Causes of bed bugs

Everyone is familiar with household parasites such as bed bugs. People know how dangerous they are, how quickly and spontaneously they appear, and how difficult it is to remove them. Bed bugs and head lice are believed to be parasites exclusively for the poor and disadvantaged.
The topic of our article today is where the bed bug comes from. It’s true, it doesn’t fall from the sky or spawn from household dirt. Prevention is always cheaper and more practical than any treatment, so it is very useful to know how not to get bed bugs at home. Perhaps with our recommendations, we will dispel a few myths about the well-established opinion about bed bugs.

Before preventing bed bugs, you must have at least general information about these insects, so we will tell you as an express-digest who they are and how they reproduce bed bugs.

General information about parasites

Bed bugs are brown and flat insects that feed only on blood. Among the so-called house bugs, there are two species: Cimex lectularius and Cimex hemipterus and whatever other primary sources say, there are no other insect species among house bugs. Meanwhile, in temperate latitudes of our country, only lectularius parasitizes, and Cimex hemipterus prefers more the climate of hot tropical zones. However, despite this, the consequences of the bites of both species of bed bugs, it is customary to call chemiptorosis. House bugs bite, in the predominant number of cases, humans, and much less frequently, pets.

Common dermatological reactions to bed bug bites are itching and maculopapular blistering. Urticaria and anaphylaxis can also occur, but are extremely rare in practice. Bed bugs are suspected of transmitting infectious agents, but no scientific report confirming this fact has yet been published, so bed bugs, to date, are not considered carriers of infectious diseases.

However, to date, active research in this field continues, especially – in the U.S., because in this country the XXI century was characterized by rapid growth of bed bug populations in the country. Our mainland has been more fortunate in this respect so far – there are no reports in the media about the need for global bedbug control measures.

How bed bugs breed in the apartment

Adults of C. lectularius and C. hemipterus are reddish-brown, flat, wingless, oval-shaped insects that reach about 4-7 mm in length. These species can be distinguished from each other only by specialists. Both sexes are hematophagous and can live for 12 months without feeding and even 1.5-2 years if the ambient temperature is close to zero.

Female bed bugs have no external sexual organs – their place is taken by the ovipositor. The female reproductive tract is used only for laying fertilized eggs. Each adult female produces 200-500 eggs during her lifetime.

The life cycle of bed bugs

Given such an interesting phenomenon, the semen of males is deposited in the sperm bank of females by traumatic insemination. In fact, the male pierces the abdomen of the female from its underside. The male sex organ penetrates the female via a superficial groove on her abdomen called the ectospermagel. The task of this groove is to guide the male sex organ and the seed, thereby reducing overall trauma. However, the male often “misses” and pierces the female’s body in a completely different place, causing her considerable harm. The semen is placed in the mesospermagel, a specific female organ, through which the semen migrates to the spermatic cord.

It is worth noting that male bugs preferentially direct their sexual interest to recently fed or feeding females, which undergo approximately five traumatic inseminations per feeding.

Due to such traumatic insemination, many female bed bugs die, which still restrains the active growth of the parasite colony. In addition, the high results of female mortality from these multiple injuries, are complemented by other causes, such as the introduction of the microbe during traumatic insemination.

At a constant temperature of 14-27°C, young individuals – nymphs – hatch from eggs as early as 4-10 days after mating. These young bugs are much smaller than adults, 1 to 3 mm long, and they are visible to the naked eye, but difficult to notice immediately. The fact is that their bodies are translucent, like glass, and much lighter than the adult insects. Each molt of the nymph makes it more mature. The process may last 10-20 minutes and repeats every 3-7 days in the number of five times. Such stages of bedbug development explain why, in places where there were no parasites before, the colony reaches enormous size by the end of the first month in a type of exponential multiplication.

Bed bugs are afraid of light and tend to be active only in the dark. They hide in any small, dark place, such as bedding, mattresses, bed bases, cracks, crevices behind wallpaper, and so on. The glands located at the bottom of the thoracic body between the first and second pairs of legs emit an easily recognizable, unpleasant odor caused by an oily secretion that plays a role in bedbug life.

For example, it is secreted by young nymphs to scare off aggressive and sexually inclined males who don’t care who they hack, and also this pheromone is actively secreted by all bed bugs when their mass extermination begins. Thanks to this signal, the living insects begin an active migration to their neighbors

What makes bed bugs look for new habitats

Bed bugs are cosmopolitan insects. Sporadic outbreaks, colonies or epidemics of bed bugs have been reported in most major cities on all continents at various times. Bed bugs have the ability to spread actively when the need arises. Two basic characteristics of this behavior are distinguished – short- and long-range spread.

