Types of Bed Bugs

There are many types of bed bugs available in the world. They can be divided into two parts: common and tropical. Few common bed bugs are Cimex Lectularius, Cimex Hemipterus, Bat Bugs, Barn Swallow Bugs and Chimney Swift Bugs, Mexican Chicken Bugs etc. Read the full article to learn more.

Types of Bed Bugs

Bed bugs belong to a bloodsucking insect family called Cimicidae. There are about 90 species that feed on the blood. But only a few feeds on human blood. It is difficult to identify their type without any professional as they look similar. It requires magnification to identify their types. Also, there are other insects that resemble the bed bugs. However, in this article, we have tried to guide you to identify their type. If you think you have been infested by bed bugs, follow this article to find out which type has caused the infestation.

Before jumping into the long discussion about their type and their nature, let us take a look at their general features and common habits. Generally, bed bugs look like an oval shaped insect. The adults are about the size of an apple seed. Typically, they are reddish brown in color. Bed Bugs take elongated shape after their meal. They feature fine hairs. The eggs are transparent and almost invisible to the naked eye. They are about 1/32″ long. They are sticky in nature and ten to adhere to the surfaces where they are laid. The eggs hatch and nymphs emerge. They pass through five molting stages before reaching adulthood.

At the early molting stages, they can look off-white in color. As they grow they take reddish brown color. They can’t fly but they can only crawl. They can survive for over a year without any meal. Their reproduction rate is very high. The females can lay up to 500 eggs in its lifetime. They can spread rapidly and infest a new place. Bed Bugs remain hiding during the day. They come out at night to feed themselves. They inject saliva when they take their meal so that you don’t feel their bites at all. Their bites look like red welts that are itchy. The bites are often grouped in a small area. For some people, they can cause severe infection. Other people may not notice any effect at all.

Common Bed Bugs and Tropical Bed Bugs

Common bed bugs (Cimex Lectularius) and Tropical bed bugs (Cimex hemipterus) mostly feed on human blood. They will also feed on the blood of other warm-blooded animals if they don’t find human blood. Both of them share a strong biological relationship with humans. They are similar in nature. They take 3 to ten minutes to acquire blood from the human body. Both varieties are incapable to fly as they are wingless. These two species of bed bugs can be distinguished if you take a closer look. The prothorax i.e. the first segment of the thorax of the Cimex Lectularius is more expanded laterally and the extreme margins are more flattened than that of Cimex hemipteruses.

Cimex Lectularius

The most common bed bug that we see around is Cimex lectularius. They are generally brown in color. After feeding they will take reddish color and elongated shape. They are cosmopolitan and are found worldwide. They easily adapt to human environments. And, they have the capability to survive diverse environments. They are not evenly distributed in their harbor. They mostly dense in some areas. Dating back to their history, it was believed that they were gone from the year 1960s to late 1990s. their lack of presence is linked to development and use of modern insecticides like DDT. They made their resurgence in the recent years after insecticides like DDT was banned. In addition, they are now a national concern.

Cimex Hemipterus

The presence of Cimex hemipterus is limited to tropical and sub-tropical regions. They are found in the tropical region like Florida as well as countries in Asia and Africa. Bed Bugs prefer habitats such as wood and paper over stone, plasters or textiles. They don’t like light and prefer to hide themselves during the day.

Bat Bugs

Leptocimex boueti or Cimex Adjunctus usually feed on the blood of bats. They will also attack a human if they can’t find any easy bat blood meal. But they need bat blood in order to reproduce. They are predominantly seen in countries like Africa where bats are abundant. They have also been observed in tropical regions as well as more temperate areas. There are bat bugs like Cimex pipistrelli which are seen in Europe and Cimex pilosellus which are found in the Western United States. You can’t distinguish them from other bed bugs with naked eyes. However, with microscopic observation, you can see that their fringe hairs on the upper thorax (pronotum hairs) are larger than that of other bed bugs. They are capable of taking blood for 10 to 15 minutes. Their bites are more painful than the bites of Cimex Lectularius and Cimex hemipterus.

Barn Swallow Bugs and Chimney Swift Bugs

Barn swallow bugs (Oeciacus Vicarius) and chimney swift bug (Cimexopsis Nyctalis) is often misidentified as bed bugs. They look similar to common bed bugs. They survive on the blood of the birds. Bed Bugs reside on the nests of the swallows. It is believed that when birds migrate they enter human residences to find new food supply.

Mexican Chicken Bugs

The Mexican chicken bug is also known as Haematosiphon inodora dwells mostly in North America. They also look similar to common bed bugs. The primary host of this species of bugs is the domestic fowls and they are commonly found in poultry farms. They come out at night and feed on chickens, turkeys and other fowl. Humans who look after the poultry firms are more likely to bitten by such bugs. Their bites are similar to those of common bed bugs.


There are similar insects of the family Cimicidae. Most of the people fail to identify their presence at all. They often confuse their presence with other insects. Their resemblance with other insects plays a major role in arising the confusion of their presence. That is why it is important to know how they look. Finding their type is even more difficult as they look almost similar. It’s better to identify them based on their habits and harbor.

Bed bugs are known for their high reproduction rates and must be treated at the early stage of infestation. They can start small and go to infest your entire building. It is important to accurately identify bed bugs before beginning treatment of an infestation. Incorrect control methods may prove to be ineffective and maybe bring harmful results. If you can’t identify yourself, take help from professionals. Therefore, contact your local pest control experts to arrange an inspection and consultation.

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