Bedbugs bite you and feed on your blood. You may have no reaction to the bites, or you may have small marks or itching. Severe allergic reactions are rare. Bedbugs don't transmit or spread diseases.
Adult bedbugs are brown, 1/4 to 3/8 inch long, and have a flat, oval-shaped body. Young bedbugs (called nymphs) are smaller and lighter in color. Bedbugs hide in a variety of places around the bed. They might also hide in the seams of chairs and couches, between cushions, and in the folds of curtains. They come out to feed about every five to ten days. But they can survive over a year without feeding.
To prevent bedbugs in your home:
To get rid of bedbugs:
Environmental Protection Agency
References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)