Bed Bugs (Cimex Lectularius)

01 - Coin with bed bugsBed bugs are a particularly malicious and virulent pest.  Bed bugs are different than other pests we encounter in our everyday lives, especially when it comes to treatment. Early detection and intervention are the key for dealing with bed bugs. A small problem can very quickly become a large problem that is difficult to control.

Once a pest of the past, bed bugs now infest every state in the U.S. Bed bugs (cimex lectularius) are small, flattened insects that feed primarily on human blood and have been living with humans since ancient times.

“By every metric that we use, it’s getting worse and worse,” says Coby Schal, an entomologist at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. Health authorities and pest control operators are regularly flooded with calls, and the epidemic may not have yet peaked. And because bed bugs are indoor pests, there are no high or low seasons throughout the year, he adds, only continual bombardment. “It’s just the beginning of the problem in the U.S.,” Schal says.

Bed bugs crawl about 3 feet per minute but do not jump or fly.  Although bed bugs are nocturnal, they are like humans…if they are hungry, they will get up and find something to eat.

Thanks to pesticide resistance, those cans of spray at your local hardware store simply will not work, Coby Schal says, adding: “Relying strictly on chemicals is generally not a good solution.” The most effective solutions are heat treatments for a home or a structure

Bed Bugs (Cimex Lectularius)

  • Wingless, Dark Reddish-Brown, Oval and Flat
  • Move Easily Between Adjoining Rooms
  • Travel Approximately 3 Feet per Minute
  • Found in Hotels, Apartments, Dorms, Ships, Airplanes
  • Will Feed When Hungry (Day or Night)
  • After a Blood Meal Body Becomes Enlarged and Turns Red
  • Can Endure Freezing Temperatures
  • The life span of a female is about 1 year she can lay up to 500 eggs and ultimately be responsible for 31,700 bugs!!!

Habits and Behaviors

  • Nocturnal, harbor in clusters, but NOT ‘social’
  • Hide in daytime in cracks, crevices, bed frames, behind baseboards, mattress seams, etc.
Bed Bugs
  • Travel 5-20 ft. typically at night to feed
  • Takes 3-10 minutes to fill up on a blood meal (that’s you!)
  • Feeds every 2-3 days if hosts are available
  • Partly digested blood in feces causes little black, brown or rusty colored spots
  • Can remain active below 45°F
  • Adults can survive many months without feeding
  • Prefer to hide close to where people sleep
  • Flattened bodies enable them to fit into tiny crevices
  • Tend to congregate in habitual hiding places