11 Things You Didn't Know About Bed Bugs

Although tiny, they're very annoying. Here's what you need to know about the bed bugs that can make your life a nightmare.
11 Things You Didn't Know About Bed Bugs

Last update: 27 May, 2022

Bed bugs! What annoying little creatures, and maybe you have suffered from their bites too. This pest, tiny in size, attacks people when they sleep and feeds on them. Apart from what you might already know, here are some curious facts you may be hearing for the first time about bed bugs!

Most people associate these little critters with hostels, shelters and slums. But the truth is, they can stay just about anywhere: dormitories, movie theaters, cabs, trains, and buses, for example. Here are some other facts about these annoying pests.

1. Bed bug?

Yes, bedbugs have a Latin name: Cimex lectularius. A name which means exactly what we know it as They usually feed on you when you go to sleep, and so beds are 70% of the focus of infestation.

The remaining 30% is housed in other places in the room, the cracks of baseboards, and door frames, among other things.

2. Bed bugs give everyone the same treatment

Bed bugs can attack anyone. It’s a mistake to link them with poverty or cleanliness problems. So, if you know someone who has them, you shouldn’t think it’s because of their bad hygiene habits.

3. It hasn’t been proven that they transmit serious diseases

So far, it hasn’t been proven that these insects are linked to the origin of serious diseases. The biggest problem they can cause is annoying bites, or worsening symptoms associated with asthma or allergies.

However, we shouldn’t overlook the fact that some people can become obsessed with these pests. Some people can’t fall asleep, miss work and spend hours looking for information about them. All of this can affect their physical and mental health.

A scared woman.
Some people develop excessive fear of infestations, which affects their quality of life.

4. The bites don’t look the same

You may have become familiar with what bed bug bites look like after some internet research. But this is only for reference, because the truth is that their bites don’t follow the same pattern for everyone, even if both people have been bitten by the same bed bug.

Keep in mind that 30% of people don’t react to these bites in the usual way. However, as a guide, you can see that in most cases they’re grouped in patterns of 1-2-3.

5. They aren’t nocturnal

Although these pests are usually most active before dawn, it’s absurd to think that they can only bite during those hours. So, if you work at night, rest assured that they’ll attack during the day, when you’re resting in bed. They’ll be attracted by your body heat and the carbon dioxide you give off.

6. You don’t need to see them to have them

There are cases of low infestation and people overlook the symptoms. It takes an exhaustive search to find the pest. Some signs are black spots (fecal matter) that you may find embedded in mattress seams.

The skin left behind by bed bugs is another sign. Bed bugs change their skin about 5 times before they become adults. If you have a magnifying glass, you can see light-colored and rust-colored bed bugs through it; this will depend on their age.

7. You don’t have to throw away your belongings

It isn’t necessary to get rid of your belongings if they’re infested with bed bugs. Just use steam. Heat is their exterminator par excellence; sometimes it’s enough to do a deep cleaning with dry steam.

Your clothes, and any garment that can be put in the washing machine, should be washed with warm water and dried. Repeat the procedure every so often until you eradicate the pest.

8. They’re expert anesthesiologists

In most cases, bed bugs keep us asleep while they’re feeding on us. This is thanks to the fact that their saliva is composed of elements that act as anesthetics and stimulate blood flow, which helps to make feeding quick and painless.

After eating, they go into hiding for 5 to 10 days.

9. They’re resistant

These insects can survive several months without feeding, which means that they can stay anywhere for a prolonged period of time until they’re approached by a host. On the other hand, they can withstand temperatures ranging from 2 to 50 degrees Celsius. So, it should come as no surprise that they can inhabit a hardware store without much trouble.

10. They’re very smart

These insects are very smart. They sneak around and hide inside the seams of mattresses, behind electrical devices, in bags, and other places we wouldn’t think of.

During the day they hide. And, at night, the carbon dioxide exhaled by the body activates them.

A woman asleep.
When they sleep, bedbugs detect the carbon dioxide in the body and become active to eat.

11. They have set habits

These pesky animals have been shown to have a predictable pattern of behavior. Upon finding a new host, they tend to feed for 5 to 10 minutes until satiated. They then dig in, mate and conceive.

Bedbugs: annoying creatures

Those who have had the unpleasant experience of having bed bugs in their bed will agree that, out of desperation, we’re capable of anything to get rid of these annoying insects.

The best thing to do is to contact an expert to eradicate the bugs that have infested the house. Be very careful with chemical products if you try to get rid of them by yourself.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Masciocchi, Maite. Chinche de la cama. Cimex lectularis. EEA Bariloche, 2018.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.