Bed Bugs – Pest Profile
Scientific Name: Cimex lectularius
Common Name: Bed bug, Common bed bug
Appearance: Bed bugs are small insects (less than 5mm in length) that are typically a light-to-reddish brown color. They have oval shaped bodies that will appear flat when viewed from the side.
Region & Habitat: Bed bugs are found throughout the world, with the exception of extreme polar regions. They were once nearly eradicated in the developed world, but have since made a resurgence.
Behavior: Bed bugs are blood sucking insects. Although they generally do not prefer to feed on humans, they will if no other prey is available to them. The way bed bugs feed is by piercing the skin, most commonly on the neck, face, and arms as these are the most often exposed areas of skin. While these bites are typically painless, they can leave red, swollen, and itchy welts on the skin.
Bed bugs mate by the male literally piercing the abdomen of the female and injecting his semen, which them finds its way to her ovaries. This method of mating is called traumatic insemination, for obvious reasons! Females typically lay about 5-7 eggs per week, and those eggs will watch in 1-2 weeks after they are laid. The average lifespan of a bed bug is approximately 12-18 months.
Why They Are Pests: Although bed bugs are not considered to be a serious medical concern, they are definitely a major annoyance. Fortunately, they are not known to spread disease, however allergic reactions to bed bug bites may possibly require medical attention.