Bed bugs are flat, reddish-brown, oval insects up to 4 to 5 mm long or the size of an apple seed. Swollen and reddish after a blood meal.
Behavior, Diet & Habits
Bed bugs only feed on blood. Under cool conditions, bed bugs have been able to survive up to a year without a meal. Furthermore, they prefer to be more active at night when the host is asleep.
Bed bugs are found in cracks and crevices, including mattress seams sheets, furniture, behind baseboards, electrical outlet plates and picture frames. In addition, they are often found in hotels, where they can travel from room to room and in visitors’ luggage or other personal belongings such as purses and briefcases.
Signs of Infestation
Seeing the bugs. Adult bed bugs are about the shape and size of an apple seed.
Case skins. As the juvenile bugs grow, they shed their skins, discovery of which can indicate their presence.
Defecation. After feeding, bed bugs return to their harborage to hide where they defecate black to brown stains on porous surfaces or black to brown mounds on nonporous surfaces.
Bites also may indicate bed bug activity, but further signs will need to be found, since other sources can cause red welts on the skin.