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Bed Bugs


Bed bugs, Cimex lectularius, are reddish-brown, oval-shaped, flattened insects that are about 1/4 inch long. Nymphs (immature bed bugs) resemble adult bugs but are often smaller and lighter in color. Bed bugs usually feed on the blood of humans during the nighttime hours and crawl away to hide in nearby cracks, crevices and recesses of furniture (especially mattresses) and walls of the home during the day. Many people experience itching, pain and/or swelling of the skin where a bed bug bite occurs (such as the arms, face or back) within 1 day of a bite. Although the bites can cause considerable discomfort and loss of sleep, bed bugs do not transmit disease after feeding on multiple hosts.

Adult bedbug (left) All lifestages present (right). Photos: Indiana Department of Health

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