Bedbug: Things you need to understand

Bedbugs are wingless insects that feed exclusively on warm-blooded animals’ blood. The two main species prefer to live with humans.

There are two species of bedbugs that are known to feed on human blood. Cimex lectularius and Cimex hemipterus are their scientific names. They were discovered in the tombs of ancient Egyptians dating back 3,500 years.

Bedbugs have evolved as nest parasites over millions of years, inhabiting bird nests and bat roosts. Some of them have figured out how to adapt to the human world.

Newborn bedbugs, also known as hatchlings or nymphs, are roughly the size of a poppy seed and are tiny but noticeable. When they are not feeding, adults develop to be around 0.25 inch long with an oval and flattened form. They can grow to be twice as big after eating. Adults, eggs, and nymphs can all be seen with the naked eye.

Bedbugs are named from their favourite habitat in human houses, which includes sofas, bed mattresses, clothing, and other soft furnishings. They, too, want to be in the dark.

Bedbugs are becoming more prevalent in a variety of settings, including private residences, dormitories, cruise ships, army barracks, and shelters.

Their hue might range from white to light tan to deep brown to burned orange when viewed up close. A dark crimson or black blob may be seen within their body after they have eaten. When startled, they seek refuge in dark cracks and crevices.

A bedbug
A coriander-like odour may be produced by a bedbug.

Causes

As a result of bedbugs’ adaptability, there are numerous ways in which a bedbug infestation might develop.

They may be able to sneak into a new home as stowaways when the furniture, bedding, and other belongings are moved in. The acquisition of secondhand furniture and mattresses should be done with caution, and the use of old mattresses should never be done. A thorough visual inspection should reveal the presence of bedbugs or the presence of their droppings.

Bedbugs can be found in even the most unoccupied and ostensibly clean of homes. They are capable of surviving for more than two months without nourishment. In addition, it is claimed that they can go from one apartment to another by passing through hollows and holes in the walls as well as the tubes that carry wires and pipes.

Signs

In many cases, people complain of bites that occurred while they were sleeping, which is the most visible evidence of bedbugs in the home. If this occurs, thoroughly inspect the bedrooms for bedbugs and evidence of bedbug activity before leaving the house.

Look for bugs or eggs in the seams and tufts of mattresses and box springs, as well as in the bed linens itself. The eggs will have the appearance of small, light poppy seeds.

A bedbug infestation may be detected under loose sections of wallpaper near beds, in the corners of desks and dressers, in the laundry, and in drawers.

Watch for bedbug droppings that are dark brown or rust-colored, as these can leave stains on clothing and mattresses. A bedbug’s excrement is a liquid that is either light brown or black in colour, and it usually beads up or is absorbed by the material in the vicinity of the bedbug.

A huge number of bedbugs may emit an odour that is similar to coriander.

Pictures

Treatment

Treatment is geared towards alleviating symptoms and may include:

  • Using topical creams, such as cortisone, to relieve itching
  • Use of an oral antibiotic, if infection occurs because of skin irritation around the bite
  • Use of corticosteroids, if a person has a severe allergic reaction
  • Using antihistamines, to help relieve allergic reactions

The majority of bites heal within 1 to 2 weeks of their appearance.

Removal

Because bedbugs can hide in a variety of locations around the home, they are difficult to eradicate. It is recommended that you use a professional pest control company.

The removal of superfluous clutter from the house, which provides the bedbugs with fewer hiding places, makes inspection and eradication of the bedbugs less difficult.

In order to enter the property, some pest control firms require that furniture be moved away from walls and mattresses and box springs be positioned on their edges before entering. Other businesses prefer that everything be left in its current location so that they can do a last inspection before relocating the furnishings themselves.

Ohio State University scientists have discovered that mixing the chemical signals of bedbugs with a conventional insect-control substance can result in an efficient treatment for killing the insects.

Symptoms

The majority of bedbugs feed on their hosts when they are sleeping, according to experts. They use a non-painful method to draw blood.

It is during the feeding process that they inject a small amount of saliva into their victim’s skin. If they feed on a single person for a period of several weeks, the person may develop an increased sensitivity to their saliva and the compounds contained inside the saliva. It is possible that the host will have an allergic reaction in the future.

Bedbugs, like fleas, have a tendency to bite in clusters. Each row of bits will most likely contain two or three nibbles each. This is most likely due to the fact that the bedbug gets paused while feeding and then comes back approximately half an inch further down for its subsequent bite.

Bites can take up to 14 days to become visible, but they are usually visible within a few days of being bitten. Bedbug bites are larger in size than fleabites bites and do not generally have a red dot in the middle like fleabites bites. The bites are usually raised and red in colour.

In the form of the “breakfast, lunch, and dinner sign,” they can be found dispersed or in groups of three along the path of blood arteries.

The majority of persons who are bitten experience no symptoms at all and are often unaware that they have been bitten. It becomes more difficult to prevent or recognise potential infestations as a result of this. Few people, however, may become unwell and queasy as a result of the medication. The act of scratching the bites has the potential to cause scarring and skin diseases.

An allergic reaction to bedbug bites has been reported on a very rare occasion. An asthmatic reaction to bedbugs is possible, but it is quite uncommon.

Prevention

Pest control
Pest control is the most effective method of eliminating bedbugs.

Infestations of bedbugs can be difficult to avoid and treat.

As an allergy relief measure, some people choose to cover both the mattress and the box spring with a protective cover. Some pest control companies, as well as a handful of retail establishments, sell them.
After being enclosed and stopped from feeding, any bedbugs that become trapped inside will eventually die. Others prefer to leave their new mattresses encased since it keeps bugs from entering into the mattress’s cracks and it’s less of a hassle to keep the surface clean and bug-free.

Whenever possible, avoid putting your luggage on your bed in order to limit the risk of taking bedbugs back home with you. It is also a good idea to vacuum any luggage you have after you come home, and to make sure you dispose of the contents of the vacuum in a bag that is well sealed. Dispose of this bag in a trashcan outside.

Separate your vacation clothes from your laundry and wash them as soon as possible in hot water.

If you suspect that you have bedbugs in your home, contact a professional immediately and do not attempt to resolve the infestation yourself. Bedbugs can be transported from one room to another via clothing, and attempting to remove them on your own might exacerbate the situation.

Bedbugs can have a negative impact on an individual’s quality of life, causing anguish, discomfort, embarrassment, and interrupted sleep, despite the fact that they are not known to transmit diseases.

Sources

  • http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/pdf/bb-biology1.pdf
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/158065
  • http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/bed-bugs/Pages/Introduction.aspx
  • https://www.epa.gov/bedbugs/bed-bugs-appearance-and-life-cycle
  • http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/bedbugs/faqs.html
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2728055/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3255965/
  • https://www.mdedge.com/ccjm/article/132204/dermatology/bedbugs-helping-your-patient-through-infestation
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5007277/
  • https://healthfinder.gov/HealthTopics/Category/everyday-healthy-living/safety/prevent-bed-bugs-quick-tips
  • https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090602133555.htm
  • https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/bed-bug-expert-explains-defend-yourself/

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