(Cimex lectularius and the tropical bedbug Cimex hemipterus)
- Common Name: Bed bug
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Hemiptera
- Family: Cimicidae
- Species: Cimex lectularius
- Size: 1/4″
- Shape: Flat, broad, oval
- Color: Mahogany to rusty brown and they turn red after sucking blood
- Legs: 6
- Wings: No
- Antenna: Yes
Bed bugs like warm (70F°+ degrees) protected places such as:
Travel Gear – Luggage, Backpacks, clothing, hotel room furniture, blinds etc.
Bedroom Furniture – Bed bugs will typically be found within a few feet of the host but may travel up to 100 feet to feed. Some common places are seams of the mattress, inside the box spring, headboard, nightstand and other bedside furniture.
Electronics – Home Stereos, smoke detectors, wall clocks, old TV sets, tool boxes etc.
Bed bugs will usually aggregate as a colony in areas near the host. Some tell-tale signs of these colonies are dark clusters of fecal matter (secreted blood), molted bed bug skins which are shed during the maturation stages of a bed bug or in cases of a severe infestation – a musty smell.
Bed bugs are typically found in beds and small cracks and crevices.When Bed bugs feed, they inject the skin with their saliva (this keeps the blood from clotting) and an anesthetic (this keeps the host from feeling the bite and moving). Bed bugs do not spread disease, but their bites can become red, itchy welts.
- Don’t take mattresses or padded furniture that has been left at the curb or on the street.
- Check your bed sheets for blood spots.
- Keep your suitcases covered in plastic and off the floor when you travel.
- When you travel, take a small flashlight to help you look for bed bugs.
- When you return from a trip, wash all of your clothes – even those that have not been worn – in hot water to ensure that any bed bugs that may have made it that far are not placed into your drawers/closet. Then dry on highest heat.
- Bed bugs are hard to see, so if you think you have bed bugs, call a pest management professional.
Alot of companies sell bed bug sprays that are ineffective. Bed bugs are fairly tolerant of pyrethroid-based ingredients like those found in many over-the-counter pesticides. These sprays will kill weak bed bugs, but not all of them. In fact, these sprays can make them more resistant over time if they continue to be used. Some of these treatments – like bombs and foggers – can make an infestation worse by causing the bed bugs to move into neighboring rooms or apartments. Look at the active ingredients found on the label of the bottle for Deltamethrin, Prallethrin, or Gamma-Cyhalothrin. These are some active ingredients found in many store-bought bed bug sprays that are pyrethroid-based. Call your local proffesional to find your Bed Bug extermination options.