Bed Bugs (Cimex lectularius)
Color: Various from brown to dark red
Shape: Oval and flat
Size: 1/4″ to 5/8″
Habitats: Bed bugs like to hide in cracks and crevices in walls, behind wallpaper, baseboards, between beds, and around the creases of mattresses and bedding materials. They have a pungent odor that is caused by an oil-like liquid that they emit. They’re often carried into houses by clothes, luggage, bedding, and furniture, and sometimes even on humans.
Habits: Bed bugs are attracted by warmth and carbon dioxide. They climb onto your skin and pierce you with two hollow tubes. One tube is used to inject anti-coagulants and anesthetics, the other is used to withdraw your blood. They typically feed for about five minutes before returning to their hiding places. Their bodies can triple in size with just one feeding.
Bed bugs have not been common in the United States for 50 years. However, with more and more international travel, bed bugs are hitching rides on, or with their hosts from countries where bed bugs are common.
Common bed bugs feed on human blood just below the surface of the skin. These bites itch intensely and may leave a red hard welt. Harborages may be stained with brown or black spots of dried blood. Severe infestations permeate a sickeningly sweet odor.