Bed Bug | Biology

Bed Bugs are members of the insect Family Cimicidae, in the Order Hemiptera and in the Suborder Heteroptera, also known as true bugs.  There are 3 species of bed bugs that can infest your home in the United States, especially in states like Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Florida, and more.

Cimex lectularius Linnaeus “The Common Bed Bug”:  The most common species of bed bug infestations.  Adults are 1/5-1/4-inch long and are typically reddish brown to mahogany brown in color.  Their bodies are covered in tiny golden hairs that are nearly invisible to the naked eye.  Bed bugs have an incomplete life cycle going through 5 nymphal stages.  To develop from one stage to each successive stage, the bed bug requires a blood meal.  Bed bug stretch in size about 130% to 200% after fully engorging on a blood meal.  Bed bugs mature from egg-to-egg in approximately 45-60 days.  Adult females generally live 6-12 months and produce 200-500 eggs in their lifetime.

 Cimex hemipterus Fabr. “Tropical Bed Bug”: Well established in Florida and quickly spreading throughout the southeast.  In some infestations, both the tropical bed bug and the common bed bug species may be present.

Cimex pilosellus Horvath “The Bat Bug”:  The bat bug most commonly infests bat populations but can also infest homes and be a parasite to human hosts when bats occupy homes and attics.  If bat bugs are found in or around your home, you may need to contact a specialized wildlife removal expert to remove and exclude bats prior to addressing a bat bug infestation.  Bat bug infestations can then be treated by pest control expert trained in handling such infestations.

**Bennett, Garry, Owens, Corrigan. Truman’s Scientific Guide to Pest Management Operations 7th edition. A Purdue University North Coast Media LLC Project

***Gangloff-Kaufman. J. et al. 2006 “Bed Bugs in America: A Pest Management Industry Survey.” American Entomology Vol. 52