Bed Bug Pest Control in Chicago, IL

Midwest Exterminating understands the need to get rid of these bed bugs and pests completely. Our staff will first inspect your house and find areas where these pests live such as beds, furniture, dressers, clothing, or luggage. With innovative bed bug busting methods and chemicals, we make sure everything from adult, newly hatched, and eggs will be eradicated for good.

Bed bugs are parasitic insects that suck blood from their hosts. The common bed bug prefers to feed on human blood and thrives in warm areas of the house. They are commonly found near or inside beds, bedding, and other items in sleep areas. Most of these parasites are active at night.

Adult bed bugs have colors such as light brown and reddish-brown. Their bodies are usually flat and oval. Adults can grow up to 4–5 mm in length and 1.5–3 mm wide. In many cases, they are mistaken for other insects such as small cockroaches. Newly hatched bed bugs might be hard to detect because they are translucent and lighter in color.

The bugs can live in areas with a wide range of temperatures and atmospheric compositions. This makes them hard to eradicate.

Bed bugs attack on exposed skin; usually the face, neck, and arms of a sleeping person. Bed bug bites can cause skin rashes and allergic symptoms. Health experts recommend getting rid of these parasitic organisms, especially before infestation gets out of control.

Bed Bug Pest Control from Midwest Exterminating

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Physical characteristics

Adult bed bugs are light brown to reddish-brown, flattened, oval-shaped and have no hind wings. The front wings are vestigial and reduced to pad-like structures. Bed bugs have segmented abdomens with microscopic hairs that give them a banded appearance. Adults grow to 4–5 mm in length and 1.5–3 mm wide.

Newly hatched nymphs are translucent, lighter in color and become browner as they moult and reach adulthood. A bed bug of any age that has just consumed a blood meal will appear to have a bright red, translucent abdomen; this color will fade to brown over the next several hours and within two days will become opaque and black as the insect digests its meal. Bed bugs may be mistaken for other insects, such as small cockroaches, or carpet beetles, however when warm and active, their movements are more ant-like, and like most other “true bugs”, they emit a characteristic odor when crushed.

Bed bugs use pheremones to communicate regarding nesting locations, feeding and reproduction.

The life span of bed bugs varies by species and also depends on feeding.

Bed bugs can survive a wide range of temperatures and atmospheric compositions. Below 16.1 °C (61.0 °F), adults enter semihibernation and can survive longer; they can survive for at least five days at −10 °C (14 °F), but will die after 15 minutes of exposure to −32 °C (−26 °F). They show high tolerance to drought-like conditions, surviving low humidity and a 35–40 °C range even with loss of one-third of body weight; earlier life stages are more susceptible to drying out than later ones.

The thermal death point for C. lectularius is high: 45 °C (113 °F), and all stages of life are killed by 7 minutes of exposure to 46 °C (115 °F). These Bed bug pests cannot survive high concentrations of carbon dioxide for very long; exposure to nearly pure nitrogen atmospheres, however, appears to have little effect even after 72 hours.

Feeding habits

Bed bugs are obligatory bloodsucking insect pests. Most species feed on humans only when other prey is unavailable. They obtain all the additional moisture they need from water vapor in the air. Bed bugs are attracted to their hosts primarily by carbon dioxide, but also by warmth and certain chemicals.

Their bites are not usually noticed immediately. They develop slowly to low itchy welts that may take weeks to go away. They prefer exposed skin; especially the face, neck and arms of a sleeping individual. The neck and jaw line are particularly favored places to feed.

Although under certain cool conditions adult bed bugs can live for as long as a year without feeding, under typically warm conditions they will try to feed at five to ten day intervals. Adults can survive for about five months without food. Younger instars cannot survive nearly as long, though even the newly hatched first instars can survive for weeks without taking a blood meal.

In 2009, newer generations of pesticide-resistant bed bugs in Virginia were reported to survive only two months without feeding.

