Bed Bugs: The Sneaky Pests You Didn’t See Coming

Close up image of a bed bug on a mattress

Bed bugs are small, parasitic insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals while they sleep. These bugs can survive for months without feeding on blood. This allows them to easily spread and infest various places such as houses, hotels, and schools.

These blood-sucking insects can cause a range of health issues, including skin rashes, psychological effects, and allergic reactions. Bites can cause different skin changes, like red areas or blisters. They can also make you itchy. Symptoms can appear within minutes or take a few days after the bite.

To control bed bugs, learn where they hide and how they behave, and know how to stop them from spreading. To prevent infestations, be watchful for small, dark spots and shed skin. Use mattress encasements or wash bedding regularly.

Understanding These Bugs


Bed bugs are small, reddish-brown, wingless insects that belong to the Cimex genus, specifically the species Cimex lectularius. They have flat, oval-shaped bodies and are about the size of an apple seed. Cimex lectularius Linnaeus are brown when not fed, but become darker reddish-brown after eating. They also have no wings and look see-through.

Cimex lectularius Linnaeus feeds on the blood of humans and other warm-blooded hosts. Though they are considered a public health pest, they are not known to transmit diseases. Their bites can cause itching, irritation, and allergic reactions or severe skin reactions in some people.

Life Cycle

The life cycle of bed bugs involves several stages from eggs to adults. Female bed bugs lay tiny, pale yellow eggs that are approximately 1mm in size. These eggs hatch into nymphs, which are small and translucent. As they grow, nymphs go through multiple molting stages, shedding their skins to become larger.

During each molting stage, bed bugs require a blood meal to continue growing. The whole life cycle, from egg to adult, takes about 4-6 weeks, depending on the environment and food availability. Adult bed bugs can live for several months to over a year and are capable of surviving without a blood meal for extended periods.

It is crucial to promptly monitor and address bed bug infestations. This will prevent them from becoming a persistent problem in homes and other locations. To remove bed bugs and stop them from returning, use prevention techniques and hire pest control experts.

Recognizing Bed Bug Infestations


Recognizing a bed bug infestation is essential to tackling the problem early and effectively. You can recognize bed bugs by the bites on your face, neck, arms, hands, or other body parts when you sleep. Some people may take up to 14 days for bite marks to appear. Therefore, it is important to search for other signs.

Crushing the bugs causes rusty or reddish stains on bed sheets or mattresses, which are physical signs of bed bugs. Additionally, infested areas contain small dark spots of bed bug excrement and shed skins. Homeowners should also look for the insects themselves, which are small, reddish brown, wingless, and about the size of an apple seed.

Common Hiding Places

Bed bugs are known to hide in various areas within a home or building. Some common hiding places for bed bugs include

  • Seams and cracks–Bed bugs often hide in seams, cracks, and crevices of mattresses, box springs, and furniture.
  • Furniture–Bed bugs can be found in the joints and cracks of furniture, particularly in areas close to sleeping spaces.
  • Bed frame and headboard–Infestations can occur in the bed frame, headboard, and other components of the bed.
  • Walls and wallpaper–Infestations may extend to walls and loose wallpaper, especially behind headboards and along baseboards.
  • Clutter–Bed bugs can find refuge in clutter around sleeping or resting areas, making it essential to keep spaces clean and organized.

To effectively deal with bed bug infestations, it’s crucial to thoroughly inspect all suspected hiding places and effectively treat the infested areas.

Main Cause of Bed Bug Infestations

One of the main causes of bed bug infestations is travel. When people move from one place to another, they might unwittingly carry these pests in their luggage, clothing, or bedding. Hotels, dormitories, and public transportation, like buses and trains, are common places where bed bugs can hitch a ride.

If someone brings bugs or clothes with bugs into their home, the bugs can easily spread to their furniture. This can make the problem worse. Insects are especially attracted to secondhand furniture like mattresses because they may have previously been exposed to infestations. A female can lay between 200 and 500 eggs throughout her lifetime, which can lead to a rapid increase in her population.

Bed bugs also show their skill as hitchhikers by attaching themselves to objects that people bring into a home, such as suitcases and bags. This makes it essential to implement preventive measures, especially when traveling and bringing home used furniture.

Preventing An Infestation Before and After A Vacation

To avoid these bugs, check your living areas and belongings often for signs of these pests. If you think there are bugs, vacuum and wash bedding with hot water. But it’s better to ask a pest control company for help.

In short, bed bugs come from travel, bringing infested things into the home, and not taking enough steps to prevent them. By staying alert and taking action to find these bugs early, you can reduce the harm they cause to your home.

What to do if you slept in a bed with bed bugs

If you think you slept in a bed with bed bugs, act quickly to stop them from spreading. First, carefully inspect your clothing and personal belongings for any signs of bed bugs, as they can hitch a ride and infest your home. When you return home, wash and dry your clothes in the highest temperature settings to kill any potential bed bugs or their eggs.

