5 Types Of Bed Bugs And How To Identify Them

Baby Bed Bug Nymph
Baby bed bug feeding

Bed bugs are tiny oval-shaped insects that do not fly and are part of the Cimicidae family. The Cimicidae family of insects includes three kinds which bite people. Fully grown bed bugs are about 5 to 7 millimeters long, while in the nymph stage they are about 1.5 millimeters only. Bed bugs are similar to tiny cockroaches or ticks because their bodies are flat. Like mosquitoes, bedbugs suck blood from human beings. They are somewhat reddish brown and the red tint gets darker as they suck more blood. 

In the nymph stage, they are clear and turn red once they start feeding. Even though they have wings, they are vestigial which means they can’t fly. These insects are rapid crawlers.

Their survival is based on several factors like temperature. The ideal temperature for these bugs is 70-80 Fahrenheit as this allows them to mature quickly and reproduce thrice a year. They are very common in several parts of the world. They have spread due to immigration and because of pesticides like DDT. They are common in places with poor hygiene and sanitation, nesting of various mammals or birds, they can also survive in clean places.

These tiny insects usually hide in cracks and crevices. They can live for months and probably even more if provided with proper conditions.

Following is a list of the types bed bugs seen:

Common Bed Bugs

The most seen species is the common bed bug or scientifically speaking “cimex lectularius”. These bugs are known for their adaptability to the human environment. They live in places having a temperate climate. Common bed bugs do not usually transfer diseases but they definitely cause skin infections and other kinds of skin irritation.

The cimex lectularius bug is only about 4 millimeters to 6 millimeters in length. They have segmented and short antennae along with short legs. They can survive without food for about 15 months. Repetitive bites will affect your skin and may leave you with some rashes.

Common bed bugs in a tube for bed bug dog training purposes

Bat Bugs

These bugs are also known as cimex adjunctus. They are similar to usual bed bugs however when you find these at home, there is a high probability that there are bats nesting in your home. These bugs also readily bite humans but only if they don’t find the hosts they prefer. The host of their preference is bats as the name already suggests. The only microscopic examination can help you distinguish between them and bed bugs.

Tropical Bed Bugs

“Cimex hemipterus” is the scientific name for these bed bugs. These are again similar to the common species of bed bugs found and feed on human blood. Their habits are similar and so are the conditions they require to survive. Tropical bed bugs also cause itching and irritation. They also create other severe problems like insomnia, anxiety, and depression. There are a couple of differences between the tropical variant and other common ones. The most important being, tropical bed bugs are found in tropical regions of the world like Asia.

Mexican Chicken Bug

The alternate name for this bug is Haematosiphon. These bed bugs are found amongst poultry and often spoil the health of such poultry animals. They are present in places which have animals like hens. These are known to feed on birds, turkeys, domestic fowls, hawks, and eagles. These are again similar looking to common bed bugs but their host is different.

Barn Swallow Bug

The barn swallows bug is again very similar to the common bed bug. The point of difference lies in their appearance because barn bugs have hair. They are found where cliff swallows birds nest. They can even live in our habitat due to the migration of birds. These bugs are also capable of remaining semi-dormant and can survive several days without any source of food.

Together, their appearance and behavior will help you recognize which type of bed bugs have infested your surroundings. Also, notice whether you have a poultry farm or birds close by as this will further help you understand the infestation deeply.