Types of Bed Bugs — Common Bed Bug Types in the USA

Types of Bed Bugs – Common Bed Bug Types in the USA

Believed to have been completely eradicated in the 20 th century, the bed bugs are back with a vengeance in the 21 st century. There are three main types of bed bugs found in Europe and America. According to the CDC or Centre for Disease Control And Prevention, bed bugs belong to the family known as Heteroptera Cimicidae. They include sub types such as Cimex Lectularis, Cimex Hemipterus and LeptoCimex Boueti. Bed bugs, bat bugs, poultry bugs and swallow bugs all belong to this family of pests and are seen in various parts of the world.

Bed bug biology

Different types of bed bugs are similar to head lice (Pediculus humanus capitis), in that; they mainly feed on human blood. They have similar structure like those of common ecto-parasites; their bodies are also divided into head, thorax and abdomen. The slight differences in various species and types of bed bugs (especially compared with other parasites like head lice) mainly affect their ability to transmit diseases in humans.

Bed bugs in the USA

In the United States, different types of bed bugs are mainly seen in college dorms, nursing homes and hospitals, residential areas, hotels, offices, daycares and even in schools. Nearly 99 % of pest control companies across the country are known to have encountered a type of bed bug infestations on an annual basis. According to renowned cardiologist Dr. Mehmet Oz of Oprah fame, this number has nearly risen by 500%! Additionally, this problem is not just in dirty motels or cheap hotels; even five star rated hotels have reported having such infestations all across the country.

Different types of bed bugs found across the country are known to impact human lives owing to the mental, physical and economical consequences they have. While most types of bed bugs only cause a mild rash in humans, the more severe infestations are known to have led people into anaphylactic shocks. Additionally, the bites of these ectoparasites are also known to cause secondary complications and skin infections which include impetigo, lymphanigitis and ecthyma.

As with all types of bed bugs, the species found in the USA also has three main life stages, none of which can fly. Due to this inability, bed bugs rely on passive modes of transportation. The Cimicids family has characteristic specialized organs to support their blood feeding diet. The bugs use these organs to attach to their host at nighttime and feed upon them for up to 10 minutes. The surprising fact is that most adult types of bed bugs can actually survive without a blood meal for up to a year!

Treatment of various types of bed bugs

All major types of bed bugs infestations need step by step treatment. This includes:

  1. Thorough inspection of the facility in question- This includes identification of the types of bed bugs, looking for places like cracks and crevices where they are likely to hide.
  2. Preparing the infested area for treatment- This includes stripping and disposing affected mattresses, carpets, bedding covers, drapes, moving furniture away from walls and washing all bed clothes in hot water.
  3. Spraying and dusting bed bug repellents- The effectiveness of controlling various types of bed bugs depends on how thoroughly you spray and dust the repellents in areas where they are likely to hide.
  4. Follow-up treatment and regular inspections- A complete re-treatment needs to be done every 2 months to ensure effectiveness of bed bug control.

It is important that general public as well as local health agencies are equipped with knowledge regarding best practices that can help in the control of bed bug infestations. Certain types of bed bugs infestation are likely to require coordinated community efforts in order to reduce and eliminate their larger populations.

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What Types Of Bed Bugs Are In Your Home?

While there are about 90 different species of bed bugs, only three are actually known to feed on humans. Learn more about the different types of bed bugs.

Learn about the different types of bed bugs, their identifying characteristics and how to tell them apart with these frequently asked questions about bed bugs.

How many types of bed bugs are there?

There are less than 90 species of the bloodsucking insect family, Cimicidae. Of these, only three feed on humans: Cimex hemipterus, Leptocimex boueti and Cimex lectularius. The most common species of bed bug is C. lectularius. It is the cause of almost all infestations in the United States

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Do bed bugs differ by region?

Yes. C. lectularius is a global scourge found mainly in subtropical and temperate climates like the United States. C. hemipterus is most commonly found in the tropics, but has stirred up trouble in Florida and California. L. boueti is only found in West Africa and South America.

Do all bed bug species feed on humans?

