200 to 500 eggs in a lifetime. The eggs hatch within 10-14 days after being laid. The nymph stage lasts 6 weeks, undergoing 5 molts.
Bed bugs can live between wooden floorboards, in furniture, in bed frames, in mattresses, in wall voids and even behind peeling paint.
Temperate climates throughout the world and has been known since prehistoric times.
Although they have not been linked to transmission of any disease, they have been shown to harbor the causative organisms of plague, relapsing fever, tularemia, Q fever, and hepatitis B. The transmission of hepatitis is theoretically possible by contamination from crushing the bug, contamination from infected feces, or from regurgitation during the bite. Transmission of trypanosomes has been demonstrated in bats.