Bed bugs ‘Cimex lectularius’ are the parasitic insect and they belong to a family “cimicidae” and order “Hemiptera”.They have piercing mouth parts.
Bed bugs have been known as human parasites for thousands of years.In 1940s, they were eliminated in the developed world, but have increased in numbers since 1995, likely due to pesticide resistance, Governmental bans on effective pesticides and International travel. They prefer to feed on human blood, it depends upon species of Cimex like Bat bugs etc.
Habitat & Habits Of Bed Bug
Bed bug mostly prefer to live in warm houses, inside beds or other sleep areas.Bed bugs mostly active at night, but they are not exclusively nocturnal because they feed in the daylight in rooms that are not used at night.They feed for about 2 to 5 minutes and then quickly move to a hiding spot.
Bed bugs are obligatory hematophagous insects or Blood sucking Insect.Bed bugs are attracted to their host primarily by Co2, secondarily by warmth and also by certain chemicals.Bed bugs mostly attracted towards the exposed skin like face, neck, arms and hand of a sleeping person. Bed bugs use pheromones and kairomones to communicate nesting locations, feeding and reproduction.
What Do You Know About Bat Bugs
Along the lateral edges bat bugs ‘cimex adjunctus’ have longer hairs near their heads. When they are present in homes, they bite to the people much lesss frequently as bed bugs do. Bat bugs live in attics and eaves that are associated with bats.
Health Effects Occur Due To The Attack Of Bed Bug
Bed bug bites may lead to Skin rashes, psychological effects and allergic symptoms. The bite usually create a swelling. Bed bugs do not transmit any pathogens as disease vectors.
Appearance And Life Cycle Of Bed Bug
Average Life span of bed bug is 6 to 12 months but it varies from species to species and is also depend upon feeding.Hatching takes place within 6 to 10 days. The time period from hatching of eggs to laying of eggs under favorable conditions is 4 to 9 weeks.
Bed bug have 3 life stages such as egg, nymph and adult.
- Eggs:Female lay about 200 eggs in her life span with 3 to 4 eggs per day.Eggs are white in colour and Oval shaped.Eggs are smaller in size like the size of a rice grain. Female lay eggs in cracks and crevices, other isolated and in protected shelters. Eggs will hatch within 1 or 2 weeks and changes into Nymph.
- Nymph:Bed bugs have 5 immature nymph life stages. Nymphal period last from 14 to 30 days. They shed their skin at each life stage through the process of Molting which is also known as ‘Ecdysis’. Molting of Bed bugs take place 6 times before becoming fertile adults and to complete its one molt, it consumes at least one blood meal.
- Adult:Adult bed bugs are oval, flattened, brown and wingless insect approximately 5-9 mm in length. After taking first blood meal its colour will change from brown to Purplish-red.
SIGN AND SYMPTOMS
- Bed bugs love to hide in clutter all unnecessary clothing, toys, books and other household items should not be keep in home.
- Shedded skin of bed bug, bed bug shells (exoskeleton).
- Fecal spots on your mattress and bedding.
- Dark blood spots on sheets and bedding may indicate bed bug feeding.
After bite, Symptoms of bed bug consist of:
- Raised, red welts, burning, itching and rashes across localized area.
- Straight line of multiple bites.
Tips For The Inspection Of Bed Bug
Inspect the areas like:
- Mattress and box spring, walls and carpets, bed frame and head/foot boards, other furniture, electronics and appliances.
- Furniture such as desks and chairs
- Behind wallpaper, clocks and pictures.
- Cracks in wood floors and under the edge of carpet.
Tips To Keep Bed Bugs Away
- Do not pick up the used furniture because it may have bed bugs living on it or in it.Do not keep extra belongings in your home.Check behind the picture frames and other items on walls, if there is the sign of bed bug, place the items on floor to be treated by pest control companies.
- Use white sheets on your bed. Because it will easier for you to check bed bug signs. When you take off your sheets for washing firstly check your mattress either there is the presence of bed bug signs or not.
- All clean items should be place in plastic bags and tightly seal the bag.Keep a separate bag of clean laundry for use during the treatment process. Leave clean laundry sealed in bags until after the second treatment by a pest control company has been done.
- Pre-treatment of bed bug includes Reduce clutter, Launder infested Garments and lines, caulk and seal, dismantle bed frames, Remove dresser drawers and clean the area.
- It is important to seal the cracks and crevices where they hide, for this purpose caulking gun should be used.
- As soon as possible treatment should be done because the sooner you do something the sooner you will be able to get rid of them.
- Wash the bites with soap and water, this will help you to prevent your skin from skin infection and will also reduce itching.
- Vacuum cleaner, bed bug streamers and heaters have become an increasingly important tool to control its infestation.These streamers also use to get rid of allergins, bacteria, germs and viruses.
- It is recommended that contact with the Dermatologist if you have multiple bites, blisters, oozing, pus or any other sign of a severe allergic reaction or infection.Doctors can prescribe special cream that will help to reduce the inflammation and itching.
- Residual insecticides and aerosols should be used for the control of bed bug. Recommended liquid insecticides like Transport Mikron and Temprid FX should be used for it’s control.
- Cold pressed neem oil is the only biochemical pesticide which is registered for the control of bed bug infestation.
- Pyrethrins and pyrethroids are the most common compound that are used to control bed bug and other indoor pest.
- Chlorfenapyr is the only pyrrole pesticide which is currently registered for the control of bed bug.
- Boric acid Diatomaceous earth should also be used.
- Fungus “Beauveria bassiana”is used to control bedbugs. Bed bugs die in between 6 days after getting in touch with this fungus. Mostly the bedbugs carry this fungus back to their hiding places and infect others in the vicinity, helping it spread even more and eventually killing them.
- Bed bugs can be controlled by the Predators like Masked assassin,fire ants, spiders, and house centipedes.
Do not try to treat bed bug youself. But, if there is the need to use the pesticide then before using it read the label carefully and follow the directions given on it.The product that you are going to use must be labelled for bed bugs.
Authors: Arzlan Abbas, Muhammad Ayoub and Saddam Hussain
Corresponding Author: Arzlan Abbas