C. lectularius and C. hemipterus feed mainly on people but will get blood meals from birds, rats, dogs and other mammals if no humans are present. L. boueti feeds mainly on bats but won’t turn down an easy human meal.

Are there similar bugs you should worry about?

The swallow bug (Oeciacus vicarius) and bat bug (Cimex adjunctus) can both bite humans but prefer birds and bats, respectively. If you have bats or birds in and around your home, you may have either bug, or both, in addition to household bed bugs. It’s important that a trained expert make the distinction between swallow and bat bugs versus bed bugs since managing mammal, rodent and insect nesting is vital to locating these pests and the source of the infestation. If you have live poultry on your property, the Mexican chicken bug (Haematosiphon inodora) might also be a concern.

How can you tell what type of bed bug you have?

It’s difficult to tell bed bugs apart. Common bed bugs have a wider prothorax and flatter margins than tropical bed bugs. Bat bugs have pronotum hairs that are longer than the width of their eye. Unless you’re an expert with a microscope, most bed bugs simply look the same.

No matter what bug is biting you, call in the pest management professionals like Terminix®. All types of bed bugs that threaten your family deserve to be dealt with in the same manner: swiftly and severely.

Ticks vs. Bed Bugs: The Big Difference

You never want to see a tick on your body or a bed bug in your home. And especially when it comes to the latter, seeing one usually means there are others around. On the surface, ticks and bed bugs might seem similar: They are both pests that like to bite and feed on blood. But in fact, there’s more than one difference between these two creatures

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Types of Bed Bugs

How many types of bed bugs exist? What determines the type/species? Are they specific to particular regions of the world or hosts? Read on to find out.

Are there different types of bed bugs?

Until time in the recent past, bed bugs have always been to be very uncommon in the industrialized countries.

The truth is now very clear that even the developed countries continue to grapple with different types of bed bugs

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs belong to the family Cimicidae. It is estimated that there are at least 90 species of these bloodsucking insects. However, of the many species only a few feed on human blood. The blood feeding ones are

Cimex Lectularius (household bed bug)

When you hear the term bed bug….Cimex lectularius Linnaeus is in most cases the particular species people referring to.

Household Bed bug (Cimex lectularius)

You may also hear it being referred to as mahogany flats, red coats or chinches. This is most popular type found all over the world and it is thought to be one of the world’s major “nuisance pests”.

These parasitic insects thrive well under human dwellings, bird nests and bat caves mostly in temperate climates.

They feed on humans, bats, chickens and occasionally domesticated animals

C. lectularius goes through five immature life stages that each require a blood meal to develop and move on to the next stage. Blood meals are necessary for each life stage in order to reproduce.

Cimex Hemipterus (Tropical Bed Bug)

Adult tropical bed bugs are reddish-brown and can reach up to 8millimeters in length.
They are solenophages, that is, they feed by piercing blood vessels and drawing up the fluids.

Studies show that Cimex hemipterus males will often interbreed with females of the closely related species Cimex lectularius resulting in sterile eggs.

Cimex lectularius vs Cimex hemipterus

These two species of bed bugs can be easily distinguished by looking at the prothorax, the first segment of the thorax.

The prothorax of the common bed bug is more expanded laterally and the extreme margins are more flattened than that of the tropical bed bug .

Bat bugs (Leptocimex Boueti/Cimex Adjunctus)

Leptocimex Boueti or Cimex Adjunctus are mainly found in the tropical areas as well as the temperate regions.

As their name suggests, they feed mainly on bat blood. However, in absence of bats as hosts, they are more than willing to take on human hosts.

They will feed on human hosts when the bats which they depend on are no longer available.

Under a naked human eye, bat bugs look exactly like the tropical and household bed bugs.

With the help of a microscope there exist differences like fringe hairs on the upper thorax which is longer in bat bugs compared to that in bed bugs

What determines the type

There are factors that could dictate or determine the distribution of bugs or even the bed bugs across the face of the earth. They can range from human related factors to natural climate related factors.

Region country etc.?

