HOW IT WORKS

Identifying Bed Bugs


Appearance

Bed bugs are small, only about ¼ of an inch in length. They are flattish and oval-shaped with reddish-brown color. Bed bugs are similar in size to an apple seed or a lady bug. Baby bugs or nymphs are significantly smaller than adults, and they measure smaller than 6 mm. Bed bugs are six-legged creatures, and the upper part of their bodies contain gold-colored hair. They have visible antennae and cone-like eyes.


The males have a sharp flap on the back of their bodies, while the female of the species has a body that ends in a rounded or curved segment. The upper body of both the males and females is often described as being wrinkly like crinkled paper. A female bed bug can be responsible for 200-500 eggs, which are approx. 1mm long. She lays in batches of 5-15 a day. The eggs are very sticky and hatch between 6-17 days later. The eggs are very small, whitish and very difficult to see on most surfaces without magnification. Their life cycle consists of 5 nymph stages before they reach full maturity. They moult after each meal and they moult for about 5 times before adulthood.

Bed bugs emit a musty, sweet odor from glands located on their thorax. The term given to an immature bedbug is “nymph”. Nymphs are small, and they shed their skins regularly before they reach adulthood. These immature bugs must eat a meal before they shed, and they shed about five times before they become mature insects.

They are not flying insects, but are very fast and a capable of moving swiftly on both horizontal and vertical surfaces. They tend to be found around places where people recline or sleep, and they generally don’t venture too far away from such areas. Some studies suggest a bed bugs life span is 10-20 months and there is evidence of bed bugs surviving up to one year without feeding.

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