Bed Bug Facts: Protect Against Bed Bugs
Get All the Facts and Tips to Avoid Bedbugs
Bed Bug Scientific Name and Bed Bug Distribution
Scientific name: Cimex lectularius
Common name: Bed bug
Order: Hemiptera (true bugs)
U.S. Distribution: All states World
Distribution: All temperate areas
What do bed bugs look like?
To get familiar with exactly what a bed bug or a bed bug infestation looks like, see pictures of the bed bug life cycle and pictures of bed bug infestations.
- Broad reddish brown with a broad, oval shape with a flattened body when unfed
- Bed bugs do not have wings and do not fly
- bed bugs have a pair of antennae that have 4 segments to it
- Their feeding “beak” stinger is usually tucked on their underside, is 3 segmented and used as a piercing and then sucking mouth part
- Adult bed bugs are about ¼ inch long and easily visible when out in the open
The Bed Bug Returns
Until recently, many people only knew of bed bugs from the famous bedtime remark “Sleep tight, and don’t let the bed bugs bite”. Well, due to a whole host of factors such as a steady increase in international travel, urban sprawl, the banning of certain insecticides, evolutionary immunities in the bed bug, and even global warming, the bed bug has returned – with a vengeance.
Statistics show a dramatic 500% increase in reported bed bug cases over the last few years, and experts are predicting no end in site. The Spreading of Bed Bugs Bed bugs are real globetrotters, making an appearance in virtually every temperate climate across the globe.
But how did they spread so rapidly? Experts agree that the bed bug is an accomplished stow-away traveler, imbedding themselves in luggage, inside aircraft passenger cabins and baggage compartments, on cruise ships, in hotels, taxis, buses and even on travelers clothing and shoes. Add this to the fact that bed bugs are eminently prolific breeders, and you have your answer.
A bed bug female can produce up to 5 eggs per day and about 500 in her life span. It doesn’t take much to see how a few bed bugs in your home can turn into a major, full-blown infestation in very short order. As well, with the proliferation of multi-unit housing, bed bugs have ingratiated themselves in apartment buildings, college dorms, high-rise office buildings, shopping malls – you name it.
The Bed Bug – Smart and Crafty
The bed bug, on close inspection, seems harmless enough. They’re tiny – about the size of an apple seed. They hide most of the time, so they are generally out of view. But, they have a very significant range of movement – as much as 100-200 feet per day. And, they hide in many hard to get to places such as floor boards, behind paintings, under carpets, behind wall paper, in electrical conduits and behind wall plugs, in the seams of your mattress, and inside box springs to name but a few.
(To learn how to check for bed bugs, see Inspecting Your Home for Bed Bugs.)
In addition, bed bugs are nocturnal, so they generally feed between midnight and 4am, so they tend to stay out of sight during the day. But,when it’s feeding time, look out! They hit the ground running and head towards the nearest source of food – usually human blood. As a result of this nightly onslaught, some bed bug victims have reported as many as 500 bites in one night! If you want to see what bedbug bites looks like, see these pictures of bed bug bites.
What To Do About Bed Bugs
After reading the Bed Bug Dos and Don'ts, we recommend protect your bedding! SecureSleep™ encasement products from Bedbug.com are an important component in protecting your home ad family against bed bugs. See our quality bedding protection products for protecting mattresses, box springs and pillows.
When traveling, protect yourself and your clothing with Bedbug.com's laundry bags, suitcase protectors and travel pillow protectors.
Keep informed by reading bed bug articles in the Bed Bug Knowledge Center.