What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed Bugs (Cimex Lectularius) are parasitic insects that feed on the blood of humans. A full-grown adult bedbug can reach approximately 5 mm long and 3 mm wide and is reddish dark brown in color. They can look a bit like an apple seed. Young bedbugs, or “nymphs” start very very small and go through 5 life stages to reach adulthood. Nymphs are translucent to tan in color and will grow darker as they grow older.
Once bedbugs find a host, bedbugs will begin to nest and reproduce. Female bed bugs can lay 5-10 eggs a day and over five hundred in her lifetime. It takes eggs 6-10 days to hatch and less than a month for a newly hatched bed bug to reach maturity and lay eggs of its own. Bedbug infestations start to become most noticeable after a few months. A bed bug can theoretically live up to 18 months without feeding without a food source. However, this does not mean that bugs will lay dormant in your home for a year and then return. If there is food available, they will feed, and you will know they are there.
Read the EPA article that has a wealth of good information on bed bugs.