Our fully inclusive guide on the main types of bed bugs you are likely to find in your home.
When it comes to creepy crawlies, bed bugs tend to be one of the least desirable. Your bed is meant to be a place of privacy, relaxation, and cleanliness. There’s nothing more tarnishing to that than an infestation of blood – sucking, privacy – invading critters. Yuck.
The issue with bed bugs, is that once they’re there, without calling a professional exterminator, it can be difficult to get rid of them. Sure, there are treatments out there that are available to buy, but not everyone wants to handle dangerous chemicals – particularly in and around the areas in which they live and sleep on a daily / nightly basis.
One of the most important things when attempting to tackle a bed bug problem, is being able to identify that it’s actually a bed bug problem you have – and furthermore, what type of bed bug it is you’re looking at.
It’s unbeknown to a lot of people, but there are actually various different kinds of bed bug, and it can be difficult to tell them apart.
Today, however, we are going to be covering the main kinds of bed bugs which are found in the typical home!
Read on for our fully inclusive guide on the main kinds of bed bugs that you will be likely to find in your home.
If We’re Speaking Generically, what are Bed Bugs?
Although, as we stated above, there are different kinds, or “breeds” of bed bug if you like, it is entirely possible to explain what they are in a generic sense.
A bed bug is a tiny insect, shaped in an oval. They do not fly, and then they are known to be part of what’s known as the Cimicidae family. If you aren’t familiar with insects, then chances are you won’t have heard of the Cimicidae family.
In the world of creepy crawlies, the Cimicidae family are a family of bugs which include three different types of insect, all of which bite people.
When they are fully grown, bed bugs tend to be around the length of between five and seven millimetres long. When they are in their early stages of development, what’s known as their “nymph” stages, however, they are only 1.5 millimetres long.
It’s easy to confuse bed bugs as being tiny cockroaches, or small variations of ticks, because of the shape of their bodies. Their bodies are entirely flat.
They share the behaviour of mosquitos in a respect that they suck the blood of human beings. In colour, bed bugs tend to be a reddish brown colour, and the reddish colour gets darker the more blood they suck. They’re sort of like miniature vampires when you think about it like that. They can’t fly, but their crawling technique is fast.
When they are in their nymph stages, however, the bed bugs are clear. Their favourite temperature is around seventy – five degrees Fahrenheit, as it allows them to reproduce more quickly. Given the chance, they will do this three times every year.
In some parts of the world, they are more common than others, and they often spread through circumstances such as immigration and different kinds of pesticide. They are most commonly found in places that have poor hygiene and sanitation, however, can still survive in clean environments.
These unappealing little mites will happily hide in any crack or crevice you give them the chance to. with the right conditions for habitation, they can live for months on end, or even longer.
Appealing? Nope. Not in the slightest.
Read on to find out more about the different kinds of bed bugs that you’re likely to find.
The Common Bed Bug
First up, we’re going to be taking a look at the most popular of them all, and the most commonly found on a day to day basis. Your common, run of the mill, disgusting – as – ever bed bug.
To most people they will simply be known as the common bed bug, however if you want to get scientific, then the term is actually “cimex lectularius”.
The tricky thing about this breed of bed bug, is that they are well known for how adaptable they can be to the human environment. They are more than happy to live somewhere, so long as the location is temperate.
Usually, this kind of bed bug will not transfer any kind of disease – which is a good thing! Unfortunately, however, they are prone to cause different kinds of skin infections and irritations, so they’re still not exactly desirable. Potentially, however, the best of a bad bunch.
The common bed bug – or the “cimex lectularius” bug – will usually only be between four and six millimetres in length. In appearance, they are segmented, have long legs, and short antennae. The bad news, is that they can actually survive without feeding for fifteen months, so they’re pretty tricky to get rid of. There are some devices which can be helpful in ridding your room of these bugs, however we would recommend getting a professional in to be sure.
If they were to bite you repeatedly, you would end up with rashes and negative effects on your skin.
Bat Bed Bugs
Next up, we come to the bat bed bug – which, yup, makes them sound even more vamp – like than they did before.
The scientific name for this variety of bed bug, is “cemix hemipterus”.
They are actually very similar to the average bed bug, however the reason behind you finding these bugs in your home would usually be because you have a nest of bats habituating somewhere in the property.
These bugs will bite humans readily, but they will look for a preferable host first. As you can imagine, looking at their name, their primary choice of snacking would be the blood of a bat.
The only way you’d be able to tell the difference between bat bed bugs and common bed bugs, would be to look at them underneath a microscope.
Tropical Bed Bugs
We’re now going to introduce you to the tropical bed bug.
The scientific name for these bugs would be “cimex hemipterus”. They are similar to the common species of bed bugs found, and they are also likely to feed on human blood. Their required survival conditions are also similar, as well as their living habits.
They cause itching and irritation – are you sensing a pattern here? However, this strand of bed bug can also cause some more severe conditions and side effects such as anxiety, insomnia, and even depression.
Nowadays, the vast majority of the time, these tropical bed bugs are only really found in tropical regions of the world – hence the name. A prime example of where you’d find them would be on the Asian continent.
The Mexican Chicken Bug
Now we come to the Mexican chicken bug – which we will admit, is a strange name.
The scientific name for this bug, is the Haematosiphon. The Mexican chicken bug, as it name has probably already suggested to you, is often found around where poultry are living. In doing this, they often spoil the health of the livestock.
They are most likely to be found in places like chicken coops, for example. They tend to feed on the blood of turkeys, birds, domestic fowl, eagles, and even hawks. They look similar to the common bed bug, and the main difference is obviously their feeding habits.
The Barn Swallow Bug
Last of all, but by no means least, we come to the barn swallow bug, who – surprise, surprise! – looks just like the common bed bug! The main difference here is that this variety of bed bug is actually hairy. We know. As if they could get any worse, right?
They tend to be found on cliffs where birds are nesting. However, due to the migration of birds year round, it’s entirely possible for them to live within our environment.
They can remain semi – dormant for a long while, and can actually last for days at a time without having to eat whatsoever.
As you can see from the descriptions above, it can be incredibly difficult to tell the different species of bed bugs apart, but there are some differences. It’s more than likely that if they’re found in the home, they will be a common species, but it’s well worth checking it out with a professional exterminator when you call them.
Our advice would be to act quickly. The last thing you want is these critters breeding in your home. The more of them there are, the more difficult it will be for you to get rid of them. furthermore, if you live on a farm – or even in an area with poultry and livestock nearby – you should be ultra -cautious, as this is when different breeds are likely to be found.
Thanks for reading! We hope we’ve helped you to better your knowledge in the identification of bed bugs.