Next, address any bites or skin reactions caused by bed bugs. Bed bug bites typically heal naturally within one to two weeks. However, they can also trigger allergies or severe skin reactions in specific individuals.

Apply over-the-counter creams or ointments to alleviate itchiness and discomfort. If skin reactions worsen or you experience an allergic reaction, consult a healthcare professional for appropriate treatment.

To prevent future bed bug infestations, adopt some preventive measures at home. Start by washing your bedding at least weekly, and dry it on high heat to reduce Cimex lectularius Linnaeus populations. Implement regular inspections of your bed, furniture, and other areas they may hide to catch early signs of infestation. Use mattress and box spring encasements, which can prevent bed bugs from entering and make them easier to spot.

If you’re unsure whether your home has been infested, you must identify infested areas and contain the area. Placing infested items in sealed plastic bags can help contain the spread of bed bugs. Vacuum your living space thoroughly, focusing on cracks, crevices, and any other possible hiding places for bed bugs.

Do bed bugs stay on your body?

In general, bed bugs do not remain on your body once they have finished feeding. Instead, they typically crawl away to their home to digest the blood meal they’ve just ingested. A bed bug may briefly stay on you if it crawls onto your body while you’re moving. This could happen, for example, when you get up to go to the bathroom at night.

Bed bug bites are hard to recognize because the bugs release chemicals that numb the skin and stop blood from clotting. Determining if bed bugs have bitten you is difficult. This is unless you see the bugs or notice signs of an infestation.

Bed bug bites may appear itchy and arranged in a rough line or cluster on the face, neck, arms, or hands. Some people may not react, while others can experience severe itching, blisters, or hives. If you suspect a bite and show signs of an allergic reaction, you should consult a doctor.

Cimex lectularius Linnaeus can’t fly, so don’t worry about them catching a ride on your body in the air. Their primary mode of transportation is crawling, which means they would need to be in direct contact with you to reach your body.

Will showering get rid of bed bugs?

Many people dealing with bed bug infestations might wonder if showering can help eliminate these unwanted pests. Although taking a shower might seem like a simple solution, it will not get rid of bed bugs. It’s important to understand the limitations of showering when it comes to addressing bed bug problems.

First, bed bugs are primarily nocturnal, which means they are more active during the night. Bed bugs can hide in various places such as mattresses, bed frames, and upholstery. This makes it difficult to locate and eliminate them through regular cleaning methods. Showering can help wash away bed bugs that might have crawled onto your body, but it won’t address the larger infestation.

Another reason showering won’t eliminate the bugs is that these insects can survive for several months without feeding. Showering does not prevent bed bugs from reproducing and thriving in your home. However, it may provide temporary relief from the itchiness caused by their bites.

Will bed bugs go away on their own?

Bed bugs are incredibly persistent pests that can be challenging to eliminate. Many people wonder if these pests will eventually disappear on their own. Unfortunately, the simple answer is no–bed bugs will not just go away by themselves.

These tiny, reddish-brown insects rely on human and animal blood for nourishment. As long as they have access to a food source, they will continue to thrive.

Bed bugs are good at hitchhiking. They can move around by sticking to clothes, bags, or other things that belong to people. This behavior makes it even more difficult for them to simply disappear without intervention.

Cimex lectularius Linnaeus may leave if they are unable to find blood. However, this method is ineffective for individuals seeking to eliminate them from their homes. To effectively eliminate bed bugs, you need to use a strategic approach that involves multiple methods.

To deal with bed bugs, you need to maintain a clean environment, frequently wash and dry bedding and clothing, and carefully inspect any second-hand furniture before bringing it into your home. However, in some cases, professional help may be necessary to ensure the complete eradication of these pests.

What keeps bed bugs off of you at night?

Bed bugs can be a major cause of discomfort and stress, but there are ways to keep them off of you during the night. One of the most effective methods to prevent bedbug bites is by using mattress and pillow encasements. These protective covers create a barrier that prevents bed bugs from reaching your skin. Use bed bug-proof encasements with tightly woven fabric to prevent the insects from getting through.

Another helpful strategy is maintaining cleanliness and reducing clutter in your sleeping area. These bugs thrive in cluttered spaces, which provide more hiding spots for them.

To prevent bugs and avoid getting bitten, you should wash your bedding often in hot water. Additionally, make sure to vacuum your mattress and the area around your bed. Lastly, keeping your room clean is also crucial.

There are different products like sprays and lotions with oils like lavender or tea tree oil that can repel bugs naturally. You can apply these directly to your skin or bedding, creating an environment that bed bugs find less attractive. However, be sure to follow any safety guidelines and application instructions on the product to ensure its effectiveness.

To prevent bed bugs when sleeping, keep your sleep area tidy, use covers, check for bugs often, and use repellents. This will help you have a peaceful and worry-free rest.

Can you get bed bugs from having your bed on the floor?

Placing your bed directly on the floor can indeed increase the chances of attracting bed bugs. Bed bugs hide in various locations, but they primarily stay near sleeping areas. This is because they require human blood for sustenance.

