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What are Bed Bugs?

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Bed bugs, scientifically known as Cimex lectularius, are six-legged nocturnal insects that feed on the blood of humans and other warm-blooded animals. They are highly adapted to living in human environments and are the most common species found in homes. Despite their name, bed bugs are not solely confined to beds; they can also inhabit upholstered furniture, electrical outlets, picture frames, and even behind wallpaper. Their ability to travel undetected via clothing, luggage, and other belongings contributes to their widespread distribution.

Physical Characteristics:

  • Color: Adult bed bugs are mahogany to red.

  • Shape: They have a flat, oval body.

  • Size: Adults grow up to ¼ inch.

  • Nymphs: Immature bed bugs, or nymphs, resemble adults but are smaller, lighter in color, and can appear translucent.

Habitat:

  • Bed bugs can hide in many places, including:

    • Mattresses

    • Baseboards

    • Box springs

    • Headboards

    • Cracks and crevices around the house

  • They can also travel on:

    • Clothing

    • Shoes

    • Bags

    • Luggage

 

Reproduction and Lifespan:

  • A single bed bug can lay between 200 to 500 eggs over its lifetime.

  • With adequate food and normal room temperatures, bed bugs typically live up to 316 days.

These characteristics make bed bugs difficult to eliminate once they infest a home. Their ability to hide in small spaces and hitchhike on personal items allows them to spread quickly and re-infest areas even after treatment. Regular inspection and prompt action at the first signs of bed bugs are essential to preventing a widespread infestation.

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