Facts & Information
Bed bugs have small, flat, oval-shaped bodies. They are wingless. Adults do have the vestiges of wings called wing pads, but they do not fully develop into functional wings.
Adults are brown in color, although their bodies redden after feeding. Full-grown bed bugs move relatively slowly and measure between 4 to 5 mm. Homeowners sometimes have the misconception that bed bugs are too small to see with the naked eye. The nymphs may be small and difficult to see, but the adults are detectable with the naked eye and may be found in the cracks and crevices they use to hide.
Newly hatched nymphs are approximately the size of the head of a pin and are white or tan until they feed. They often are described as being about the size and shape of an apple seed.
Check out these weird and wacky bed bug facts!
Bed bugs can live anywhere
When most people think of bed bugs, they think of hotels. But the truth is, bed bugs can thrive in single-family homes, apartments, hospitals, college dorm rooms, office buildings, schools, buses, trains, movie theaters, retail stores and just about anywhere that humans are. In fact, according to the "Bugs without Borders" study, 89 percent of pest professionals report treating bed bug infestations in single-family homes, and 88 percent report treating bed bug infestations in apartments/condos. Respondents also report other common areas, with 67 percent treating bed bug infestations in hotels/motels, 35 percent in college dormitories, 9 percent on various modes of transportation, 5 percent in laundry facilities, and 4 percent in movie theatres.
Bed bugs aren't just city dwellers
Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs are not just in big cities or third-world countries. They are found in all 50 states. The NPMA's " Bed Bugs in America" survey found that 17 percent of those surveyed reported having bed bugs in the Northeast; 20 percent in the Midwest; 20 percent in the South; and 19 percent in the West. However, the incidence of bed bugs is three times higher in urban areas than in rural areas due to factors such as larger population size, apartment living and increased mobility, which are conducive to the rapid spread and breeding of bed bugs.
Bed bugs are hardy
These pests can live for several months without a blood meal. This means they can linger in furniture, bags and suitcases for a long time until they are near a human host again. In addition, bed bugs can survive temperatures of nearly freezing to 122 degrees. Because of this, bed bugs are not a pest that can be treated with DIY measures. Professional pest control is the most effective way to treat an infestation.
Bed bugs are smart
As a survival instinct, bed bugs are elusive. They know to stay out of view during the daytime, hiding in mattress crevices, box springs, baseboards, behind electrical switchplates, in picture frames, and even behind wallpaper. But at nighttime, the carbon dioxide we exhale often tempts them out of their hiding spots.
Bed bugs are methodical
Bed bugs have a predictable feeding pattern. Once a bed bug finds a host, it will usually feed for 5 to 10 minutes until repletion. Sometimes the pattern of bed bugs feeing is jokingly referred to as breakfast, lunch and dinner as bites will often be found in a pattern. But the bite marks they leave behind - often in clusters or in a row on exposed skin on the chest, arms or legs - are telltale signs of a bed bug infestation.
Bed bugs could have a degree in anesthesiology
People often wonder why a biting bed bug doesn't wake up its human host when it feeds. The answer is that components in bed bug saliva act as an anesthetic and promote increased blood flow at the bite site, making the feeding process quick and nearly painless.
After feeding, bed bugs move to secluded places and hide for 5-10 days. During this time, they do not feed but instead digest their meal, mate and lay eggs.
We know that bed bugs like to bite humans, but what about our furry, four-legged friends? Here’s what you need to know about bed bug bites on pets.
Bed bugs get into your space by hitching rides on your belongings or even by traveling from unit to unit in apartment buildings. These pesky pests are on the lookout for snacks. If they find food and water in your home, they’ll probably stay for a while.
Take off all your bed sheets and check their folds, seams, corners, and edges. Strip the bed completely and check the corners, seams, zippers, and creases. Remember to turn the bed over, too. Bed bugs will hide out in any dark, warm place where they can get to food. Check all furniture, linens, decorations, and carpet. Check the undersides of couches and chairs, your headboard, and your curtains.
Make these four anti-bed bug habits part of your routine: keep your bed clear of dirty laundry, laptops, books, and other items; check the crevices, nooks, and crannies of your suitcase when you get home; clean your sheets every two weeks; hang up your clothes.
If your neighbor has informed you that their home or adjacent apartment is infested with bed bugs, you need to do a thorough home inspection. Depending on the severity of their infestation, you may or may not be affected. It is possible that bed bugs will travel through walls via cracks, electrical outlets, and more.