Bed bugs are a parasitic family of arthropods best known for feeding on human blood! They are found all over the world, basically, wherever humans live. The most common species that feed on humans are Cimex lectularius (the common bed bug) and Cimex hemipterus.
They are most active at night and usually feed on the host (YOU) without you noticing. Bed bugs may be a cause of skin rashes, acne-like symptoms, psychological effects, and allergic symptoms.
Unlike species of bloodsucking mites, like public lice (crabs), bed bugs tend to feed on their host at night and then retreat to somewhere safe in the home. They can be deep within a mattress, under the carpet, or in the walls. They detect the carbon dioxide you exhale to find you and feed on you while you are asleep. Like all biological organisms, they excrete waste in the process and that waste accumulates leaving beautiful stains on your mattress. If you have an infestation, you'd probably know it.
The bedbug life cycle is fairly straightforward, they molt 6 times before becoming sexually mature. If you see them in all stages in your home, you may have an infestation.
Although hygiene is not something that can prevent bed bugs from entering your home and setting up shop. A lack of attention to their presence and a very unkept home will allow them to more easily proliferate. If you are waking up with odd rashes and darkened spots (digested blood) in the bed, you may have bed bugs. Check your mattress thoroughly. Bed bugs don't tolerate heat well. Pest professionals can heat the entire home. This is a tried and true method of destroying them.
Watch the video below in which a home is infested with bedbugs.
This video is not for the faint of heart and mind. Please do NOT watch if you are sensitive to radical grossness.