Insect Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are small, oval, non flying insects that belong to the insect familyCimicidae, which includes three species that bite people. Adult bed bugs reach 5-7 mm in length, while nymphs (juveniles) are as small as 1.5 mm. Bed bugs have flat bodies and may sometimes be mistaken forticks or small cockroaches. Bed bugs feed by sucking blood from humans or animals. Adult bed bugs are reddish brown in color, appearing more reddish after feeding on a blood meal. Nymphs are clear in color and appear bright red after feeding. The wings of bed bugs are vestigial, so they cannot fly.
Several different kinds of insects resemble bed bugs, specimens should be carefully compared with good reference images to confirm their identity. If any questions remain regarding the identity of your samples, then submit them to a competent entomologist for evaluation. Bed bugs bite with piercing and sucking mouthparts, similar to mosquitoes and bites result in local swelling and irritation like abad mosquito bite. However, unlike some other blood-feeding insects bed bugs probably are not important carriers of human disease. While digesting a meal bed bugs excrete black fecal material (digested blood) that accumulates where they hide and is characteristic of an infestation.
Since bed bugs don't fly, and not able to walk very far on their own, these bugs rely on us to move them from one place to another. Rooms generally become infested because bed bugs are carried into the room on our belongings. The bugs can hide themselves in pillows, blankets, sleeping bags, backpacks, towels, clothing, and so forth, when transported from an infested to an uninfested room.
Bed bugs are bloodsucking insects. They are normally out at night just before dawn, with a peak feeding period of about an hour before sunrise. Bed bugs may attempt to feed at other times if given the opportunity and have been observed feeding during all periods of the day. They reach their host by walking, or sometimes climb the walls to the ceiling and drop down on feeling a heat wave. Bed bugs are attracted to their hosts by warmth and the presence of carbon dioxide. The bug pierces the skin of its host with two hollow feeding tubes. With one tube it injects its saliva, which contains anticoagulants and anesthetics, while with the other it withdraws the blood of its host. After feeding for about five minutes, the bug returns to its hiding place. The bites cannot usually be felt until some minutes or hours later, as a dermatological reaction to the injected agents, and the first indication of a bite usually comes from the desire to scratch the bite site. Because of their natural aversion for sunlight, bed bugs come out at night.
Bed bugs were originally brought to the United States by early colonists from Europe. Bed bugs thrive in places with high occupancy, such as hotels. Bed bugs were believed to be altogether eradicated 50 years ago in the United States and elsewhere with the widespread use of DDT. One recent theory about bed bug reappearance involves potential geographic epicentres. Investigators have found three apparent United States epicentres at poultry facilities in Arkansas, Texas, and Delaware. It was determined that workers in these facilities were the main spreaders of these bed bugs, unknowingly carrying them to their places of residence and elsewhere after leaving work. Bed bug populations in the United States have increased by 500 percent in the past few years. The cause of this resurgence is still uncertain, but most believe it is related to increased international travel and the use of new pest-control methods that do not affect bed bugs. In the last few years, the use of baits rather than insecticide sprays is believed to have contributed to the increase. With the advent of cockroach bait in the early 1990s, the use of residual insecticides and other liquid sprays were drastically reduced. As it turned out, pest control professionals had not realized that during their monthly treatments for cockroaches (particularly the German cockroach, which infests hotels as bed bugs do) they had helped in the control of bed bugs. This process may have started with the use of DDT but it is no coincidence that the dramatic rise in bed bug activity came approximately 10 or so years after professionals stopped spraying for cockroach activity.