Cimex lectularius or bed bugs are small, oval, flat, 5 mm, dark red, brownish insects. You can find them everywhere in the world, but most commonly found in Europe, USA, Canada and Australia.
Just like head lice they feed on human and animal blood. In this informative article you will know about:
- What are bed bugs?
- Food of bed bugs
- How they look like?
- Which animals/insects can look like bed bugs?
- Where they live and hide?
- Which things attract them in your house?
- How they grow?
- Bed Bugs Life Cycle
- Which things help them to grow faster?
- How they smell and feel?
- Infections/diseases from bed bugs
- Signs of infection
- Pesticides and remedies to get rid of them
Do you know?
Bed bugs have the size of an apple seed, but after feed they swell.
Bed bugs have slow reproduction. An adult female bed bug produces 1 or 2 eggs in a day.
Bed bugs life span varies from 4 months to 1 year.
A single bed bug lay 200 to 500 eggs in her entire life. For becoming an adult, a bed bug went through five stages:
- Egg stage
- Several immature nymphs stages
- Mature adult
A bed bug larva is smaller in size. They look like small furry caterpillars (rice grain sized). Once the bed bugs hatch, they are known as a bed bug nymph. Even adult bed bugs are very small and pale. They can grow 4 to 5mm long.
At each stage they need meal for this purpose they drink blood to grow, they shed skin and then move to the next stage.
If you really want to get rid of them, then it’s better to know how they look.
Some people mistaken them with other insects like carpet beetles, book lies, small cockroaches, kiss bugs, wood ticks and akc dog ticks. You may have rusty or reddish stains on bed sheets or mattresses because of bed bugs.
Attractive carbon dioxide, warmth and certain chemicals welcomed them in your house. They like moist places.
Mostly bed bugs live in cracks and crevices but they can also found in mattresses, coils of springs, furniture, bookshelves and where you sleep. These little roommates are really shy so during daylight they like to hide. So if you can not see them, it does not mean that they are not there.
Bed bugs feeds each five to seven days, which indicate that they do not spend the majority of their life in searching a host. When a bed bug is starving, it leaves its shelter and searches for a host. It returns to its shelter after successful feeding or if it encounters exposure to light.
These blood suckers have mouth parts that saw the skin and inject saliva with anticoagulants and painkillers. Sensitivity feeling varies from human to human from an extreme reaction to no reaction.
Bed bugs can bite more than one time in a night. In some peoples bed bug marks develop in 14 days.
They love to bite on exposed skin. If you are a victim of bed bug bites, then you may have:
- Inflammation, swelling, redness
- Painful burning sensation
- Raise of itchy bumps with a clear center
- Red itchy bumps with a dark center
- Small red bumps
- Marks in a zigzag pattern or a line
- Small red bumps surrounded by blisters or rashes
- Areas of skin with a raised or flat area that may be inflamed
- Small spots of blood on bed sheets
- Stains on cloth due to bed bug droppings
- Lack of Sleep
- A sweet musty odor
- Bed bugs nymphs in the fold of mattresses and sheets
If they want to visit your house, then you can not stop them. They like to travel.
They can spread with your language, purse, suitcase, books, furniture, clothes, from hotels or restaurants or libraries to your house and from visitors to you or they can crawl from room to room.
Mostly bed bugs are known as major diseases free insects. You can just have burning, itchiness, insomnia, anxiety, and skin problems that arise from the bites and sometime serious skin allergies too that may need medical attention.
But Penn Medicine researchers in the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics verified that bed bugs can transmit Trypanosoma Cruzi with their feces.
This parasite can cause Chagas disease.
Chagas disease is a silent killer. It is hard to identify because the symptoms are mild or absent. These parasites are hidden mainly in the heart and digestive muscle. Ultimately they can cause cardiac disorders and sometimes digestive or neurological problems. Later then, the infection can lead to sudden death or heart failure caused by destruction of the heart muscle.
Renzo Salazar, a biologist at the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia and co-author on the study said. “I’ve never seen so many parasites in an insect”. “I expected a scenario with very low infection, but we found many parasites—they really replicate well in the gut of the bed bugs.”
Some experiments also take place in the Zoonotic Disease Research Center in Arequipa, Peru and Zoonotic Disease Research Center in Arequipa, Peru.
They have shown that the bed bug can acquire and transmit the parasite.
Senior author Michael Z. Levy, PhD, assistant professor in the department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine said, “I am much more concerned about the role of bed bugs. They are already here—in our homes, in our beds and in high numbers. What we found has thrown a wrench in the way I think about transmission, and where Chagas disease could emerge next”.
Mostly bed bugs are more active in warm season. Getting rid of bed bugs is really hard. It needs little effort. For this purpose you can apply:
- Lavender oil they hate their smell
- You can also turn your body into a greasy insect trap by putting on Vaseline
- Vinegar of four thieves is also effective
- Peppermint leaves
- Clove or clove oil
- Essential oils just like tee tree
- You can also use double sided tape around the bed
- Bug repellants
- Use vacuum cleaner regularly
- Wash all your clothes with warm water
- Use silica gel powder
- You can spray alcohol
- Spread baking soda around the cracks, etc.
- Hot hair dryer can kill them. Bed bugs like temperatures around 50-80℉ but extreme temperature can kill them
- Heat treatment kills the bed bugs. But please do not do this by yourself
- Cold treatment also effective for them. 0 degree F at least for 4
- Pesticides like Pyrethrins, Pyrethroids, CimeXa Insecticide Dust etc.
And if these things do not work, then you can leave your home for 4 months to 1 year in the hope that bed bugs will leave your house in search of food.
At the end, I will like to advise how much you hate them
Please do not burn your house or furniture and if you want to do this then please try these methods first.