Bedbugs

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Quick GuideBed Bug Bites: Fighting Back Against Bedbugs

Bed Bug Bites: Fighting Back Against Bedbugs

What are bedbugs? What do bedbugs look like?

Bedbugs are small oval non-flying insects that belong to the insect family Cimicidae, which includes three species that bite people. Adult bedbugs reach 5 mm-7 mm in length, while nymphs (juveniles) are as small as 1.5 mm. Bedbugs have flat bodies and may sometimes be mistaken for ticks or small cockroaches. Bedbugs feed by sucking blood from humans or animals.

Adult bedbugs are reddish brown in color, appearing more reddish after feeding on a blood meal. Nymphs are clear in color and appear bright red after feeding. The wings of bedbugs are vestigial, so they cannot fly. However, they are able to crawl rapidly.

Temperatures between 70 F-80 F are most favorable for bedbugs, allowing them to develop into adults most rapidly and produce up to three generations per year.

Reviewed on 5/6/2016
References
REFERENCES:

Greenberg, L., and J. H. Klotz. "Pest Notes: Bed Bugs." Oakland: Univ. Calif. Nat. Agric. Res. Publ. 7454. Sept. 2002.

Harvard School of Public Health

Kolb, A., G.R. Needham, K.M. Neyman, and W.A. High. "Bedbugs." Dermatol Ther. 22.4 July-Aug. 2009: 347-352.

Potter, Michael. "Bed Bugs." University of Kentucky Entomology. Aug. 2008.

Schwartz, Robert A. "Bedbug Bites." Medscape.com. Mar. 19, 2014. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1088931-overview>.

Thomas, I., G.G. Kihiczak, and R.A. Schwartz. "Bedbug Bites: A Review." Int J Dermatol 43 (2004): 430.

United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Bed Bugs FAQs." Jan. 10, 2013. <http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/bedbugs/faqs.html>.

United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Parasites - Bed Bugs." Jan. 10, 2013. <http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/bedbugs/>.

United States. Environmental Protection Agency. "Bed Bugs: Get Them Out and Keep Them Out." Nov. 26, 2014. <http://www2.epa.gov/bedbugs>.

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