What are bed bugs?

What are bed bugs?

What are bed bugs? Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are parasites that feed typically on the blood of humans although they will suck blood from other animals such as bats, birds and mice. An adult bed bug is oval shaped, flat and about ¼ inch long. They generally appear brown in colour except after feeding (sucking on blood) when they swell to roughly three times their size and turn red. At this point they are often confused as a different type of insect, since they look nothing like they did before. Bed bugs that feed regularly generally live for about 10 months, while those that don’t feed as often can survive for more than one year. It is not unusual to have 3 generations of bed bugs living at one time. Female bed bugs can lay between 1-5 eggs per day which require an incubation period of about 10-12 days. The eggs are curved in shaped, about 1/25” long and are generally deposited in clusters with a sticky substance that allows them to attach to cracks or crevices near their adult homes. The newly hatched bed bug is beige-colored before feeding, and then turns a reddish colour after its first blood meal. Baby bed bugs only require five blood feedings before they reach their adult size and will grow to maturity generally within 4-5 weeks. They shed their exoskeleton in between each of the feedings as they get larger. Once they reach their adult size they begin to lay eggs themselves. Bed bugs are nocturnal so generally feed when you are sleeping at night. They are attracted to the warmth of the body and the carbon dioxide that is exhaled while sleeping. They climb up on you, pierce your skin with two tubes and feed for about five minutes. Through one of the tubes the bed bug injects anti-coagulants (so your blood continues to flow) and an anesthetic so you don’t feel their biting. Bed bug bites can be found anywhere on the body, although they prefer exposed areas of skin, so tend to attach themselves onto the face, arms and legs. Sometimes instead of singular bites there are clusters of bed bug bites on your body. This is usually a result of having disturbed them during their feeding frenzy which has resulted in them becoming detached from your body and having to return to feeding elsewhere. What is incredible is that bed bugs can go over a year without a blood meal.

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Sleepclean is a family owned Canadian company, we sell anti allergy, dust mite and bed bug control mattress, pillow and box spring covers throughout Canada. We also supply anti allergy dust mite duvets and pillows.
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