Among all human parasites, blood-sucking insects are one of the most visible and causing the greatest number of troubles. And the bedbugs of them are doubly unpleasant in that they prefer to settle mainly in the home of a person, as close as possible to their main source of food. Not surprisingly, in particularly neglected cases, they are able to turn a cozy home into an absolutely unfit for living space.
Depending on the degree of blood saturation, the linen bug can differ in both size and color tones. With the appearance and features of this insect, let's get acquainted in more detail.
How to look like linen bugs
Everything in the bug's body is adapted to suck blood out of the human body. At the same time, in other mammals bugs are practically not parasitic.
A wide and flat abdomen, a small head, from the anterior part of which the proboscis extends, thin legs - these details of the body structure of the bedbugs testify to their high specialization and their adaptability to parasitism.
Thanks to the flat belly of the bug it is very difficult to crush even specially. Slightly more vulnerable it becomes when poured blood. For millions of years of evolution, bedbugs have lost wings, which additionally protects them from damage by tossing a victim in a dream.
The insect, which is on a starvation diet, usually does not exceed 3-4 mm in size and has a light red or yellowish brown body color. After a hearty lunch, the size of the body of the bug reaches 9-10 mm, and its color becomes blood-brown with a dark outflow.
The jaws of the bedbugs are a piercing-sucking apparatus and form two channels: a wide one, through which blood flows, and a narrow one - to extract saliva from the bite, in order to make the absorbed blood more liquid.
They feed on bed linens at night. For one night an insect manages to pump blood as much as it weighs itself. Suck blood and adult bugs, and their larvae.
The method of reproduction of linen bugs is fully adapted not only to the parasitic way of life, but also to the maximum rapid seizure of territories.
In the body of the female after mating, up to 5 eggs are formed daily, and during life one successor of the genus generates up to 500 eggs. Almost every day she puts them in secluded places. The development from egg to adult takes place, on average, in 4-6 weeks.
Typically, bed bugs live in entire colonies, among the inhabitants of which you can meet both adults and larvae, which look like small copies of adult insects of a lighter color, and new egg laying. Most often, such an accumulation of bedbugs under favorable conditions for their development looks like a continuous stirring spot of light brown with a grayish tint of color.
How to distinguish linen bedbugs from other insects: lice, mites, cockroaches
Among insects bedbugs are not the only inhabitants of a person's dwelling. They meet here with cockroaches, fleas, ants, occasionally with mites. But from all these neighbors the bugs are quite different.
- First of all, the linen bedbug is a flying insect, very small (definitely smaller than in adult cockroaches) sizes. His wings are almost undeveloped, so the bugs do not fly, which also distinguishes them from cockroaches.
- From the larvae of cockroaches, also without wings, the bugs are quite easily distinguished by a single color: the larvae of the gray cockroach have a noticeable light brown spot on the cephalothorax, and the larvae of the black cockroach are almost always larger than the bugs.
- Linen bedbugs do not form separate "nests", such as ants. However, their masonry is most often located near a food source, in secluded places (sofas, beds, joints of wallpaper, skirting).
- Hunting of these insects occurs at night, which means, unlike lice, the marks of bites of linen bugs begin to itch and will be found in the morning, after a night's sleep. In addition, if lice parasitize on the scalp - on the head, in the groin and armpits, then the bugs, on the contrary, bite only on the back, arms and legs - where the hair is least.
- A characteristic "mark of distinction" of linen bugs is their specific smell, which is secreted by special glands of these insects to deter enemies. In a room where there is at least one nest-colony of linen bedbugs, there is necessarily a rather unpleasant smell, reminiscent of the sweetish smell of sour berries.
Bites of linen bugs and their features
The consequences of contact of the linen bug with a person are always very noticeable. However, it is not always possible to distinguish the bug bite from the bite of another insect.
The main difference between the bites of linen bugs from any other insects is their specific location - a peculiar path of 4-7 punctures, most often in open areas of the skin.
With special selectivity, these parasites do not suffer, biting both men and women and children. However, in general, because of the thinner skin and, as a result, the smell of blood on women and children, they attack more often. For a night on the body of an adult who was in a room infected with linen bugs, up to 300 bites may appear!
First of all, at the bite site the bug begins to itch and a burning sensation appears. A person very often confuses these manifestations with allergic reactions, but taking antihistamines (antiallergic) drugs does not bring relief.
Then pinkish swelling appears with a small swelling. If the injured person is prone to allergic reactions, gradually the swelling will increase, and the sensations of itching and burning will continue to worry for a long time. In addition, every night the number of bites will increase, and accordingly, the sharpness of the sensations from them will grow.
Until now, it has not been clearly established whether bedbugs carry any infectious diseases, such as mites and mosquitoes. However, it is impossible to talk about the impossibility of transmitting such diseases as hepatitis B, typhoid and even HIV with 100% probability.
Where live linen bedbugs and how to look for them?
Linen bedbugs are nocturnal, therefore, they can be detected, first of all, by the results of vital activity: bites on the skin, and also by the appearance of small specks of blood and excrement of insects on bed-clothes or clothes.
If you search for linen bedbugs during the day, first of all you need to look into secluded places: the inside of the sofas, the beds, the joints of the wallpaper and under them, the cracks of the floor and walls, and also on the bookshelves. The variety of places of shelter for the colony of these parasites will lead to the fact that you will need to inspect almost the entire apartment - from clothes to electronics (for example, columns with a wooden hull). Justifying their name, they can hide in the folds of bed linen and clothes. However, solitary specimens are found here more often, and nests are located in more secure and secluded places (so it's practically impossible to get rid of bedbugs simply by squeezing them from time to time).
What is important is that even yesterday's absence of bedbugs in an apartment does not at all mean the owners' protection from them today. Bedbugs are mobile enough and easily move from neighbors. Moreover, they with equal ease occupy both the premises, which are in poor sanitary condition, and apartments with fresh modern renovation and regularly retractable. Therefore, he is not insured by anyone.