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Bed bugs are in the insect family Cimicidae and include three species that attack people. Of these, the most important is Cimex lectularius, which may also bite bats, birds, and rodents.

Cimex lectularius is a cosmopolitan species, most frequently found in the northern temperate climates of North America, Europe, and Central Asia. It occurs more sporadically in southern temperate regions. In Florida and tropical regions it is replaced by C. hemipterus. Problems with bed bug infestations used to be quite severe, but with the use of DDT after World War II the incidence of these pests has been greatly reduced, although infestations still do occur. Currently this insect can be a pest wherever sanitary conditions are primitive, or if there are birds or mammals nesting on or near a house. Crowded and dilapidated housing can also facilitate the insect's movement between residences.

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Adult bed bugs are oval, wingless, about 1/5 inch long, and rusty red or mahogany in color. Their bodies are flattened, they have well-developed antennae, their compound eyes are small, and the area behind the head (the prothorax) expands forward on either side of the head. The immatures appear identical to the adults except for their smaller size, thinner cuticle, and a lighter, yellowish white color. Bed bugs are readily distinguished from another more common bloodsucking species, conenose bugs, by their smaller size, more rounded shape, and lack of wings as adults.

Female bed bugs lay from 200 to 500 eggs (in batches of 10 to 50) on rough surfaces such as wood or paper. Eggs are covered with a glue and hatch in about 10 days. After hatching, the egg shells frequently remain on the substrate. There are five progressively larger nymphal stages, each requiring a single blood meal before molting to the next stage. The entire life cycle from egg to adult requires anywhere from 5 weeks to 4 months, depending on temperature. When temperatures are in the range of 70 to 82F, development occurs most rapidly. Nymphs and adults generally feed at night and hide in crevices during the day. Common hiding places include seams in mattresses and box springs, cracks in bed frames, under loose wallpaper, behind picture frames, and inside furniture and upholstery.

Bed bugs can go without feeding for 80 to 140 days; older stages can survive longer without feeding than younger ones. Adults have survived without food for as long as 550 days. A bed bug can take six times its weight in blood, and feeding can take 3 to 10 minutes. Adults live about 10 months and there can be up to 3 to 4 generations of bed bugs per year.


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Quick Bedbug Facts:

Bedbug Size:
1/4 to 3/8 inch (4-5 mm)

Bedbug Color:
Reddish brown or brown

Bedbug Description:
Bed bugs are sometimes called "red coats", "chinches", or "mahogany flats". The adult bed bug is a wingless insect that is flattened from top to bottom.

Bedbug Habitat:

At the beginning of an infestation, bed bugs are likely to be found only in the tufts, seams, and folds of mattresses and bed covers. In areas of heavy infestation, bed bugs can be found in crevices in the bedsteads

Bedbug Life Cycle:
The life cycle stages of a bed bug are: Egg, Nymph, and Adult. The females lay about 450 eggs, usually at the rate of up to 50 per day, in cracks and crevices in the floor or bed, and the eggs attach to any hard surface. Newly hatched bed bugs begin feeding immediately. They shed their skin five times before becoming adults.


Bedbug - Type of Damage:
They feed principally on human blood by piercing the skin with a long beak and sucking blood into their stomachs. They feed mostly at night, but will feed during the day if hungry and the light is dim.

Bedbug Control:
In private homes, find all areas that bed bugs hide in during the day time. These must be treated with chemicals. In hotels, apartments, and other multiple-type dwelling places, bed bugs may spread from one unit to another using electrical wires and pipes as highways. All units should be inspected. Remove bird nests, if any.

Discovery Spots:
Usually discovered in unsuspected areas such as in floor cracks, under carpets, behind loose wallpaper or wall pictures, in books, CDs and electrical outlets.




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11694 Belle Harbor
11697 Rockaway Point

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