Bed bug symptoms and signs

Bed bug adults are small, brownish insects, just under a 1/4 inch long and are relatively flat. They are nearly as wide as they are long, and oval in shape. Immature bed bugs (nymphs) resemble the adults, but are much smaller and lighter in color. Newly hatched nymphs are translucent and are no bigger than a pinhead (1 mm about the size of a letter on a penny). The eggs are very small (approximately 1mm), whitish, and very difficult to see on most surfaces without magnification (individual eggs are about the size of a dust speck). Both immature and adult bed bugs feed exclusively on blood and while they have been shown to feed on other animals such as mice, dogs, cats, rabbits, etc., their primary food source comes from humans. Bed bugs do not live on, or infest people instead they are similar to a mosquito that feeds and then leaves. They are nocturnal insects and spend most of the daylight hours hiding in locations where they are unlikely to be seen. They are most active late at night when the occupants of the structure are sleeping, during which time the come out of their hiding places to feed. They cannot fly or jump instead, they move about by crawling. If they are present in a home, they are usually associated with the bed or couch so that the bug can be in close association with its food source but can also be found in other areas as well.

If you repeatedly wake up with unexplained bug bites on your body this could be a sign that you are experiencing a bed bug problem. Another thing to look for is live bugs matching the description above. Even if it turns out not to be a bed bug, housing should be aware that another bug problem exists within your room. Finally, if you see dark brownish black stains appearing on your linens or mattress this could be a sign of a bed bug infestation.

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