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Bed Bugs are becoming increasingly more of a problem. They can be found in homes of all kinds, apartments, shelters, dormitories, hotels and even cruise ships. For more information go to www.bedbugcentral.com . “Bed Bugs 101”- Biology & Behavior is written by Richard Cooper, entomologist and Technical director of bed bug central and is there to help educate the public on a rapidly growing problem.
Get rid of bedbugs and keep your family safe!
Bed bugs have been around forever. But they are spreading because of lack of public awareness.
Bed bugs can live in any home or building, even in tiny cracks of furniture as well as on clothes and upholstered furniture. However they are more frequently found where people sleep. They can be found in beds such as the mattresses, box springs and bed frames. They also like to live in corners inside dresser drawers , curtains, and inside the spaces of wicker furniture. Because bed bugs can live for months on time without eating they can be found in vacant homes or buildings.
Bed bugs bring a whole new meaning to the innocent nursery rhyme “Sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite”
Biology & Behavior
- Bed bugs are primarily nocturnal insects that feed on blood
- Females can lay 1-5 eggs per day
- Eggs hatch approximately 7-10 days after being deposited by the female
- Development from egg hatch to adult takes approximately 1 ½ -2 months depending upon environmental conditions and food availability
- Individual bed bugs do not need a blood meal everyday and can go several days or more between each blood meal.
- Bed bugs are inactive between blood meals, they hiding in secretive resting places
- Bed bugs will disperse throughout a dwelling not just your bedroom
- Bed bugs are resilient and can survive for several months or more without a blood meal
Bed bugs belong to the Cimicidae family of insects . All members of this family feed exclusively on blood. Closely related species in this family feed on birds, bats and other animals. However, the species most adapted to living with humans is the common bed bug (Cimex lectularius)
The Bed Bugs go through five developmental stages before reaching maturity. A blood meal is required between each stage. As the bed bugs develop they become larger and darker until reaching adulthood. Under favorable conditions, bed bugs can complete development in one and half – two months. Cool temperatures or limited access to a blood meal may prolong the developmental period. On Average Adults will live for just under a year. The adult females will deposit about 5 eggs per day depositing them in a wide variety of locations. An adult female can lay up to 500 eggs during her lifetime.
Bed bugs are nocturnal insects and lead a very cryptic lifestyle. Bed bugs are often present for weeks or even months before a single bug is ever seen. They live in cracks and crevices associated with all your bedding area. They will disperse away from the bed and can live between or beneath floorboards, carpeting, under moldings, in or under furniture, behind picture frames, inside walls, etc. There is no crack too small for this insect to live and breed. From these secluded cracks and crevices that the bugs emerge during the nighttime to feed on their sleeping host. The bites are typically painless and often go undetected.
Bed bugs differ from other blood feeding pests such as mosquitoes, fleas, etc. Both adult males and females, throughout their life cycle feed on blood.Once they have fed they return back to hidden. In the absence of a host,bed bugs can continue to survive for many months without a blood meal. It has been reported that bed bugs can survive a year or more without feeding.