Bed Bugs and their close relatives in the insect order are (true bugs) and they universal pests of man and domestic animals. The sole food of bed bugs is the blood of warm blooded animals.
The adult bed bug is about 1/5 inch long and 1/8 inch wide and flattened. It is reddish brown, flattened and oval shaped. Bed bugs have piercing sucking mouth parts which enable them to pierce the skin and suck the blood from their hosts. Each female bed bug lays about 2 eggs per day laying a total of about 200 eggs. Indoors these eggs will hatch in about 7 to l7 days. These bugs go through five stages of development before becoming an adult. These young must have a blood meal at each stage of development in order to molt and continue to develop. These bed bugs will mate soon after becoming mature so the time from hatching to egg laying is somewhere around four to nine weeks.
The adult bed bugs can live for prolonged periods without food, even up to one year. Humans are the preferred host for the common bed bug, but they will feed readily on pets (cats and dogs) as well as poultry, rats and mice. Typical hiding places are in the folds and tufts of mattresses, coil of springs, cracks and hollow places the bed frame. They will hide in upholstery of chairs and sofas. They can also be found behind loose wallpaper, behind pictures on the wall, underneath door and window casings, behind baseboards, light fixtures, or behind medicine cabinets and other wall attachments.
Bed bugs may be found in places like cracks in the floor and underneath carpeting, behind electrical switch plates, in folds of draperies, inside dressers and chests, in electrical items like televisions, radios, etc. Frequently when bed bugs themselves cannot be found their hiding places may be located by looking for spots of fecal material which they often leave in easily visible places. These fecal spots left on sheets and pillow cases along with blood spots are sure signs of infestation.
Do not feel these bugs are an indication of poor housekeeping. They can infest clothing or luggage while in motels and hotels. You may get an infestation from someone visiting or from a family member returning from a trip. Do not remove clothing or other items from an infested room to another room, or you may just scatter the infestation.