Bed bugs (cimex lectularius) are small wingless parasitic insects that feed on the blood of humans (and bats or chickens). Their preferred habitats are beds, couches/sofas or other areas where people sleep or spend enough time that the bugs can sense humans are likely to come back.They are most active at night, though they are not strictly nocturnal.
Adult bed bugs are 1/4 inch long and have flat, rusty-brown colored oval shaped bodies. However after feeding on a blood meal, their bodies can swell up to 3/8 inch long and acquire a deeper red brown color.
All bed bugs (including newly hatched nymphs) can be easily seen with the naked eye.
The typical life span of a bed bug is about 12 to 18 months. Bed bugs are able to live for several months without feeding on a host. Female bed bugs can lay up to 300 eggs over their lifetime. Bed bug eggs hatch within 2 weeks and take 3 to 10 weeks to reach maturity depending upon the temperature and availability of food. Bed bugs are not known to carry disease but their bites can cause allergic reactions in some people.