Some people enjoy sleeping alone, but sometimes it’s unavoidable or unwanted. Several members of the Cimicidae family have moved into the comfort of many homes across the U.S. and into their beds and other comfortable places.  Cimex lectularius, also known as the bed bug, is a parasitical bug that is mainly associated with humans, birds and bats. Although they parasitize with these different creatures, they adapt best to human environments 1.

There are many people that don’t know what bed bugs are capable of and why they choose to sleep in beds with other humans. Another question that has also risen to the surface is, what do they look like? The answer is this: They are a small bug that has a chestnut brown color to them, dorso-ventrally flattened, and the adult bug usually measures up to c. 5 mm across2. Bed bugs can look similar to other small insects such as ticks and fleas, but don’t get confused as to where each bug can hide or even sleep at night.

Bed bugs are known for spending most of their lifetime concealed in harbourages, including around the seams of mattresses, in bed-frames, behind head-boards, behind skirting boards, in furniture, inside electrical fittings, behind pictures and coving, in curtains, under fitted carpets and in wall voids2. These small creatures hide and sleep in other places that aren’t exclusive to peoples’ beds. They are also sometimes found on or in clothing and the seams on clothes, but they are almost never found on humans.

Whenever there is an unfortunate event of bed bugs being spotted on someone, one most know what the dangers of that situation are. After someone has been bitten, that person may or may not show a substantial, red, itchy reaction wherever the bite occurs. While some people have extreme and quick reactions to a bite, some people may never have any reaction at all2. This can be very fortunate in some cases, but knowing that someone has been bitten only means an early detection of an infestation in your home, apartment, office, etc. Although bites may sometimes become secondarily infected, research has consistently indicated that bedbugs do not transmit blood-borne infections, such as HIV or hepatitis2. With this being known, the worse consequence of a bed bug is only irritation, itchiness, and swelling of certain areas.

The infestation of bed bugs can be very annoying, irritating, and also very costly. After some people have experienced them moving into their homes, their only solution may be to throw out any mattresses, (a memory foam mattress naturally resists bed bugs) furniture, carpet, linens, and many other items that could have contained bed bugs. This only means that replacements are in need for any place or item that has been bothered by this insect. If you ever suspect bed bugs, we recommend contacting a pesticide specialist immediately. COMING SOON:Please read ‘How to Prevent and Control Bed Bugs’ for tips you can use to help prevent and control them in your home.

[1] Reinhardt, Klaus, and Michael T. Siva-Jothy. “Biology of Bed Bugs (Cimicidae).” Annual Review of Entomology 52. (2007): 351-374. PDF. 30 Nov 2010. <;.

[2] Boase, Clive. “Bedbugs – Back from the Brink.” Royal Society of Chemistry 2001 (2001): 159-162. Web. 30 Nov 2010. <;.