What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed Bugs (Cimex Lectularius) are parasitic insects that feed on the blood of humans. A full-grown adult bed bug can reach approximately 5 mm long, 3 mm wide and is reddish dark brown in color. An adult bed bug is approximately the size and shape an apple seed. Young bed bugs, or “nymphs” start 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. When you squash a bed bug that has recently fed, red blood will come out (Gross, yes, but it is a good indicator of bed bugs seeing as they are the only insect of its kind that does such thing.)
Once bed bugs find a host, they 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. A bed bug can theoretically live up to 18 months without feeding, 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.
Want more? Click the link to read this EPA article that has a wealth of good information on bed bugs.