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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.

Return to Bedbugs

See what others are saying

Comment from: 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: November 11

I was working at a hotel (and living there, planning to relocate) when I started noticing rashes, primarily on my arms and legs after about a two weeks of employment. Suffering minor cases of dermatitis in the past, I thought this was a recurrence of it. The executive housekeeper thought I may have an allergy to the detergent they used to wash the sheets, so she took 2 sets and washed them in hot water and mild soap and left them in my room on the other bed (It was a double room, but I was living there alone). One of the housekeepers told me to look under the seams of the mattress. I did this two days later, late at night, when I was going to change the sheets to the new set, when I saw what looked like rich, black soil on the side of the mattress until I looked closer and the whole mass started to move. The mattress was totally infested with bedbugs.

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Comment from: samuel, 25-34 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 08

My dad recently brought 2 chairs home that infested our home with bed bugs. The crevices of the bed were covered with little black spots, the bed was also covered. The bugs were visible so I checked my children's rooms. At first I didn't notice or see them on the beds, but after I checked several times I found their beds were badly infected. They were visible and new ones were hatching so I got rid of all beds, all but our clothing. I couldn't throw my kids' clothes away so I washed and dried them lots of times. Our skin still itches a little bit but I'm trying to decide if I need to throw our clothes away. We have put down poison and cleaned but still we itch.

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Comment from: Dilu, 25-34 Male (Caregiver) Published: August 26

Just to let you guys know I have seen and killed a bed bug just now. I realized when I saw four spots behind my back, it was very big, not like mosquito bite. It became very big after scratching so I thought of searching on google what actually are bed bugs, and the symptoms of its bite. Then I realized that it was bed bugs which bit me and not mosquitos, so I actually saw an image and where to find it. What I did was, I got up put the mattress upside down, took my magnifying glass and started looking for any kind of insects in my bed and then I saw an insect red in color with some different colors, small in size. So I just took it down and tried killing with a pen, it was so hard couldn't believe. I tried once again and killed the bug but you know, the moment I crushed the bug it was too smelly. So now I started searching for other bugs but couldn't get any.

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