Types of Bed Bugs

types of bed bugs

Introduction: Bed bugs are a difficult problem to tackle and can often be hard to identify. They have up to 90 different species throughout the world, with three of them having populated all continents.

This article guided you through types of bed bugs so that you can correctly diagnose yourself or others and gain insight into how to properly control this pest. Let’s get started on getting to know our enemy – bed bugs!

Key Takeaways

  • Common Bed Bugs (Cimex lectularius) have an unmistakable apple seed – like size and reddish to brown coloration with flattened oval shape body parts.
  • Tropical Bed Bugs (Cimex hemipterus) feed mostly on human blood, have a shorter size of 4mm – 5mn long and prefer warm temperatures near mattresses, box springs or furniture upholstery.
  • Leptocimex boueti is found in certain areas in West Africa, feeds off both humans and bats alike and grows to be around 3 – 4 mm long with reddish brown bodies.
  • Bat bugs, swallow bugs and Mexican chicken bug can look similar to bedbugs; however they feed predominantly on different hosts such as animals like rodents or birds nesting indoors or outdoors respectively .

The Three Different Types of Bed Bugs

Common Bed Bug (Cimex lectularius), Tropical Bed Bug (Cimex hemipterus) and Leptocimex boueti are the three closely-related species of bed bugs that inhabit different parts of the world.

Common Bed Bug (Cimex lectularius)

is a species of bed bug that is notorious for human infestations and is found worldwide, including in the United States. It has an unmistakable apple seed-like size of 5 to 7 mm or 3/16 to 1/4 inch long.

The life cycle includes eggs, nymphs, and adult bugs which thrive mainly in hygiene conditions but can find refuge in even the cleanest of houses. They are usually identified by their physicality; reddish-brown coloration with flattened oval shape body parts – 

Two visible antennae pairs on its head region also distinguish them from other species like bat bugs, swallow bugs and Mexican chicken bug (Haematosiphon inodorus).

For homeowners, renters and landlords alike it’s important to be aware about such pests as many times they are mistaken for other species due to its similar appearance. 

To manage this potential problem at home effectively one should do regular inspections followed by cleaning rituals like vacuuming furniture almost weekly until there’s evidence that all nest sites have been eradicated before attempting any professional treatments such as extermination services if necessary.

Tropical Bed Bug (Cimex hemipterus)

The Tropical Bed Bug (Cimex hemipterus) is the most important species of bed bugs associated with human infestations.

 It is mainly found in tropical regions of the Old and New Worlds, which makes it one of the few bed bug species that have adapted to warm climates.

This type of bed bug typically feeds on human blood, bites humans as its main host when seeking out a food source.

Tropical Bed Bugs are distinctive due to their brownish-red bodies, flat shape and small size – only between 4mm and 5mm long. 

They prefer areas where high temperatures are maintained by humans such as mattresses, box springs, furniture upholstery etc., being careful not to venture too far away from these safe havens for their meals.

Leptocimex boueti

is one of the three species of bed bugs associated with humans. It is mainly found in certain areas of West Africa, and unlike other kinds of bed bugs, it prefers to feed on both people as well as bats.

It also belongs to the subfamily Cacodminae, making it different from other types of bed bug that typically feed off animals like rodents. 

Though Leptocimex boueti primarily feeds off bats, they are not choosy eaters and can easily become a nuisance for homeowners or renters living in urban areas where bat populations might be high.

These insects pose potential health risks when coming into contact with human skin due to its bloodsucking nature which can lead to allergic reactions such as itching and swelling on the affected area.

The Facts on Bugs Mistaken For Bed Bugs

Swallow Bugs, Mexican Chicken Bugs and Bat Bugs can be mistaken for Bed Bugs due to visual similarities but are distinct species.

Swallow Bugs (Oeciacus vicarious)

Swallow bugs, also known as bird bugs or nest bugs, are predominantly found in North America and are commonly mistaken for bed bugs due to their similar size and shape. 

However, swallow bugs can be distinguished from bedbugs by the presence of long pale hairs along the body margins, a smaller body size than a common household bed bug (Cimex lectularius), and more orange-colored spots on its abdomen.

They typically reside outdoors and feed especially on cliff swallows and their nests but will occasionally resort to human blood meals when infesting indoor dwellings. 

Despite some habits that make them seem like urban pests, Suburban wildlife is something they don’t normally belong to but still tend to stick around in while searching for blood meals if limited food sources exist indoors.

Identifying swallow bugs precisely down to this species (Oeciacus vicarious) requires expert entomology skills since visual detection alone lacks accuracy sometimes as even distinct physical characteristics could vary among specimens. 

So it’s essential that homeowners, renters, landlords pest control professionals, parents, travelers, people living in urban areas and individuals with allergies or sensitivities individuals interested cleanliness second hand furniture. 

Buyers healthcare facilities as well Airbnb hosts remain aware of the distinction between swallow Bugs and Bed Bugs, so appropriate action can be taken towards tackling an infestation depending upon which one it actually turns out to be once identified properly.

Mexican Chicken Bug (Haematosiphon inodorus)

Mexican Chicken Bugs are parasites of chickens and other birds that can be found in poultry farms. Unfortunately, this species of bug has a similar appearance to bed bugs, which leads to confusion by people trying to identify the insect infestation in their homes.

