Explanation of Names
Cimex lectularius Linnaeus 1758
lectul (L). 'a couch, bed' (1)
6 mm or less, according to Peterson's A Field Guide to the Insects and Roger Bland's How to Know the Insects
5 to 9.5 mm, U. of Florida
body reddish-brown, ovoid, broadly flattened, with greatly reduced wings; forewings (hemelytra) broader than long, somewhat rectangular; sides of pronotum covered with short stiff hairs (fringe hairs on pronotum shorter than width of eye)
on or near host animal (humans)
parasitic: nymphs and adults feed on blood of host animal
multiple generations per year
"Mating occurs off the host and involves a unique form of copulation called ‘traumatic insemination’ whereby the male penetrates the female’s abdominal wall with his external genitalia and inseminates into her body cavity. Adults live 6-12 months and may survive for long periods of time without feeding." - CDC
Introduced from Europe by early colonists.
Suspected, but never proven, of transmitting 41 human disease organisms (2)
"While Cimex spp. have been found to be naturally-infected with several blood-borne pathogens, they are not effective vectors of disease. The primary medical importance is inflammation associated with their bites." - CDC
Tropical Bed Bug (Cimex hemipterus) prothorax is less expanded laterally, and extreme margins are less flattened
In bat bugs
species) the pronotal fringe hairs are as long or longer than width of eye
Ryckman, R.E., D.G. Bently, and E.F. Archbold. 1981. The Cimicidae of the Americas and Oceanic Islands, a checklist and bibliography. Bull. Soc. Vector. Ecol. 6: 93-142.
Usinger, R.L. 1966. Monograph of Cimicidae (Hemiptera - Heteroptera). Thomas Say Foundation. Entomological Society of America, College Park, Maryland, 7: i-ix, 1-585.