Bed Bug Facts

 

Adult bed bugs are approximately 1/4 inch long and about the size, shape and color of an apple seed.

What are bed bugs?

  • Bed bugs are parasitic nocturnal insects that have been a human nuisance since pre-historic times. Found in and around sleeping areas, bed bugs feed on human blood. Bites are typically found in small clusters or rows on the upper torso or other areas of the body that are in contact with bedding.
  • Though they are usually found hiding in and around the mattress, box spring and frame of beds, bed bugs are very mobile and can hide in furniture, luggage, lamps, picture frames, curtains, even under switch plates and carpet edges. They are also excellent hitchhikers, which has contributed to their global resurgence.
  • Mostly eradicated in the U.S. after World War II, bed bugs have rebounded within the last decade due to increased international travel, pesticide resistance and lack of public awareness.
  • There is NO evidence that bed bugs spread disease. Bites are typically painless, but can cause an allergic reaction in some people leaving an itchy bump or welt that lasts for several days.
  • Bed bugs feed on exposed skin, typically once per week for five to 10 minutes until they’re full. After feeding, they hide in secluded places such as under mattress seams and behind headboards for up to 10 days while they digest their meal, mate and lay eggs.
  • An adult bed bug can survive up to 10 months without feeding, and lives between five months and one year. A single bed bug can lay as many as 500 eggs in one lifetime. Under optimal conditions, their life cycle from egg to adult is between eight and six weeks.

Nymphs, or baby bed bugs, are slightly smaller and nearly colorless when they first hatch, becoming darker as they mature. Adult bed bugs do not fly, but crawl when seeking refuge or a host.