Bed Bug Pictures, Symptoms and Treatment | Preventing …

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Summary: Bed bugs (often spelled "bedbugs") are small blood-sucking insects. While still relatively rare in the US bed bugs have recently become important pests in motels, hotels, and other high traffic places. Learn how to identify bed bugs and prevent bites from these critters.

Bed bugs are flattened (unfed) broadly oval insects, and about 1/4" long (see photo right) when full grown. As they feed and fill with blood they become less flattened and more "football" shaped (see front and side views). These true bugs (Hemiptera) are reddish brown in color and lack wings even as adults. E-mail images to our Insect Id Service to confirm an infestation.

Bed bug larvae (nymphs) look like small adults and there is no pupal stage between nymphs and adults. All stages of bed bugs, except eggs, bite to obtain the blood they need in order to grow.

common misspelling: bedbug (no space); since bed bugs are true bugs the proper spelling is "bed bug" with a space between the two words.

Bed bug (4th instar larva, unfed) - about 1/5". After feeding bed bugs become less flattened, more rounded.

Bed bugs bite at night and hide during the day. Hiding places include the seams and folds of mattresses, cracks and crevices of bedside furniture, floor moldings and other protected spaces (see Bed Bug Hiding Places). They can survive long periods off the host without feeding, or they may feed on an alternate warm-blooded animal but humans are their preferred host. Heavily infested rooms often have a distinctive odor which is produced by scent glands on the bugs themselves. While digesting a meal bed bugs excrete black fecal material (digested blood) that accumulates where they hide and is characteristic of an infestation.

Since bed bugs don't fly, and not able to walk very far on their own, they rely on us to move them from one place to another. Rooms generally become infested because bed bugs are carried into the room on our belongings (see How to Clean Belongings). The bugs can hide themselves in pillows, blankets, sleeping bags, backpacks, towels, clothing, and so forth, when transported from an infested room to one that is not infested.

Bed bugs bite with piercing and sucking mouth-parts, similar to mosquitoes, and bites result in local swelling and irritation like a bad mosquito bite. Bites can occur in lines or clusters. Bed bugs do not transmit human disease.

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Bed Bug Pictures, Symptoms and Treatment | Preventing ...

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