The idea of having bed bugs in your home can make anyone anxious. Not only do bed bugs cause pain and frustration from their bites, but they are often also associated with an unfortunate social stigma. Getting rid of bed bugs can be difficult and time intensive, so proper identification and early intervention is critical. Bed bugs are often mistaken for other insects like carpet beetles, fleas, and ticks, so accurate information and a close examination are necessary.
Bed bugs are insects that have 3 main body parts, six legs, and 2 antennae. They are typically light brown or reddish-brown in color and grow up to about 7 mm long. Many people compare the size and shape of a bedbug to an apple seed. Since bed bugs feed exclusively on blood, their shape changes based on how recently they have eaten. Unfed bed bugs are flat and oval-shaped, while a full bed bug looks swollen and more balloon-shaped. Bed bugs do not have wings and will not jump or fly. They may also appear to have stripes because of the microscopic hairs that grow along their segmented abdomens. Bed bugs are most often found within a few feet of a sleeping area.
Baby bed bugs are called nymphs. Bed bugs go through incomplete metamorphosis, meaning that they will hatch from an egg and go through several nymphal stages and molts before reaching adulthood. During each of these stages, bed bugs look like small versions of the adult form but smaller and sexually immature. Newly hatched nymphs are very small, about the size of a pinhead, and are clear or translucent in color. For this reason, if a baby bed bug has just taken a blood meal, it’s abdomen will actually be bright red until the blood has been digested. At this stage they can be very challenging to see. With each molt, the bed bug nymphs will gradually become larger and darker in color.
In a bed bug infestation, the adult bed bugs make up only a small part of the population. Nymphs and eggs comprise the majority. Unfortunately, bed bug eggs are very small and difficult to see. Eggs are approximately 1 mm long and whitish in color. They have a somewhat oval shape that can be compared to that of a grain of rice. Bed bug eggs can be found stuck to the surfaces of furniture, bedding, mattresses, and in small cracks and crevices.
If you have spotted bed bugs in your home or have experienced unexplained bites while sleeping, you may have a bed bug infestation. Getting rid of bed bugs is usually best handled by professionals who have the right equipment and products to get the job done completely and correctly. Bed bug extermination by GTA Toronto Pest Control is your best bet. Contact us today.