You know the old expression “sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite”? Well, it really is an old expression, because the cimex lectularius, or the common bedbug, has existed for thousands of years.
They are rather tiny insects belonging to a species that is typified by its need to have blood meals to survive. Their victims are primarily human, but at a pinch, animal blood will do.
Adults bedbugs can measure as much as 5mm (about the size of an apple seed and much the same colouring), and are easily visible to the naked eye if you are up to catching them. Because the bedbug gets its name honestly, seeking out victims in the dark of night, their victims are usually in bed.
They are not spawned, nor attracted by dirty environments however. This is a very common misconception. What really draws them is a source of warmth and exhaled carbon dioxide. The cleanliness of a room, bed or entire home, really has nothing to do with their presence. The bedbug will crawl into the bed, feed off its host, and return to their dark lairs for the daylight hours, although under especially appealing circumstances, they will emerge in daytime. A well-fed bedbug can survive up to a year and a half without eating again, but their instincts usually lead them to seek a meal, every 6-12 days.