What Causes Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are insects. They are tiny but can be observed through naked eyes; an adult one will grow to about quarter of an inch or 4mm in length and half that length in width. They are generally oval shaped with a flat tops and bottoms. Hatchlings can be as small as an apple seed. They have microscopic hairs.

On reaching adulthood they cast off their skins. Initially after the molting they are whitish or light tan in color. They turn into deep brown color or burnt orange color as the time passes.

They are also semi-transparent so that blood sucked from the hosts can be seen as a black or dark red patch inside their bodies. Unlike most insects they do not develop wings at any stage of their life cycle and as such cannot fly. They tend to seek shelter or hide out in small cracks or crevices with no light.

Bed bugs are parasites. In other words they depend on another animal known as a host to live, without giving anything beneficial in return to the host. Bed bugs have evolved to feed on the blood of warm blooded animals. The two main groups of warm blooded animals they prefer are birds and mammals. The common bed bug that infest human home is scientifically known as Cimex lectularius.

What Causes Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are only one of various insects that inhabit human homes. However they can be found in almost every country in every continent. Only a small proportion of human homes are actually infested by bed bugs at present time in developed world, but recently there has been an increase in their numbers.

Bed bugs that infest human homes usually try to suck blood at night while the host is sleeping. Their bite is painless. However repeated biting will result in small lesions which are similar to the lesions resulting from mosquito bites or flea bites. The lesion is caused by the human body’s reaction to the saliva that bed bug injects during the bite.

It is difficult to determine the identity of the insect from the bite marks. If residents of a house report insect bites at night the best method of determining whether there is a bed bug infestation is to find live bed bugs. In order to find them, beds and bedrooms should be minutely examined.

Linings and seams on the bed linen and mattresses, crevices and corners in the bed and nearby furniture, curtains and wallpapers, are the preferred hideouts of bed bugs and where their eggs may also be found. Other signs of their presence include cast off skins, and distinctive dark red or brown marks left on the bed linen due to their feces. If there is a severe infestation, bed bugs can be detected from the odor they give off, which is rather like odor given off by coriander leaves.

Bed Bugs Exterminaton

Once live specimens are obtained they can be compared to reference images of bedbugs for exact identification. If no identification can be made using that method a qualified entomologist should be consulted. Once identified, such infestations can be treated through several methods.

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