The moment you climb into your bed and try to drift away in your dreams, your roommates ‘Bedbugs” awake and get ready to have their breakfast on your blood. These unseen roommates are called bedbugs that become active once they sense any warm-blooded being nearby.
Cimex lectularius, the scientific name for these bugs, are brownish, oval, and flat parasites that have microscopic hair and tubes to suck blood from the human body. Due to the widespread use of pesticides in the 70s and 80s, these bugs were wiped out of America. But constant visits of foreigners from other continents caused these bedbugs to grow again. Any warm-blooded animal living near their habitat can become their prey.
Although these insects can’t fly yet they can spread easily from their habitats to pets and from animals to humans. These bugs are too small to be spotted yet the adults are 4-5 mm long and can be seen when they crawl out of their hidings.
Shortly after their birth, these bugs appear to be white or orange but after sucking blood, they get dark brown or black because of the internal food storage. They can survive for almost a year without food yet the newborns can live only for a few months. Although they only live on the blood of animals and humans, an old dilapidated bed or abandoned furniture item would still have bugs inside them because during whole lifetime bedbugs only need to suck blood 3-4 times to stay alive.
Being nocturnal insects, these bugs hide in dark places, peeled paint, in antiques, under mattresses, or in bed cracks and only come out during the night to attack. They insert two tubes in the body of the host: one through which it injects a sedative that immunes the body against any stinging effect and can safely suck blood. Itching starts only after a day or two and a reddish bump appears at the affected spot.
Keep your house clean, wash linens regularly, and spray your mattresses and bed frames with effective bedbug control formulas.
Bites caused by a bedbug stay longer than that formed by a mosquito bite. Rubbing the skin harshly may make the swollen area infected. To some extent, you can control these bugs with ordinary pesticides but to eradicate these parasites, you must call a professional pest control company that can find and spray all possible habitats of these bugs. Besides, the aftereffects of these pesticides can harm your health so it’s better not to try these on your own.
Before moving in any hotel room or renting an apartment, make sure that you don’t live with these parasites and have the landlord or hotel managers call a pest control company if you see any sign of these bedbugs.