What Are Bed Bugs?
Also known as the Cimex lectularius, bed bugs are reddish-brown, small, flat, six-legged parasitic insects who feed on human blood by biting their victims. These bugs grow up to 1/4” long, and can live many months without feeding on human victims. As nocturnal insects, bed bugs are masters of concealing themselves in dark crevices and staying undetected.
There are several tell-tale signs that identify this particular human parasite.
Adult Bed Bugs
The adult bed bug is a six-legged, flat, oval-shaped light to red-brown colored insect with non-functional wings that grows to around one quarter inch in length.
Nymph Bed Bugs
Newly hatched bed bugs, also known as nymphs, are much lighter in color and more translucent.
As bed bugs mature, and discard their skins, which will happen through each of the bug’s six life stages until it reaches adulthood, they become darker in appearance.
Bed bugs can survive extended periods without feeding, as well as very low and high temperatures. A bed bug’s thermal death point is 115 °F, which causes death after around 7 minutes of exposure.