Bed bugs – Cimex lectularius – are insects that feed off warm-blooded animals. They are extremely small and can be very difficult to detect and identify. While bed bugs have been known to live for up to 18 months, the average lifespan of a bed bug is around 9 months.
Because they can go for months without a blood meal and are resistant to many insecticides, treatment is very difficult and time-consuming.
The most common comparison would be a tick in general appearance and size upon reaching adulthood. Still, they are much smaller in early life cycles and can be very difficult to locate. A female can lay up to 5 eggs per day and may relocate to areas far removed from the mattress to lay those eggs again, making detection and control difficult.