Adult bed bugs are light brown to reddish-brown, flattened, oval-shaped and have no hind wings. The front wings are vestigial and reduced to pad-like structures. Bed bugs have segmented abdomens with microscopic hairs that give them a banded appearance. Adults grow to 4–5 mm in length and 1.5–3 mm wide.
Newly hatched nymphs are translucent, lighter in color and become browner as they moult and reach maturity. A bed bug of any age that has just consumed a blood meal will appear to have a bright red translucent abdomen; this color will fade to brown over the next several hours and within two days will become opaque and black as the insect digests its meal. Bed bugs may be mistaken for other insects, such as booklice, small cockroaches, or carpet beetles, however when warm and active, their movements are more ant-like, and like most other true bugs, they emit a characteristic disagreeable odor when crushed.
Bed bugs use pheromones and kairomones to communicate regarding nesting locations, feeding and reproduction.
The life span of bed bugs varies by species and is also dependent on feeding.
Bed bugs can survive a wide range of temperatures and atmospheric compositions. Below 16.1 °C (61.0 °F), adults enter semihibernation and can survive longer; they can survive for at least five days at −10 °C (14 °F), but will die after 15 minutes of exposure to −32 °C (−26 °F). They show high desiccation tolerance, surviving low humidity and a 35–40 °C range even with loss of one-third of body weight; earlier life stages are more susceptible to drying out than later ones.
The thermal death point for Cimex lectularius is high: 45 °C (113 °F), and all stages of life are killed by 7 minutes of exposure to 46 °C (115 °F). Bed bugs apparently cannot survive high concentrations of carbon dioxide for very long; exposure to nearly pure nitrogen atmospheres, however, appears to have relatively little effect even after 72 hours.
Bed bugs are obligatory hematophagous (bloodsucking) insects. Most species feed on humans only when other prey are unavailable. They obtain all the additional moisture they need from water vapor in the surrounding air.
Head board and bed structure, Mattress-buttons, seams, Broken plaster, Peeling
wallpaper, Crevices in woodwork, Skirting, Flooring joints, Carpets, Picture rails.
All bed bugs mate by traumatic insemination. Female bed bugs possess a reproductive tract that functions during oviposition, but the male does not use this tract for sperm insemination. Instead, the male pierces the female's abdomen with his hypodermic genitalia and ejaculates into the body cavity. In all bed bug species except Primicimex cavernis, sperm are injected into the mesospermalege, a component of the spermalege, a secondary genital structure that reduces the wounding and immunological costs of traumatic insemination. Injected sperm travel via the haemolymph (blood) to sperm storage structures called seminal conceptacles, with fertilisation eventually taking place at the ovaries.
Male bed bugs sometimes attempt to mate with other males and pierce their abdomens. This behaviour occurs because sexual attraction in bed bugs is based primarily on size, and males will mount any freshly fed partner regardless of sex.The "bed bug alarm pheromone" consists of (E)-2-octenal and (E)-2-hexenal. It is released when a bed bug is disturbed, as during an attack by a predator. A 2009 study demonstrated the alarm pheromone is also released by male bed bugs to repel other males who attempt to mate with them.
Cimex lectularius and Cimex hemipterus will mate with each other given the opportunity, but the eggs then produced are usually sterile. In a 1988 study, one of 479 eggs was fertile and resulted in a hybrid, Cimex hemipterus × lectularius
No actual disease is carried by this insect but continued biting may very rarely cause anaemia
in some circumstances when bitten constantly.
None to physical property