E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Wildlife of British Columbia

Cimex lectularius Linnaeus
Common Bed Bug
Family: Cimicidae
Photo of species

© Public Domain  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #14754)

E-Fauna BC Static Map
Distribution of Cimex lectularius in British Columbia
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The Common Bed Bug is a small (4 to 5 mm in length) parasitic insect in the Order Hemiptera (family Cimicidae). They are found in temperate climates around the world. Although there are several species of bedbugs, the Common Bedbug is the one most adapted to feeding on humans (Potter 2010). These are flightless insects and are flattened, oval or rounded, and brown in colour (Cannings and Scudder 2005). They are active at night and bite people while they sleep. During the day, they hide close to where they feed, often in mattresses, box springs, and headboards.

Although they are a pest, causing itchy rashes and allergic symptoms, bedbugs are not known to transmit any diseases to humans. "Although bed bugs can harbor pathogens in and on their bodies, transmission to humans is considered unlikely. Their medical significance is chiefly limited to the itching and inflammation from their bites. Antihistamines and corticosteroids may be prescribed to reduce allergic reactions, and antiseptic or antibiotic ointments to prevent infection. Though not known to carry diseases, bed bugs can severely reduce quality of life by causing discomfort, sleeplessness, anxiety, and embarrassment." (Potter 2010)

Read more about bedbugs here.

Visit the Bedbug Registry and view a map of bedbug reports in Vancouver.

Learn more about the insect order Hemiptera in BC, by Rob Cannings and Geoff Scudder. Includes a key to families and family descriptions.

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Additional Photo Sources

General References

Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2021. E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Fauna of British Columbia [efauna.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 2023-09-23 4:06:07 AM]
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© E-Fauna BC 2021: An initiative of the Spatial Data Lab, Department of Geography, UBC