What Is A Bed Bug?
What is a bed bug?
Bed bugs have been around for thousands of years, and what do they feed on? Blood. These bloodsucking parasites make their presence known by sucking the blood out of warm-blooded animals (mostly humans) and cause various diseases. On top of that, bed bugs are hard to get rid of and can take even months to exterminate them from a large space. But before we understand how we can get rid of bed bugs, let’s understand what they are all about.
Bed Bugs – The Real Bloodsucking Vampires
As mentioned before, bed bugs are small insects that feed on blood from animals and humans. The worst part about these creatures is that they strike your comfort zone; i.e., they live in your furniture, bed, carpet, clothing, etc. They are quite effective at night when they feed on people’s blood while they sleep.
The size of these bloodsucking vampires can be from 1 millimeter to 7 millimeters. They are reddish-brown in color and are oval-shaped, and have no wings, so they rely on other hosts to carry them from place to place. So, if you have a bed bug infestation in your home, it’s time to get an exterminator.
Species of Bed Bugs
Most people don’t know that there are two main species of bed bugs, but both are quite similar to each other. The first type of bed bug is called Cimex Lectularius, and it’s one of the most common bed bug species found today. On top of that, they have been gradually increasing in number since the 1990s. These days, they can be found in every state of the United States and European countries.
The other kind of bed bugs are the tropical ones. As the name suggests, they prefer tropical and subtropical habitats. Specifically, they are usually found within 30 degrees latitudinally south and north of the equator. In other words, they are found anywhere that’s warm enough. What makes these tropical insects problematic is that they also look like regular bed bugs and their infestations are the same. These pesky creatures can also be found everywhere!
The Lifecycle of Bed Bugs
We already know that bed bugs feed entirely on blood. Their meal usually takes about 5 to 10 minutes, which is an attack on sleeping humans. Another problem is that the adult bed bugs can live without feeding for around a year, depending on different temperatures. If we look at their life cycle, one female bed bug lays a whopping 200 – 250 eggs in her entire lifetime. Baby bed bugs hatch in a period of 6 – 10 days, and the nymph bed bug will go on the blood hunt for its transition to the next stage. Each nymph stage lasts about a week or longer if they don’t find a living host to feed on. While the adult bed bug’s life usually lasts for the next 6 to 12 months.
How to Identify that You have Bed Bugs?
Identifying that you have bed bugs in your home requires thorough checking. In other words, you don’t want to learn that you have a bed bug problem after you have found the bites. But unfortunately, this is the only way how you can find the problem. But if and when you find bed bugs, make sure you follow the 4 easy steps below steps to counteract those pesky creatures:
- Check the mattress for a bed bug proof mattress protector and mattress pad. If there is not one present check the piping of the mattress and the box spring for black, rust colored, or red marks or stains. If you’re staying in a hotel somewhere, it’s even more important that you look for such indications every time you check in to a new room.
- Look at the headboard for adult bugs or their black excrement or blood stains.
- Try to keep your suitcase away from your bed or furniture because those bed bugs can infiltrate those and cause havoc afterward. We recommend keeping your bags in the bathroom away from carpeted or other dark surfaces.
- Lastly, keep your dirty clothes in a plastic bag, because they can use your clothes as a place to stay and wash them as soon as you arrive at home.
If you find bed bugs in your home, make sure you contact a professional exterminator or your landlord immediately.
Although bed bugs tend to be dangerous, they don’t cause serious health problems for many individuals. However, there is a chance that some people may have an allergic reaction to bed bug bites, though those cases are quite rare. According to bed bug research conducted in 2016, although these creatures are hard to get rid of, they don’t cause serious health problems. Nonetheless, if you see a bed bug inside your home, it’s time to call an exterminator.
Be sure when they leave that your beds are encased in bed bug proof mattress encasements to ensure that you and your loved ones are protected.
Sleep well and don't let the bed bugs bite!--