Bed bugs are small, nocturnal creatures with an oval-shaped body. They are reddish-brown in color and have 6 legs. After feeding, they can grow by 50 percent in size. They are difficult to see, even with a microscope, but will emerge to feed on human blood. They usually feed at night, when humans are sleeping.
Adult bed bugs are about three-eighths of an inch in length. Their wings are absent, and they have six legs. They are oval-shaped, and have well-developed antennae. The head has small compound eyes and is covered with a dense covering of small hairs. In addition to the adult bugs, there are also immatures, known as nymphs. Their bodies are about one-fifth of an inch long and resemble small ants or spiders.
Adult bed bugs lay between two and five eggs a day. The eggs are tiny and are typically transparent, but may grow to be 1/4 of an inch long. They turn reddish brown when they reach seven weeks old. Female bed bugs lay their eggs in cracks and crevices. They can lay up to 200 eggs in their lifetime. In order to survive, a female bed bug must feed every two or three days.
The first thing to do when dealing with bed bugs is to check for the presence of their eggs. The eggs are much smaller than adult bed bugs. Their size varies, but they are often small enough to be seen with the naked eye. Often, empty eggshells can be mistaken for live eggs, so you should look carefully.