What are bed bugs?
Scientifically known as Cimex lectularius, bed bugs are tiny, oval-shaped insects that feed on the blood of their host. Hosts include humans and animals, particularly warm-blooded organisms. Adult bed bugs have small flat bodies but after feeding, their bodies bloat even bigger, as big as an apple seed and become reddish in color.
Bed bugs do not fly because they don’t have wings. Nevertheless, they can move swiftly from one place to another. Females proliferate in a short period of time and they can produce as much as three generations of offspring in a year.
During the 1900s, bed bugs were considered the most unwanted pest in America, even more so than cockroaches. The massive infestation of bugs was drastically reduced with introduction of insecticides. Even then, these insects continue to thrive in mattresses, pillows, sofas, crevices, cabins, furnitures, and even clothes. They were thought to be carriers of diseases to humans, but this hypothesis has already been disproven by scientists.
What do Bed Bugs eat?
Bed bugs suck blood at night, with a few hours before dawn as the peak time of feeding. They suck blood for 3-10 minutes and may leave without being noticed or felt. They hate sunlight, so they rarely feed during daytime. But there are also exemptions, like when they are extremely hungry. Humans are not their top choice of host. They prefer chickens, ducks, rats, and birds. When their prefurred host is unavailable, they will suck on human blood. Carbon dioxide and certain chemicals released by the host are thought to attract them.
Bed bugs can survive a whole year without feeding! However, they will normally try to look for temporary host to feed on every five to ten days. Majority of them won’t live long without a meal.
Where do Bed Bugs live?
Just like any other insects, bed bugs exist practically everywhere. They are so small that you can’t easily see them crawling in your bed and pillows at night. They particularly inhabit places where they can protect themselves from heat and light. Their hiding places include mattresses, blanket, bed sheets, curtains, couches, carpets, and any other crevices. Even empty houses have them. They don’t like being distrubed and so they prefer untidy houses – the less you clean your place, the more they will infest. Their population can’t completely eradicated by cleaning and using insecticides, but their numbers can be drastically reduced
Bring a magnifying glass and look for bed bugs in your mattress, pillows, and bed sheets. We hope you don’t find any but if you do, try to get one and put it on your palm. See how small it is.