A bedbug is a parasitic insect from the Cimicidae family known to wreak havoc in bedrooms around the world. The common bedbug, known as Cimex lectularius in the scientific community, feasts on human blood and takes its name from its preferred living space -- YOUR BED.
The tiny bugs are red or brown in color and have a flat, oval-shaped body. Adults can grow up to 5 millimeters in length. They thrive in climates similar to human beings, but can be killed by extreme, hot or cold temperatures.
Bedbugs use their stylet fascicle to pierce the skin of their hosts to extract blood, often without being detected. As a result, many people experience skin rashes, allergies and other infections from bedbug exposure.
Aggressive efforts after World War II nearly wiped out the common bedbug 60 years ago. The invasive pest re-emerged around the world, but nobody's quite sure why. Experts suspect increased travel, lack of public awareness and resistance to modern pesticides all play a role.
The good news about bed bugs is they are not a serious health threat. Their bites can cause large red marks and swelling in some people, but they are not known to transmit diseases.