10 Fun Facts About Bed Bugs

Bed bugs have a history that spans back to ancient Egyptian times. They have continued being household pests for over 3,300 years! 

A bed bug infestation is not a fun event — it’s a nightmare, and when you’re going through it, you don’t know where to sleep safely. You’re worried you’ll spread your infestation to friends just by visiting. And you’ll have to fight the infestation for up to a year!

But bed bugs really are fascinating creatures. That’s why we’ve put together these fun facts about bed bugs.

Here are a few tasty morsels:

  • Early colonists were the first people responsible for bringing the bugs to the United States, after which they continued thriving decade after decade.
  • In the 1950s, bed bugs were dealt with in developed countries thanks to newly introduced pest control measures and products. 
  • These included measures like washing machines and vacuums that assisted in taking living spaces from pest infestations.

Let’s dive in and see what else we learn about bed bugs!


Fun Facts about bed Bugs: Did You Know?

Toward the late 1990s, various factors encouraged bed bugs’ resurgence. Among these factors were the growth of international travel, lack of awareness of pest prevention techniques, and more specific pest control inputs.

1. Bedbugs Mainly Feed On Humans

Though the global population of bed bugs uses mammals and birds as hosts, they tend to prefer a human host. Both male and female bed bugs feed on human blood, Dracula-style.

Wondering the extent they will go to in search of human blood?

The bugs can travel up to 20 feet from their hiding place in order to seek a host. And upon starting to feed, they will take up to 12 minutes to be full. A really hungry bed bug can feed during the daytime, though their preference is night feeding.

2. Bed Bugs Are Capable Of Living For One Year Or More

As with many insects, bed bugs reproduce very rapidly. For instance, a female bed bug may not lay as many eggs as a female fruit fly, but they have a longer lifespan. On average, a bed bug lives for approximately 6 to 12, months though some can live over one year under certain conditions

Bed bugs reproduce very rapidly.

They’re not the longest-lived insects, but compared to some, they live quite a while!

A bed bug’s reproduction life cycle takes about five weeks, from eggs to a fertile adult. Female bed bugs lay between one and three eggs daily, totaling 200 and 500 in their lifespans.

Every growth stage requires blood meals to progress to the next maturity stage. This meal is necessary at least every two weeks for mating. 

As bed bugs grow, they molt, or shed their skin up to 5 times before they reach adulthood. At that point they’re ready to reproduce.

3. Bed Bugs Love Traveling!

You are most likely to get infested with bed bugs as you travel. They are well-adapted to hang onto your luggage or clothes till they get the opportunity to hide in less transient locations. 

The flat body of a bed bug makes hiding in creases, zipper seams, and furniture cracks easy. As such, you should be cautious as you travel outside your house. 

Before bringing luggage into your hotel room, check thoroughly under the sheets and mattress, on the carpet, and along drawer cracks. If you notice bed bugs in any of these locations, immediately exit the room and contact your hotel or AirBnB host.

Those little foldable luggage racks common in hotels? Use them! They keep your luggage off the ground, which will help prevent bed bug infestation.

Those little foldable luggage racks common in hotels? Use them! They keep your luggage off the ground, which will help prevent bed bug infestation.

And when you arrive home, it’s a great idea to wash your clothes using hot water and dry using hot air after travels. You can also opt to wash your luggage, too, if you can! If not, hit it with the blow dryer for a bit. 

4. Ground-Up Bed Bugs Were Once Used as Medicine

Back in the Middle Ages, people used to include bed bugs in medicine and food. It’s wild to think about nowadays, but doctors used to grind up bed bugs and provide them as medicine to combat fevers and hysteria.

5. Bed Bugs Don’t Just Live In Mattresses 

The name of these bugs comes from the fact that they like nesting in mattresses where they can feed on your blood conveniently at night.

But that doesn’t mean they just live on your bed. If only it was that easy! If you’ve got an infestation, getting rid of your mattress won’t necessarily get rid of them.

Bed bugs hide all throughout the home. If you think you might be having a bed bug infestation, below are some areas to check:

  • Wall and drawer cracks
  • Dirty laundry (bed bugs love stinky laundry)
  • Fabric seams
  • Bindings or pages of magazines and books
  • Bed frames, headboards, and box springs
  • Picture frames, baseboards, and other wall hangings
  • Crevices in electrical appliances and miscellaneous items

6. A Mattress Protector Will Not Prevent An Infestation

Bed bugs are capable of living almost anywhere in your house. Therefore, your mattress protector will only prevent them from getting to your mattress.

However, you can make your home unappealing to these bugs by doing the following.

  • Where possible, fill cracks in walls and furniture
  • Vacuum weekly
  • Get rid of clutter, mainly near sleeping areas
  • Wash bedding regularly and adhere to the box spring and mattress cleaning and care instructions
  • Regularly launder your clothes

7. Bed Bugs Look Like Apple Seeds

It’s hard to pin down bed bugs. They hide during the day, and you may only notice bites at the start of the infestation. But eventually, you’ll likely start to see bed bug shells, stains on the sheets, etc.

And then you’ll see those little apple seeds everywhere. Those are bed bugs. They are about the same size and shape as an apple seed.

An unfed bug has an oval and flat shape and is brown, whereas a fed bug will be plumper and longer and has a reddish-brown color.

An adult has a sweet, musty smell. 

An unfed bug has an oval and flat shape and is brown.

8. Bed Bugs Don’t Transmit Disease

Bed bug bites will not infect you with any disease! This is surprising, especially given the fact that other bloodsuckers like mosquitoes transmit tons of readily diseases like malaria.

After a bed bug bites you, you will get an itchy swollenness similar to a spider or mosquito bite. But no diseases, thankfully!

Here are some measures to suppress the symptoms.

  • Avoid excessively scratching the bitten area. This leads to skin infection, particularly if your fingernails have germs and dirt
  • If required, take an antihistamine to remedy the burning and itching sensation
  • You can also use anti-itch cream if your skin is agitated 

9. One Might Go Up To Two Weeks Without Noticing Bed Bug Bites

Like mosquitoes, bed bugs anesthetize the area where they intend to feed from. The bite effect on you might be different from someone else’s.

  • Bites are associated with anxiety and sleeping place infestation leading to insomnia
  • Present as raised, itchy, and reddish
  • Possibly occur with or without any discernible pattern
  • In some people, the bites do not affect the skin 
  • Some individuals are allergic to the bug’s saliva, hence more prominent bite marks

10. Bed Bugs Have a “Type”

Some people have experienced the phenomena where bed bugs feed on one person, but ignore the person in the bed next to them. What’s up with that? There is some suggestion that bed bugs may have a “type” — a preference for one blood type over another! Research is still ongoing, but it’s possible bed bugs may get used to the taste of one blood type, and repeatedly go back to that type if it’s available.


Conclusion

Bed bugs have seen a major resurgence over the last 50 years, unfortunately. And if you get infested, it’s a nightmare to deal with. We strongly recommend getting some support from a professional, because bed bug infestation is no joke.

We hope you enjoyed our fun facts about bed bugs, and we hope you never have to deal with them in your home!