Bed bugs are flat, oval shaped insects. They have vestigial front wings but no hind wings. As adults, bed bugs are light to reddish brown in color. Their abdomens appear to be banded because they’re segmented and covered with microscopic hairs.
At maturity, bed bugs can grow from 4-5 mm long and between 1.5 and 3 mm wide.
Carbon dioxide, warmth and certain chemicals all attract bed bugs to their hosts. Their mouths are specifically adapted to pierce skin and they feed on blood. While they’re feeding they inject saliva with anticoagulant properties, like the majority of blood sucking arthropods.
Generally bed bugs feed at night and find shelter during the day, however, they will bite during the daytime if the opportunity presents itself, especially if they have gone without feeding for some time. Bed bugs usually feed every one to two weeks but they can survive for up to a year without feeding.
Depending on the environment, bed bugs’ lifespans range anywhere from about five months to one year.
Since they’re relatively small and flat, unless they’ve recently fed, bed bugs can live and hide in very tight spaces. Humans are their primary source of food so they’re found in just about any place where you can find people. They’re common in even the most unlikely of places, including hospitals, dorms, airplanes, trains, offices, ambulances, libraries, furniture rental stores, even mortuaries. It’s common to find them in places such as in comforters and bed sheets, small cracks close to beds or other furniture, behind the plates of electrical outlets or in between the layers on roll up blinds.
A bite from a bed bug can result in a range of skin manifestations, everything from no visible effect at all to skin rashes and prominent blisters have been reported. Bed Bugs can also cause a variety of health problems, such as allergic reactions, skin rashes and psychological effects. Research has shown bed bugs can become infected by at least 28 different human pathogens. Studies haven’t been able to clearly show whether the insect can transmit a pathogen it’s infected by to a person.
Bed Bug Pest Control in Seattle