They are reddish-brown to grayish-brown in color and have an oval body shape, growing up to 3/8 inch in length when fully grown. Similarly like bed bugs they feed on the blood of their hosts which can cause discomfort and irritation if these pests are allowed into any home environment.

It is important for individuals seeking control over an unknown pest problem properly identify what type of insect is present before attempting any control procedures as treatments meant for one species may be cleverly ineffective against another, such as the Mexican Chicken Bug instead of bedbugs.

Bat Bugs

Bat bugs are blood-sucking insects closely related to bed bugs. They are reddish brown in color and measure about 5mm in length. 

These parasitic creatures prefer their host environment to be warm and humid, and they are often found living on bats—though bat bugs can sometimes find their way into homes after a bat has died or left its roost.

While they look very similar to bed bugs, there is an important distinction; bat bugs feed mainly on bats while bedbugs prefer human hosts. 

This means that if you think you have an infestation of one of these pests, it’s important to correctly identify the species so that a targeted approach for treatment or prevention can be taken.

People living in urban areas or those who travel frequently should pay particular attention as these locations tend to provide ideal habitats for both species of bug, where food sources such as rodents become available suddenly and unexpectedly providing easy access for parasites like bed bugs and bat bugs alike.

Identifying Bed Bugs and Their Species

To accurately distinguish bed bugs from other commonly mistaken species, it is important to learn their unique physical characteristics, habitats and feeding habits.

Physical characteristics

Bed bugs, or Cimex lectularius, are small, reddish-brown parasitic insects that measure approximately 6mm in length and 1.5mm in width. They have oval-shaped bodies with a flattened top and their coloration is uniform throughout its entire body. 

Their wings are vestigial and nonfunctional which makes bed bugs unable to fly but they can propagate very quickly by crawling through crevices, vents, walls and other tight spaces.

Other identifying features include two long antennae on the head end of the bug as well as several thin hairs typically running along its edges of its abdomen and thorax.

Habitat preferences

Bed bugs are commonly found in human habitations and usually hide in mattress seams or box springs, within furniture crevices, behind loose wallpapers and baseboards, under carpets and rugs, around electric outlets, window frames and door frames. 

They prefer to rest on soft surfaces such as bedding linens, mattresses and clothing. They’re also known to inhabit cracks between windowsills in multi-family dwellings. Bed bugs can be surprisingly resilient when it comes to living outdoors; they have been found in tree bark or beneath other outdoor debris like stones.

Feeding habits

Bed bugs are small, parasitic insects primarily known for biting and feeding on the blood of humans. These pests will also feed on animals, such as cats, dogs or bats if a human host is unavailable. 

When searching for a suitable meal, bed bugs are attracted to carbon dioxide and warmth emitted from sleeping humans and animals. Bed bugs use their piercing, tube-like mouthparts to suck blood without being noticed due to a natural anesthetic in the saliva they excrete while sucking bloody. 

After sipping on a blood meal for three to ten minutes, bed bugs will retire to an area near the bite site until they’ve digested their filling.

Bed Bug Control and Prevention

Effective bed bug control and prevention methods involve hiring a professional exterminator and carrying out regular inspections of the property.

Professional extermination

Hiring an experienced and responsible pest control professional is key to getting rid of bed bugs. Oftentimes, the complexities of effectively dealing with a bed bug infestation are too difficult for the average individual to tackle alone.

Professional exterminators have experience in implementing Integrated Pest Management programs that include knowledge on biology, habitat preferences, feeding habits, and other important factors related to managing Bed Bug populations.

Many of these professionals can also offer treatments which use methods such as heat or chemical applications tailored for specific kinds of infestations. 

Finally, specialized equipment like vacuums and steamers may be utilized during inspection processes or when applying chemicals so it is essential to rely on highly-trained expert technicians when considering External Bed Bug Control options.

Regular home inspections

are essential for bed bug control and prevention. Early detection helps to identify signs of a bed bug infestation, so it’s important to routinely check for dark spots or blood smears on mattresses and furniture that may indicate their presence.


How do you identify bed bugs?
Bed bugs can be identified by their oval-shaped bodies, six legs, and reddish-brown color. They are typically 2-6mm in length and often found in cracks or crevices near the bed.

What types of bedbugs exist?
Common types of bedbugs include American cockroaches, German cockroaches, common house crickets, and Oriental Cockroaches. There may also be other varieties depending on your geographic area.

How do I get rid of bedbugs?
To get rid of bedbugs it is recommended to use a combination of insecticides combined with vacuuming and steam cleaning. 
Your mattress and linens regularly to minimize other potential sources for infestation areas from home furnishings as well as yard waste treatment spray on plants outside the home where they rest during the day.. 

Are there any natural remedies to combat these pests ? .
Yes , there are some natural remedies such as essential oils like lavender , eucalyptus or peppermint which have repellent properties that can help deter most forms of insects including bed bug species . 
Additionally , using diatomaceous earth powder around suspected breeding sites can help control an existing infestation since it cuts into their exoskeletons causing them to dehydrate over time .