DNA from human blood meals in bed bugs can be recovered for up to 90 days, which may allow them to be used for purposes for identifying who the bed bugs have been feeding on.


All bed bugs breed by “traumatic insemination”. Female bed bugs possess a reproductive tract that functions during oviposition, but the male does not use this tract for sperm insemination. Instead, the male pierces the female’s abdomen with his hypodermic genitalia and ejaculates directly into the body cavity. In all bed bug species except Primicimex cavernis, sperm are injected into the mesospermalege, a component of the spermalege, a secondary genital structure that reduces the wounding and immunological costs of traumatic insemination. Injected sperm travel via the blood to structures called seminal conceptacles, with fertilisation eventually taking place at the ovaries.

Male bed bugs sometimes attempt to mate with other males and pierce the latter in the abdomen. This behaviour occurs because sexual attraction in bed bugs is based primarily on size, and males will mount any freshly fed partner regardless of sex. The “bed bug alarm pheromone” is released when a bed bug is disturbed, such as during an attack by a predator. A 2009 study demonstrated the alarm pheromone is also released by male bed bugs to repel other males who attempt to mate with them.

C. lectularius and C. hemipterus will mate with each other given the opportunity, but the eggs then produced are usually sterile. In a 1988 study, one of 479 eggs was fertile and resulted in a hybrid, C. hemipterus × lectularius.

Life stages

Bed bugs have six life stages – five immature nymph stages and one sexually mature adult stage. They will molt their skins at each stage, discarding their outer shells. Bed bugs molt six times before becoming fertile adults and must take a blood meal in order to complete each molt.

Each of the immature stages lasts approximately a week, depending on temperature and the availability of food. The entire life cycle can be completed in as little as two months. Fertilized females with enough food will lay three to four eggs each day until the end of their life spans, possibly generating as many as 500 eggs in this time.


Bed bugs can cause a number of health effects such as skin rashes, psychological effects, and allergic symptoms. They are able to be infected by at least 28 human pathogens, but no study has found the insect is able to transmit the pathogen to a human being. Bed bug bites may lead to a range of skin manifestations from no visible effects to prominent blisters.

Treatment involves the elimination of the insect and measures to help with the symptoms until they resolve. They have been found with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and with vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (), but the significance of this is still unknown.


Dwellings can become infested with bed bugs in a variety of ways. Some examples would be:

  • Bugs and eggs inadvertently brought in from other infested dwellings by visiting pets or a visiting person’s clothing or luggage
  • Infested items such as furniture, clothing, or backpacks
  • Nearby dwellings or infested items, if easy routes are available for travel (through duct work or false ceilings);
  • Wild animals such as bats or birds
  • People or pets visiting an infested area and carrying the bugs to another area on their clothing, luggage, or bodies.


Bed bugs are elusive and usually nocturnal (activity usually occurs around 5:00 or 6:00 a.m.), which can make noticing them difficult. They often lodge in dark crevices, and the tiny adhesive eggs can be nestled by the hundreds in fabric seams. Aside from bite symptoms, signs include fecal spots (small dark sand-like droppings that occur in patches around and beneath nests), blood smears on sheets (fecal spots that are re-wetted will smear like fresh blood), and the presence of their molted exoskeletons.

Although bed bugs can be found singly, they tend to congregate once established. They are strictly parasitic but they spend only a tiny fraction of their life cycles physically attached to their hosts. Once feeding is complete, a bed bug will relocate to a place close to a known host in clusters, which entomologists call harborage areas or simply harborages. The insect will return here after future feedings by following chemical trails. Bed bugs may also nest near animals that have nested within a dwelling, such as bats, birds, or rodents.

Bed bugs can be detected by their characteristic smell of rotting raspberries. Bed bug deteciton dogs are trained to pinpoint infestations. Dog detection can occur in minutes, where a pest control practitioner might need an hour. In the United States, about 100 dogs are used to find bed bugs as of mid-2009. A few companies are experimenting with high speed gas chromatography to detect bed bugs and other insect vermin.