Bedbug infestations used to be associated with dilapidated or crowded housing, but now they are present in even the best hotels and resorts. The resurgence is partly due to the increased number of people traveling globally and to changes in the types of pesticides used to kill them.
Bedbugs can live in many different places, including under mattresses, in folds of bedding, and in the joints of adjacent furniture. They also hide in loose wallpaper, wall voids, and even around the moldings on door and window frames. Most of the time, they come out at night to feed and breed, but they can also come out during the day.
Bedbugs are tiny insects that are easy to see if you use a hand-held magnifying glass. Adult bedbugs are about an inch long, oval, wingless, and flat, with well-developed antennae and small compound eyes. The pronotum (the area behind the head) is covered with many small hairs. The immature form, also known as nymphs, is smaller and more hairless than adult bedbugs.
Female bedbugs lay about 200 to 500 eggs in their lifetime. These eggs are laid on rough surfaces near their hosts, and they will hatch within 10 to 15 days if kept at room temperature. Once hatched, bedbugs grow through five progressively larger stages, each requiring a blood meal. It takes approximately five weeks to four months for a single female bedbug to reach adulthood, depending on temperature.