What are Bed Bugs
Cimex lectularius which are better known as “Bed Bugs,” are very small parasitic bugs that suck the blood of humans and animals, usually during early morning hours (1:00 am – 5:00 am). Young nymph’s bodies are clear and translucent, generally turning red after they have feed themselves.
Adult bed bugs are a reddish brown color, they’re wingless, so they cannot fly, but they can jump up to 16 inches. Easily attaching themselves to your pants leg, as you bring them into your home. Nymphs are about 1mm in size, where the adult bedbugs are about 7mm in size. Bed bugs can live upwards of several months without needing to feed on their prey.
These parasitic bugs can be found in many areas around the world, such places as Asia, Africa, Europe, and even North and South America. Bed bugs are normally found in developing countries with poorer health standards. More recently, rapid bed bug infestation has been surfacing in more prominent countries, such as the UK, Canada, and the USA.
Bed bugs have also been reported in some 5-Star hotels, and clothing stores. It really does not matter how clean these buildings are. Bed bugs have appeared in high-end clothing boutiques, restaurants, private clubs, and the list goes on and on.
If you start feeling itchy during the night, while you are in bed sleeping, than it’s a good bet that you have bed bugs! Infestation generally starts in areas where humans are sleeping, bedrooms, living room couches, and you should even check your sleeping bag.
Buildings with large number of inhabitants, such as apartment buildings, condo complexes, hotels, dorm rooms, boarding houses, sleeping areas in trains and travel buses, can be where many infestations start.
Bed Bugs are nocturnal bugs, and come out at night while you are in bed sleeping. During the day light hours they hide in cracks of your furniture, or along the seams of your mattress. Other places to inspect could be box springs, head boards, bed frames, and any wood or wood fiber furniture.
These bedbugs are very astute at finding hard to locate hiding places, and are also known to travel long distances (up to 100 feet) if need be. But, are generally never further than 8 feet from their prey, “You and your family”!
What Are Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are not disease carrying insects, or at least they have not been found to be carrying any disease-type germs. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) does not consider these bugs a hazard to the public. Nor has any evidence been found that you could acquire “Aids” (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) from bed bugs.
They can be very annoying, especially if you are getting bitten every night while you sleep. The itching may lead you to scratch your skin so often, to the degree where you may give yourself a skin infection, making it a must to visit the doctor for proper medication.
Their bites affect each person differently, and once bitten, the bite mark may appear like a small prick, leaving a tiny red dot of blood on your skin. Or the bite could also turn into a serious allergic reaction, where swelling is very prominent. If you have been bitten by bed bugs and the marks are causing great pain, than you are advised to visit your doctor’s office as soon as possible.
What to look for when searching for an infestation.
If you notice bite marks suddenly appearing on your arms, shoulders, neck, and maybe other parts of your body after arising from bed in the morning, than it’s time to start your search for these terrible insects.
With some people, the bite marks may not appear for as long as 14 days after being bitten. So if you are being bitten during the night, but your skin shows no signs of bite marks, than you need to seek out other signs to zero in on the cause of these bites you are feeling during the night.
Below is a small list of what to look for:
1) Odor: Sweet musty smell
2) Mattress: Seams, folds and crevices
3) Bedding: Pillows, pillow covers, sheets, and blankets
4) Remains: Bed Bug exoskeletons
Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if you have been bitten by a bed bug. The mark on your skin could also be made by a mosquito or a flea. When being bitten by a bed bug, they will inject their prey with an anesthetic, and also an anticoagulant, which prevents the person from feeling any type of pin prick in the skin.
The anticoagulant is a blood thinner and will keep the blood flowing freely until the bed bug has completed its feed. These bite marks can be very swollen and itch as well.
The marks left behind by the bedbugs can be three bite marks in a row, or can be random. A person being bitten by bed bugs often losses much sleep and can become somewhat insomniac from this nightly skin piercing routine.
So if you think you have bed bugs, now is the time to start inspecting your home for these terrible insects.
Next time someone asks you, “What are bed bugs“, you will be better prepared to educate them.