The bed bugs are from the Cimicidae family, which is a group of small parasitic insects that feed on blood of humans and animals. The household bed bug (Cimex lectularius) is found all over the world. They can typically adapt to human environments and prefer living in temperate climates. The most common thought of bed bugs is that they have wings, and they can fly. This article will determine if that notion about bed bugs is true.
Bed Bugs' Appearances And Characteristics
Adult bed bugs are light brown to reddish-brown in colour. They are oval shaped and have no back wings. Although they have front wings, but they generally cannot fly. Bed bugs' wings are becoming vestigial, meaning they have lost their ability to fly, but evolution has still retained the structure during the process.
An adult bed bug has segmented abdomens, and the banded appearance is caused by the microscopic hairs. They can grow 4 to 5 mm long and 1.5 to 3 mm wide.
Bed bug nymphs are translucent and lighter in colour. They start becoming browner as they are moulting until they reach maturity. After feeding on blood, the nymph will be bright red and translucent. Bed bug nymphs will become browner over the next few hours and then turn black for the next two days of digestion.
When crushed, the bed bug emits a disagreeable odour. Bed bugs are not capable of flight but they do have wings. They are also not capable of jumping over long distances. Bed bugs generally move from host to host by crawling.
Human hosts are the main preference of a common bed bug. They do not prefer pets or any other furry animals. Bed bugs are attracted to carbon dioxide which is emitted by human hosts. They are also attracted to the warmth of humans which is perfect for hatching their eggs. Human's face, neck, back, arms and legs are the most common area in human body where bed bugs prefer to bite.
Bed bugs use their piercing sucking mouthparts in order to suck blood from its host. They inject saliva with anticoagulants and painkillers so human hosts cannot feel the pain of being bitten and the only sign left behind is no red spot but swelling. Red spots only happen when a group of bed bugs feed on a small area.
Survivability of bed bugs is very high. They can live up to 1 year without feeding under cool conditions. Adult bed bugs can survive up to 5 months without food. Bed bugs usually feed at a five to 10 day intervals. The nymphs cannot survive that long but newly hatched nymphs can last weeks without sucking the blood of the host.
Where Are Bed Bugs Found?
Mattresses, box springs and folded areas are the most common areas where bed bugs can hide. They prefer to hide in small cracks and crevices of our houses. You might as well find them in places like picture frames, electrical switch plates, upholstery and behind base boards or wallpapers. They can live temporarily on habitats such as seats of cars, buses and trains.
Today, bed bugs are found on different places including family houses, apartments, office buildings, hotels, schools and hospitals. They can also be noticed in movie theatres, clothing stores and public or private transportations.
How Do Bed Bugs Spread?
Bed bugs are one of the best in hitchhiking. They are transported through people’s clothes and luggage. Due to its size, it can easily fit into boxes and shoes and be transported to different parts of the world. They are easily spread by travellers because they can easily crawl to their suitcase and be transported to anywhere they wish to be dropped off.
Once bed bugs are inside your house, they can easily spread and can be very difficult to control without help from a pest specialist. It is best to prevent bed bugs from entering your home, rather than curing your house of their infestation.
How To Avoid Bed Bugs
- Wash and dry bed linens on the hottest temperature permitted to eradicate bed bugs and their eggs that might been laid.
- Inspect furniture, shoes, pillows and other things closely before bringing it home. These might be a source of bed bugs.
- After trips, service calls or overnight guests, it is a good practice to check if there were any bed bugs being spread or carried by people who stopped by.
- Vacuuming on a regular basis will help prevent bed bugs. Carpets and upholstered furniture are some of the best hiding spots of bed bugs.
The household bed bug has a front wing but the wing is vestigial, meaning it has no use. Bed bugs depend on blood as their food source. Humans' hands, neck, face, back, legs and arms are the most common areas bitten by bed bugs.