Updated: June 5, 2023

Bed bugs are a common household pest that can cause a lot of discomfort and distress. These tiny insects feed on human blood and can be found in various places, including homes, hotels, and public transportation. The first step in dealing with a bed bug infestation is to identify the species of bed bug present. In this article, we will discuss the different types of bed bugs and how to identify them.

Common Bed Bug Species

There are two main species of bed bugs that are commonly found in households: Cimex lectularius and Cimex hemipterus. Both species are similar in appearance and behavior, but there are some slight differences that can help you identify them.

Cimex lectularius

Cimex lectularius is the most common species of bed bug found in households. They are reddish-brown in color and have a flat, oval-shaped body that is approximately the size of an apple seed. They do not have wings and cannot fly or jump, but they can crawl quickly over floors, walls, and other surfaces.

One distinguishing feature of Cimex lectularius is their antennae, which have four segments. They also have small eyes that are difficult to see with the naked eye. Adult bed bugs can live for up to a year without feeding, but they typically feed every 5-10 days.

Cimex hemipterus

Cimex hemipterus is less common than Cimex lectularius but can still be found in households. They are similar in appearance to Cimex lectularius but have slightly longer legs. They are also slightly smaller, with an adult size of around 4-5 mm.

Cimex hemipterus is more commonly found in tropical regions and is known to feed on a wider range of hosts, including birds and bats. They can also survive for longer periods without feeding than Cimex lectularius.

Identifying Bed Bug Bites

Before you can identify the species of bed bug present in your home, it’s important to confirm that you are dealing with bed bugs. One way to do this is to look for bites on your skin that appear in a row or cluster.

Bed bug bites are usually painless but can cause itching and irritation. They typically appear on exposed areas of the skin, such as the face, neck, arms, and hands. Bites from Cimex lectularius and Cimex hemipterus are similar in appearance and can be difficult to distinguish from other insect bites.

If you suspect that you have been bitten by bed bugs, it’s important to inspect your home for signs of an infestation.

Identifying Bed Bug Infestations

To identify a bed bug infestation, you should start by checking your mattress and bedding. Look for small reddish-brown insects or tiny white eggs that are about the size of a pinhead. Bed bugs prefer to hide in cracks and crevices, so be sure to check furniture, baseboards, and other areas near your bed.

You may also notice dark spots on your bedding or furniture. These spots are actually bed bug droppings and can be a telltale sign of an infestation.

If you suspect that you have a bed bug infestation, it’s important to take action as soon as possible. Bed bugs can reproduce quickly and can spread throughout your home if left untreated.

Treating Bed Bug Infestations

Treating a bed bug infestation requires a combination of methods, including chemical treatments and non-chemical methods such as vacuuming and steam cleaning. It’s important to follow the instructions carefully and use only products that are specifically designed for bed bugs.

If you have a severe infestation or are unable to treat the problem yourself, it may be necessary to call in a professional pest control company. A qualified exterminator can help you identify the species of bed bug present and develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your specific situation.


Identifying bed bugs can be challenging, but it’s an important first step in dealing with a bed bug infestation. By knowing the common species of bed bugs and how to identify them, you can take proactive steps to prevent an infestation from taking hold in your home. If you suspect that you have a bed bug infestation, it’s important to act quickly and seek professional help if necessary. With the right approach, you can eliminate bed bugs from your home and prevent them from causing further problems.