Some of the defining characteristics of bedbugs include preference for temperate climates, small size, nocturnal activity and active breeding. The most common species of bedbug is the Cimex lectularius, which has adapted well to the human environment.
The most common species of bedbugs in the United States is the Cimex lectularius, which thrives in temperate climates and is commonly found in homes. Other species include Cimex hemipterus, which is common in Florida and other tropical regions. The Leptocimex bolueti is mostly found in South America and West Africa.
Bedbugs are small, usually one-fourth inch, and difficult to see. They can grow up to 5 millimeters after feeding, and move slowly, making them easier to detect. Adult bedbugs are a reddish-brown hue in color, while newly hatched ones are lighter. When fully fed, bedbugs change their original shape and size, making them almost indistinguishable to the untrained eye.
Bedbugs are nocturnal, as they only feed at night, usually just before dawn. The insects inject the host with two hollow tubes simultaneously. One tube injects anesthetic contained in the insect’s saliva, while the other draws blood. The results are itches and lesions. Bedbugs feed for about five minutes, and can stay for months without feeding. The insects are mainly attracted by carbon dioxide, which makes regular airing a good solution for preventing against bedbugs.