Continue to increase the problem of bed bugs, one of the most difficult to combat weeds.
It is currently in place a real “pandemic”, started about 8 years ago and likely to increase, given the intensification of migration: the presence of the insect has experienced a new period of expansion after being absent for decades.
Appearance of Bed Bugs (Cimex lectularius L.)
Adult bed bugs, in general, are:
- about the size of an apple seed (5-7 mm or 3/16 – 1/4 inch long);
- long and brown, with a flat, oval-shaped body (if not fed recently);
- balloon-like, reddish-brown, and more elongated (if fed recently);
- a “true bug” (characteristics of true bugs include a beak with three segments; antenna that have four parts; wings that are not used for flying; and short, golden-colored hairs); and
- smelly, with a “musty-sweetish” odor produced through glands on the lower side of the body.
Young bed bugs (also called nymphs), in general, are:
- smaller, translucent or whitish-yellow in color; and
- if not recently fed, can be nearly invisible to the naked eye because of coloring and size.
Bed bug eggs, in general, are:
- tiny, the size of a pinhead;
- pearl-white in color; and
- marked by an eye spot if more than five days old.
Bed Bug Life Cycle
The life cycle of a bed bug is shown in the photograph below. During its lifetime, a bed bug will go through the following stages (Starting from the top left, moving counterclockwise):
- Eggs (1mm).
- 1st stage nymph (1.5 mm).
- 2nd stage nymph (2 mm).
- 3rd stage nymph (2.5 mm).
- 4th stage nymph (3 mm).
- 5th stage nymph (4.5 mm).
- Unfed adult female. Unfed adult male.
Controlling bed bugs takes time and patience. The biology of bed bugs dictates this, since they reproduce quickly and their eggs are resistant to many methods of pest control, both chemical and non-chemical.
Pesticides to Control Bed Bugs
EPA has registered more than 300 products for use against bed bugs. Most of these can be used by consumers, but a few are registered for use only by specially trained professionals. EPA evaluates data on the safety and the effectiveness of the products before approving them.
EPA’s regulation of bed bug products.