How To Treat Bed Bugs

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Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are an itchy, embarrassing and increasingly common problem. Although they spread no diseases, bed bugs are hard to get rid of and easy to spread, making them a problem no one wants to admit having. Many people do have the problem, however, due to increases in the frequency of travel and the insects' growing resistance to common pesticides. As the risk of bed bug exposure increases, it's important to understand how to identify and treat bed bug issues. You should also know how to avoid the pesky little critters. Identification and Life Cycle The appearance of bed bugs changes depending upon their age. After insemination, female bed bugs lay seven to 10 eggs after every blood meal they consume. These eggs are about 1 millimeter in length, making them the size of a pinhead. Females lay their eggs wherever they happen to be, so you may find them anywhere in your bedroom or other affected areas. When the eggs are about five days old…show more content…
These young insects are smaller than adults and very difficult to see with the naked eye. If you do see them, you'll notice they are translucent and whitish-yellow in color. As nymphs grow, they progress through five stages known as instars. Each instar begins after molting and lasts five to eight days under ideal conditions. Nymphs require a blood meal before progressing to the next instar, however, so those that are unable to find a host will stay in their current stage until they either feed or die. Nymphs who find enough food to reach adulthood measure 1/4 inch long and are the size of apple seeds. Individuals who have not recently fed are brown in color and shaped like an oval. If the insect is full from a recent blood meal, it may look more like a tiny round balloon. Freshly fed bed bugs appear red rather than brown. Adult bed bugs live for a year at room temperature (70 degrees Fahrenheit) and survive up to five months without a meal. How Bed Bugs

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