Near, or local spreading, is called “active dispersal”, which occurs when insects move short distances, such as when they try to reach the human body from dark places of their hiding place, so that new colonies of parasites can be formed. Active dispersal is the main means by which bed bugs spread throughout the room and, in general, the apartment – to other people’s sleeping quarters and throughout the apartment building, such as through ventilation shafts.

Bed bugs can also travel long distances. Travellers, business travelers, sailors and other people who, by the will of fate, have to sleep over from time to time in different places, willingly go to them, without realizing it. This spread of parasites through luggage or furniture is called “passive dispersal. Bed bugs may not be happy about the move, since they are practically torn away from their proven habitat, but they have to do what they have to do.

There is a saying that bed bugs and lice are a reflection of a person’s quality of life. This is true in part because there are always more bedbugs in low-income housing. On the other hand, bedbugs do not care whose blood they drink – the blood of an oligarch or a janitor, it’s all about the fact that people with average incomes do not find either the money or time, or both, to combat bedbugs in a timely manner. Consequently, they accumulate in such places in large numbers, which creates the illusion that bedbugs are the prerogative of poor people.

Meanwhile, the rapid turnover of residents in certain countries is a risk factor for bed bug infestations. The higher the state’s social indicators, the more contact with other countries, hence the more business travelers. Finally, the risk of infestation reflects rapid turnover and high human density, but does not depend on specific geographic areas or climatic conditions.

Eradicating bed bugs from an infested area is a challenge: Resistance to insecticides has been demonstrated experimentally and is a growing problem. Successful bed bug eradication relies mostly on good cooperation between the owner of the apartment with bed bugs and a professional extermination organization. Exactly – with an organization, because it is always more expensive and, in addition, practically impossible to remove the parasites on your own.

Where do bed bugs come from in the apartment

So, we came to the question of where bed bugs come from in the living area. We have already found out above that it is in no way influenced by the social conditions of the environment, and that female insemination by a male is necessary for reproduction. Let’s consider the main reasons for the appearance of parasites in the apartment as the frequency of occurrence decreases.

Bringing into the apartment together with the luggage, in which adults from a room infested with bed bugs got. A trivial situation – a person had to spend the night in a hotel room, did not check the mattresses, left an open suitcase with things under the bed, where live bed bugs were poured, hid in the folds of their clothes and crawled out later on arrival.

Migration from neighbors. This phenomenon is observed in two cases – starvation or parasite poisoning. The first variant occurs when the colonies of parasites have grown so large that they do not have enough inhabitants, or people are simply absent from their apartments for a long time.

As noted above, bed bugs can signal each other of the impending danger using aromatic pheromones. The result is a mass escape. This is the most difficult period in the life of bed bugs, when they must travel for days and nights in organized caravans, covering serious distances in search of fresh nourishing blood. Bed bugs of all ages migrate and few reach their destination.

But people who do not have parasites yet, if you suddenly smell chemicals and hear a rumor that the neighbors have started fighting bed bugs – you just have to wait for the insects in your apartment.
Bed bugs can be brought into your home with used furniture. Sellers of this furniture may not know that there are bed bugs, but if the culprit is a cute sofa found in a landfill, it must have been thrown away, because it is a breeding ground for bed bugs, and the owners did not know how to deal with them. Therefore, before bringing something into the apartment, it is necessary to think carefully.

The first signs of parasites

People who have experienced a bedbug attack are very attentive to bedbugs and everything related to them. They know exactly what is a clear indicator of bed bugs. But those who do not even have a clue about the existence of bed bugs and their pests, can live with them for months, literally side by side, and not realize it.

The first signs in an apartment where bed bugs appear:

Strange itchy spots on the body, especially in the morning, which look like allergic pimples or mosquito bites. These spots are often in one line and itch a lot. Among other things, each day these points only get more and more.

On the sheets began to appear small spots of blood, as if after an injection. This is fresh blood, flowing out of the wound after the bedbug bite.

An unpleasant, sweet odor begins to appear in the room, somewhat reminiscent of that which appears when there is a huge infestation of cockroaches.

Once you suspect bed bugs, you should immediately start looking for the parasites. This should be done in the most secluded places, close to your bed, as a rule, after removing the mattress, everything becomes clear. As soon as you find only one live bed bug, you must immediately order the treatment, otherwise it will cost you more and take longer. Don’t have bed bugs in your home!

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