According to the Science News Organization, there are two main types of bed bugs in the United States; the Cimex lectularius and the C. hemipterus.

The lectularius species is the commonest and they seem to have reemerged in the period after 1950s. They cause a lot of trouble in homes, hotels, offices and even the public transport.[2]

The C. hemipterus is a new species that seems to be emerging and it causes a lot of trouble as well.

They majorly found in the regions of the earth that surround the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.

They have been confirmed to be more prominent in Florida, a tropical region, although they have somehow spread to other regions.

According a Kenyan Newspaper (Daily Nation), bed bugs are a real nightmare. The largest infestations are in the university hostels and the high school dormitories.

The bed bugs have over time spread to households more so in the urban areas of Nakuru, Nairobi and Mombasa. The commonest of all the species that are found in these towns is the Cimex lectularius.

Based on the reviews on online platforms, the biggest challenge of bed bugs is seen in cities like Bangalore, Pune, Mumbai and Delhi.

This is because most of the populations stay in shared accommodations. The Cimex lectularius are still the commonest. Their infestation has nothing to do with cleanliness but rather living conditions in particular areas.

Based on above data, it true that human occupancy is a factor when it comes to the household bed bags.

According to the National Center of Biochemistry Institute (NCBI), the C. lectularius feed on you when you are asleep. This means that without a host they will not thrive for long periods.

Initially, these species fed on the cave dwelling bats. They changed their feeding habits when humans invaded the caves and then chased the bats. They had to change their hosts to humans.

It is also evident that bed bugs could visit cats and dogs in human homes. The bed bugs however prefer human blood over the other animals.

They would only have the animals as the last resort when human blood is unavailable. Upon infesting the dogs and cats, they cause a lot of irritation, itching and inflammation of variable intensities.

Bat bugs on the other hand are known feed on bats.


5 Types Of Bed Bugs And How To Identify Them

5 Types Of Bed Bugs And How To Identify Them

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.

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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.

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.


The 4 Types of Canadian Bedbugs


The common bed bug is a resilient and adaptable species that can be found in locations all across the world. They favour temperate climates and are well suited to survive in areas inhabited and developed by humans.

Since the species is spread out over such a wide range there are many different types of bed bugs. Those listed below are common in Canada, as well as in other parts of the world.


Image from badbedbugs.com

The exact type of bed bug is difficult to determine because of their small size. Accurate identification will require visual magnification of the specimen. Identification is important because not all methods are effective on all types of bed bugs. Obviously, an infestation should not be allowed to continue so it is best to consult local pest control services or other specialists when dealing with bed bugs in your home.


Image from en.wikipedia.org

Types of bedbugs are categorized based on their preferred food source as well as the region or climate they inhabit. However, most bed bugs will bite humans if they move into a human household and their preferred food source is unavailable to them.

Types of bed bugs include the tropical bed bug and Mexican Chicken bug. Both these types will feed on humans if necessary but the Mexican Chicken bug prefers chickens or other types of poultry.

Bat bugs will feed off of bats and Barn Swallow bugs take up residence in birds’ nests. However, since swallows migrate they carry this type of bed bug with them to a variety of locations. If they nest near a populated area the bugs are likely to move into human residences.


Image from howrid.com

Bed bugs subsist on a diet comprised completely of blood, which they gather by biting other, larger animals. They prefer to feed at night while the target sleeps. Using a large beak-like protrusion, they pierce the skin and lap up the blood that wells out. These bed bug bites are so small that they do not cause noticeable pain, allowing the bed bug to feed for up to 10 minutes at a time without waking up the unaware donor.

However, they inject an anticoagulant into the area which prevents the blood from congealing and the puncture from closing for a short amount of time. This substance is what causes the itching and irritation bed bug bites are known for. Often, these do not occur until several hours after the “donor” has been bitten.

Bed bug bites are not lethal, however humans can have allergic reactions of varying severity. This depends on the individual as well as the number of bites sustained and in what time span.

Contact us at JDM pest control to rid your home of bed bug infestations. We are located in Canada and offer free assessments. Call us at 416-729-3568.


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