The common bed bug, Cimex lectularius, is a parasitical insect that sucks on human blood. While this household pest was largely eliminated from the developed world during the mid 20th century, the bed bug population has experienced something of a resurgence from the 1990s onwards, meaning it is again important to be able to recognize these small yet bothersome creatures. It is important you know what you are dealing with before getting a bed bug exterminator.
Bedbugs can be difficult to identify because of their small size. Adults grow to a maximum of a quarter of an inch in length and a tenth of an inch in width. Their bodies have a flattened presentation and are elliptical in shape, but they lack wings. The difficulties involved with detecting these pests because of their diminutive physical appearance are exacerbated by their preferred habitat – they have a tendency to secrete themselves in the crevices of bedding and other furniture. Moreover, they are nocturnal creatures and so they only
operate during the night time hours.
In terms of color, some bed bugs are of a light brown shade, but most are more reddish than this and may
have a slightly rusty appearance. After feeding on blood, bed bugs become temporarily redder – rust or
red-colored stains on your bedding might be evidence of pests that have been crushed during your sleep.
Equally, small brown stains could be left by bed bug fecal matter.
Young bed bugs, knows as nymphs, are smaller still and are at first translucent, darkening in color as they reach maturity. Part of their physical development involves molting after taking a blood meal. Nymphs molt up to five times before they reach adulthood, and traces of these empty translucent shells on your mattress or headboard could indicate a bed bug infestation.
The eggs of bedbugs are yet more difficult to see, measuring a mere 1mm in length. They can be identified more readily when they are found in clusters of up to 50, with adult female bed bugs capable of producing up to 500 eggs during their lifetime.
Hire a professional exterminator and get rid bed bugs once and for all.