Different Kinds of Bed Bugs

Waking up with red, itchy bumps on your skin may be a sign of a bed bug infestation, an unpleasant realization for many individuals.

Common Bedbug

In spite of the common misconception, bedbug infestations are not a result of poor housekeeping. Generally, they are brought into the home on clothing or luggage, particularly after a hotel stay or contact with an individual who has bedbugs in their own home. If you believe that you have bed bugs in your home, determine what kind of bed bug is causing the infestation. With this information, you can determine the best method of eliminating the insects from your living spaces.

The most common bedbug found in the home is the common household bedbug, or Cimex lectularius. Found throughout the world, these tiny insects thrive in temperate climates and eat human blood. These bed bugs are approximately 1/4 inch in length and brown in color. After feeding, they take on a reddish hue and swell significantly.

Bat bugs

Bat bugs, or Leptocimex boueti, are very similar household bedbugs. They are most commonly found in tropical locations, where they feed off the blood of bats. Although bats are their primary hosts, some do select human hosts---particularly in homes where bats are present. Bat bugs look almost identical to bedbugs. In fact, the two can only be distinguished when viewed under a microscope.

Barn Swallow Bugs

As their name suggests, these parasitic insects generally reside in the nests of swallows, where they survive on the blood of the birds. When the swallows migrate and the barn swallow bugs lose their food supply, they have been known to enter the homes of humans to find a new host. They look and behave the same as household bedbugs, invading couches, bedrooms and other areas where humans spend a lot of time resting.

Poultry Bugs

Another close relative of the bedbug is the poultry bug. These bugs are common in chicken coops, where they come out during the night to feed from chickens, turkeys and other fowl. Humans who spend a lot of time around chickens are susceptible to poultry bug bites as well, particularly in the evening hours. Evidence of poultry bug bites is similar to that of household bedbug bites: both leave small, red, itchy bumps.

About the Author

Lynn Burbeck is a professional writer with over five years of experience writing for the Web. She has published numerous articles for print and online media including "Grit" Magazine. Burbeck holds a B.A. in journalism and political science.