Bed Bugs

Sleep Tight – Don’t Let the Bed Bugs BITE!

Since the early 90’s bed bugs have made a resurgence around the world. The bed bug is a mean little guy who likes to inhabit your bed, sofa, and even linings of your shoes to wait for the chance to have a little snack at your expense. There are 2 types of bed bugs: common and martin; common bed bugs are the species most prevalent to the United States where the surge in activity has peaked over the last year and martin are often only seen in Europe.

The rise in bed bugs is said to come from the high travel rate over the last decade that is combined with a resistance to insecticides. The best way to keep bed bugs away is to always be cautious of where you’re sleeping and to check the furniture in your hotel room. They are capable of traveling on clothing, shoes, and suitcases. It only takes 4 months to have your home completely infested!

Adult bedbugs are reddish-brown, flattened, oval, and wingless, with microscopic hairs that give them a banded appearance. A common misconception is that they are not visible to the naked eye. Adults grow to 4–5 mm (1/8th – 3/16th of an inch) in length and do not move quickly enough to escape the notice of an attentive observer. In size, they are often compared to lentils or apple seeds. Newly hatched nymphs are translucent, lighter in color and become browner as they moult and reach maturity.

Female bed bugs are capable of laying 5 eggs a day and 500 in a lifetime. The eggs are roughly 1 mm in length and take about 2 weeks to hatch. Upon hatching the nymphs immediately start to feed. Bed bugs go through 5 stages of moulting and during each stage they must feed at least (or only.. depending on how you look at it) once.

Unlike fleas and ticks the passing of blood born pathogens is rare and is said to still be under study. Hepatitis B under the right conditions would be the only disease capable of transfer at this time. However, the bites from these little monsters themselves can cause anemia, anaphylactic shock, bacterial infections, or even systemic poisoning.

The worst part about bed bugs is how they reproduce. The male literally stabs the female in her body cavity with his hypodermic genitalia in an act that is called traumatic insemination. Classy right?

So sleep tight knowing these little critters are still out there waiting for you to close your eyes!

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