What are bed bugs?
Adult bedbugs are reddish brown, flattened, oval, and wingless, with microscopic hairs that give them a banded appearance. They are sometimes mistaken for ticks or cockroaches. A common misconception is that they are not visible to the naked eye, but adults grow to about ¼ inch long and do not move quickly enough to escape the notice of an attentive observer. The immatures (nymphs) resemble the adults, but are smaller and somewhat lighter in color, they become browner and molt as they reach maturity. When it comes to size, they are often compared to appleseeds.
Female bed bugs lay their eggs in secluded areas and can deposit up to five a day and 500 during a lifetime. The eggs are very small, grayish, and hard to see with the naked eye (individual eggs are about the size of a dust spec). Newly hatched nymphs are no bigger than a pinhead. As they grow, they molt (shed their skin) five times before reaching maturity. A blood meal is needed between each successive stage. Under favorable conditions (70 - 90° F), the bugs can complete development in as little as a month, producing three or more generations per year. Cool temperatures or limited access to a blood meal extends the development time. Bed bugs are very resilient. Nymphs can survive months without feeding and the adults for more than a year. Infestations therefore are unlikely to diminish by leaving premises unoccupied.
Bedbug 4 mm length 2.5 mm width (Shown in a film roll plastic container. On the right you can see the sloughed off skin, which this bedbug just recently wore while a nymph)