When a bed is on the floor, it provides easier access for these pests to reach their meal source. Simply put, they don’t have to climb or travel as far to get to the person sleeping on the bed.

That said, having a bed on a frame or raised platform does not guarantee protection against bed bugs. They can still access the bed via other routes, such as climbing up walls and ceilings and then dropping onto the bed.

Raised beds make it harder for bed bugs to reach their target and help homeowners notice signs of infestation sooner. Signs of infestation may include finding bed bugs, their shed skins, or fecal matter, and getting unexplained bites at night.

While having a bed on the floor does increase the likelihood of attracting bed bugs, it does not guarantee their presence. To avoid bed bug infestations, homeowners should take preventive measures and regularly check for signs of infestation.

Can you get bed bugs from touching someone with bed bugs?

One common concern about bed bugs is whether or not you can get them from touching someone who has bed bugs. It’s important to understand how they spread and whether person-to-person contact plays a role.

The bugs probably won’t pass from person to person by touch, but they can still spread in other ways. Cimex lectularius Linnaeus is known to travel between locations by hitching a ride on clothing, luggage, and personal belongings.

Bed bugs can easily be brought home from infested places like hotels, public transport, and dorms. Thus, it is more likely for bed bugs to spread through the sharing of infested items rather than through direct contact.

Another point to consider is that people do not consider these bugs contagious in the traditional sense. They don’t live in the body or spread person-to-person like viruses or bacteria. They hide well and can multiply fast in a place with a suitable host.

What brings bed bugs out of hiding?

Bed bugs have excellent hide-and-seek skills and prefer to stay hidden in warm, dark places. Knowing why they come out helps get rid of bed bugs and keep them away from your house.

One factor that can bring these bugs out of hiding is their attraction to human scent. They are drawn to the carbon dioxide we exhale, as well as our body heat and natural odors. Bed bugs are more likely to emerge from their hiding spots when there is a person nearby, seeking a meal in the form of a blood meal.

Clutter and dirty clothes on the floor can also entice these bugs to leave their hiding places. These items provide the perfect environment for Cimex lectularius Linnaeus, as they offer warmth, darkness, and a human scent. Placing items such as soft toys, shoes, and dirty clothes close to the bed or even on the bed can lure bed bugs out of hiding.

Cimex lectularius Linnaeus tend to hide in the most common locations, including the contours of mattresses, internal cavities of the box springs, and various cracks and crevices in bed frames. Conducting a thorough search in and around bedding, furniture, and other likely places will help to locate these pests and bring them out of hiding.


Bed bugs have been a known human pest for thousands of years and are now making a resurgence in the United States. They are small, wingless insects that feed on human blood and are notorious for causing skin irritations or allergies. Although they do not spread diseases, managing and treating bed bug infestations is crucial to maintaining a healthy living environment.

The team at 855bugs is confident in our knowledge and expertise to provide highly effective bed bug control solutions. Utilizing the latest advancements in pest management, we ensure a neutral, clear, and comprehensive approach to bed bug prevention, management, and treatment.

These bugs are a persistent issue that requires a well-executed, knowledge-based approach to manage and treat effectively. Trust the experienced team at 855bugs to provide the highest standard of bed bug control solutions to ensure a comfortable and pest-free living experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I identify bed bug bites?

Bed bug bites can be challenging to identify, as they often resemble other insect bites. However, they usually appear as small, red, itchy bumps in a zigzag pattern or straight rows on the skin. It’s important to note that these bugs inject an anesthetic and an anticoagulant, which prevents people from realizing they’re being bitten.

What do bed bug eggs look like?

Bed bug eggs are small, white, and oval-shaped, measuring approximately 1mm in length. They have a shiny appearance and can often be found in clusters or individually in areas of the bed bug’s hiding spots.

What are the early signs of a bed bug infestation?

Early signs of a bed bug infestation may include itching and red bite marks on the skin, small black fecal spots on bedding or furniture, and shed skins of nymphs. In some cases, a sweet, musty odor might also be present, which is emitted by bed bugs themselves.

Where do the bugs typically hide?

Bed bugs are excellent at hiding and can be found in various locations. They prefer dark, secluded areas, often near where humans sleep. Common hiding spots include mattress seams, bed frames, headboards, and box springs. However, they can also be found in other furniture, behind wallpaper, and even electrical outlets.

What is the primary cause of bed bug infestations?

Bed bug infestations are primarily caused by human travel and the exchange of infested items between areas. Cimex lectularius Linnaeus can hitchhike on luggage, clothing, and furniture, making their way into new environments. Once they’re introduced to a new location, they can quickly reproduce and establish an infestation.

How can I effectively find and eliminate bed bugs?

Detecting and eliminating Cimex lectularius Linnaeus requires a thorough inspection and an integrated pest management approach. Begin by carefully examining your surroundings, focusing on potential hiding spots. In severe infestations, it’s highly recommended to seek professional assistance for effective bed bug extermination.

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