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Identification & Behavior

1. Eggs are pearl white and about 1mm in length.
2. Bed bugs can lay 3-6 eggs per day.
3. Newborn or first stage immature bed bugs are 1mm in length.
4. Bedbugs go through five developmental stages before adulthood.
5. Bed bugs must feed in each stage to develop to the next stage.
6. Adults are approximately the size of an apple seed and are reddish-brown in color.
7. Typically nocturnal, but will feed during day.
8. Will feed every 7-15 days.

Cimex lectularius a/k/a bed bugs, are small but visible insects. There are three main life stages: the whitish egg about 1 mm in length (piece of dandruff), five pale juvenile (nymph) stages that range from 1mm to 4.5 mm (1/4 inch), and the adult which can be as long as 8 mm (3/8 inch) oval shaped, wingless, and are relatively flat.

The eggs cannot be seen without adequate magnification. The immature bugs start off almost translucent and become darker as they continue to feed and morph into adults. They typically have a spot on the lower back and lines going across it as well. They are very fast runners and can travel far in a short period of time.

The newly hatched nymph is very pale, almost translucent until it feeds. After feeding it looks like a tiny droplet of blood. Each nymph stage will feed and become filled with more red blood. The adult is approximately the size and shape of an apple seed. Its color is dark red to brown and its body is flat as a credit card before feeding.

The most common sign of a bed bug infestation is the appearance of bites on the arms, neck, torso, or legs. One may also find live or dead bugs. Clusters of small stains or droplets of dried blood on furniture and bedding may also be found.

These stains represent bed bug fecal droppings. Another sign is shed skin from bed bugs that shed their outer skin, or molt, as they grow. Shed skins are amber in color and resemble the shape of a bed bug. There may also be live bugs and eggs where droppings are found.

When searching for bed bugs,it is important not to overlook the nymphs,which are extremely difficult to locate. They can be found where droppings and stains appear, especially in cracks & crevices on fabric and wood surfaces.

The stains from bed bug fecal droppings can appear as rounded bumps or black, soaked-in stains. The adult bed bug is waiting to feed on blood. Adult bed bugs can fit easily into crevices as thin as a credit card.

Nymphs are even thinner. Once fed,they are longer and plump until they begin to digest the blood meal. Bed bugs can lay 3-6 eggs per day. The eggs take approximately 6-10 days after being left by the female.

The bed bugs tend to be nocturnal, but will feed during day if the blood meal is not obtained at night. Their feeding varies on temperature but it typically ranges between 7-14 days.

Adult bed bugs can live without a blood meal for up to 18 months and will wander to find a new host when one is unavailable.


Bed bugs going to get a meal very nice isn't it.

Another canvas strap that has been folded up out of the way to expose bugs, exuviae, feces, eggs on box spring covering. Louis N. Sorkin, BCE, Entsult Associates, Inc.

Bed bug first instar nymph will begin feeding. AMNH-Sorkin&Mercurio
bed-bugs-life-cycle


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