By DoMyOwnPestControl.com staff
Identification is a crucial part of the bed bug control process because some other insects (such as Ticks, Mites, and Lice) can be mistaken as bed bugs and the treatment and control process for bed bugs is a lot different than any other pest. There are specific products that need to be used and procedures that should be followed to effectively get rid of bed bugs. This chapter will help you correctly identify Bed Bugs.
So... What do bed bugs look like?
This. Bed bugs look like this:
Image source: bedbugspurification.com
Bed bugs grow in nymph stages after they exit the egg capsule. Nymph bed bugs vary in sizes from 2 mm to 5 mm. The adult bed bugs are around a fourth of an inch or larger. Bed bugs become darker with every nymph stage they go through. They have an oval shape body, a small head, two antennae, and two beady eyes. The young look just like the adults just smaller and lighter colored. The bed bug colors start off white in the egg stage, and then progress into a translucent yellow nymph. The nymph becomes darker rust red color with every blood meal. The colors vary from yellow, orange yellow, orange, dark orange, red orange, and to a rust red. When the bed bug is engorged with blood it is not only bright red but its shape becomes more rounded and elongated.
So how big are bed bugs?
The bed bugs can reach a maximum size of five to six millimeters. Bed bugs at any stage sizing from one to six millimeters in size require blood meals and can be food with proper tools in infested areas.
Image source: itsadisaster.wordpress.com
Bed bugs are oval in shape, wingless, and rusty red or mahogany in color. They are only about 1/4 inch long with flattened bodies on well-developed antennae, small eyes, and a widened area behind the head area. The nymphs, or underdeveloped younger generations, look similar to the adults except they are smaller in size and lighter in color.
Male and female bed bugs
Image source: bedbugpictures.org
Comparable Bed bug Morphology between Species
In recent genetic studies using mitochondrial DNA, populations of bed bugs were shown to have a high degree of genetic variability. The variability is due to the frequent and numerous amounts of reproduction that takes place. This causes a maximum amount of genetic variation and generations made which in return makes for a hardier more resilient species. This key factor allows the bed bug to become hardier with each generation it creates. Bed bugs with this new adaptation can survive a variety of insecticide treatments.
Bed bug identification:
The key to understanding any insect is to first identify them. There are various types of bed bugs and common mistaken species. When identifying the bed bug you most take notes on its external appearances.
First you must list out the number of segments, legs, color, size, and texture of the exoskeleton. Once this is done you are halfway to identifying the insect. The bed bug is commonly miss construed and miss identified with a small list of various species. Second way to identifying the critter is to know what it can’t be. The descriptions below will get you started towards understanding the different types of bed bugs.
Behavior & Habitat