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What are Bed Bugs?

Bed Bugs (Cimex lectularius) are small insects that solely sustain themselves on the blood of warm blooded animals. Wingless creatures, they are referred to as nest parasites and can often be found in bird’s nests and bat roosts. They also sometimes live in the "nest" or beds of human beings. Bed bugs are extremely small, however, they can be seen by the human eye. Though this is true, they often go unnoticed because they hide when they are disturbed and are most active one hour before the sun rises, when most people are in a deep sleep. Bed Bug hatchlings (newborns) are similar in size to a poppy seed. The adults are a bit bigger, measuring at about .25 inches long. The bugs are flat and oval shaped.

When Bed Bugs infest human homes, they can often be found in beds (hence the name), couches or any type of soft furniture. In recent years, Bed Bug infestations have become increasingly problematic. News stories reporting about hotel rooms being overrun by Bed Bugs have become common. Hotels, however, aren’t the only places experiencing an increase in these blood sucking insects. They are also showing up in growing numbers in people’s homes, dorm rooms, homeless shelters and cruise ships, amongst other dwellings. The thought of ones home or bed being full of bugs is distressing enough. Add to that knowledge that the bugs bite and are suck your blood and the result is a rather nightmarish scenario.

Bed Bugs "attack" warm blooded beings, whether human or animals, when they are sleeping. The host is typically unaware that they are being bitten because they can’t feel it. When Bed Bugs bite, they secrete saliva into the skin of their victim or host. If the bugs come back to the same host and continue to secrete saliva into their skin, overtime, their body will become increasingly sensitive to it and an allergic response will occur. This reaction could be mild or quite severe, depending on the individual. It may even cause lesions that are similar in appearance to mosquito bites. Many people will assume that this is what they are and never suspect Bed Bugs.

Again, Bed Bugs are small, nest parasites. They suck the blood of a warm blooded hosts, often causing an allergic reaction in human beings . Recently, there has been an increasing number of outbreaks across the country. Though Bed Bug bites can be uncomfortable and the thought of sleeping with blood sucking insects, frightful, the bite’s effects aren’t typically serious or harmful. There are, however, exceptions to this.
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