What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed Bugs are parasitic insects that feed on the blood of humans. A full-grown adult bedbug can reach approximately 5 mm long and 3 mm wide and is reddish dark brown in color. For comparison, the adult bugs can be likened to the size and shape of an apple seed.
Young bedbugs, or “nymphs” start very small and molt their exoskelton five times as they grow in size to reach adulthood. Nymphs are translucent to tan in color and will grow darker as they grow older.
Once bedbugs find a host, they 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 few weeks as the eggs hatch and the population rises.
A bed bug can theoretically live up to 18 months without feeding without a food source. 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 to know more? Check out this EPA article that contains a wealth of good information on bed bugs.