What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed Bugs (Cimex Lectularius) are parasitic insects that feed on the blood of humans. A full-grown bed bug can reach approximately 5 mm long and 3 mm wide and is reddish dark brown in color. For comparison, they are approximately the size and shape of an apple seed.
Young bedbugs, or “nymphs”, start very small, difficult to see with the naked eye, and go through 5 life stages to reach adulthood. Nymphs are translucent to tan in color and will grow darker as they grow older.
Once bedbugs find a host, bedbugs 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.
Bed bug infestations start to become most noticeable after a month or two as the population rises and the bites become more frequent. 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 information? Read the EPA article that has a wealth of good information on bed bugs.