Of all the domestic insect pests or parasites, the bugs are perhaps the least recognizable. At different stages of its development, a bed bug can be similar to a cockroach, a louse, and a tick. And for many residents of megacities, who are not too well versed in entomology, this insect and may at all be an unrecognized guest in the apartment, which in the future will cause a lot of trouble. Therefore, it is worthwhile to know how the bugs look, so that after the first meeting they can start operatively to act to expel the parasites from their homes.
Appearance of a bed bug
With the way bugs look at all, everyone is familiar with the example of spring-buggy soldier bugs in every park. A characteristic for them appearance in general is common to all bedbugs: an elongated body, dense wings with intricate pattern, a well-delimited head from the body with a pointed "nose". Similar appearance has bugs, pests of agriculture, predatory tropical bedbugs and even bugs that live on ponds and streams.
Bed bugs in a large squad of half-wings, as the whole group of these insects are called in entomology, represent some exception. The way homebugs look like, strongly distinguishes them from their relatives, and the main distinctive features they have are the following:
- Lack of wings. After the transition to a parasitic way of life, wings ceased to be something necessary for bedbugs, and besides, wings created each individual a certain risk of being easily traumatized by the owner himself. Without wings, the bug is not only less visible, it is also practically invulnerable in a hungry state: it is very difficult to crush or grab it with your fingers. As a result, for several million years of evolution, these parasitic insects have lost their wings. By the way, it is because of the lack of wings in the home bug that there is no corners of the body inherent in other relatives: the bug-parasite has a rounded body.
- Absence of a pronounced pattern on the body. The color of the bug is just brown. When saturated with blood, the insect becomes darker, down to almost black. Hungry small larvae are almost completely transparent and have a light yellow color. In general, when finding a place of congestion of bugs, an inexperienced occupant of a room can confuse them with cockroaches. However, cockroaches differ from cockroaches quite well.
- A clearly and noticeably segmented abdomen. In general, the rest of the bedbugs it is also divided into several segments, but they do not notice it because of the presence of wings. In bed bugs, especially - in adults - in the eye clearly striking strips on the body. As the insect is saturated with blood during feeding, each segment stretches out in length, the body is lengthened and the segments become particularly clear.
In general, the appearance of the bed bug is quite specific. One needs to see an adult insect once and find out that it is a bedbug, so that it can never be confused with anyone else. The hungry parasite has a flattened, almost flat, but wide body in the sides, similar to a brown coin. At the full insect the abdomen stretches out in length, filling with blood, and becomes more convex.
By the way, well-fed bugs become more vulnerable and often die in bed, crushed by their own victims. A hungry, "flat" bug is not at all difficult to pick up with your fingers, but even crush it - so tightly it can snuggle up to an even surface. To destroy one insect, you need to use a solid object - a coin, a knife, a nail.
Each bug has a small elongated proboscis on its head - a food organ composed of elongated upper and lower jaws in the process of evolution. In this proboscis there are two canals: one for sucking blood, the other for the introduction of saliva into the wound. With this proboscis, the bug pierces the skin in the place closest to the capillary, and within a minute or two sucks the blood. Then it moves a few centimeters and repeats this procedure. After 4-5 bites, the insect becomes saturated and creeps into the shelter to digest food.
The body size of the bed bug varies from 0.5 to 8 mm. Adult individuals usually have a body length of about 4 mm in a hungry state, after feeding the body, they increase in size by a factor of two. Larvae of the youngest age can be invisible to the naked eye. And in general, young bugs are much easier not to notice or confuse with other insects.
What do the larvae and eggs of bed bugs look like?
Eggs of domestic bugs are transparent and have a length of about half a millimeter. Due to the fact that the female lays them in small portions for 3-4 pieces, they usually are clearly visible. In addition, almost always eggs are in the same place where adult insects spend their day, and therefore they easily catch sight of the background of adults, the remains of pelts after their molting and dark excrement.
Each egg is long and looks like an ant egg.
Larvae of bedbugs immediately after going out of eggs look like newborns of cockroaches or lice. They are transparent and light, and only in time, after a few feedings and moults begin to darken and acquire the characteristic color of the body for adult insects. At this stage, they are already quite easily different from other insects.
A particularly characteristic feature is the light rim of the body and a black dot in the middle of the abdomen. This point is a stomach filled with blood, and the digestive tract. In larvae, not fed for several days, the entire body is approximately the same yellowish color.
Differences of domestic bedbugs from other parasites
Knowing how bed bugs look, you can easily distinguish them from most other parasites:
- From cockroaches bugs are more broad and round body and less mobility. The Bedbug does not know how to run fast. In addition, adult cockroaches have wings, which creates an even greater impression of elongation of the body. The wingless larvae of the red cockroaches differ from the bedbugs by a clearly noticeable red spot in the upper part of the body. And the larvae of black cockroaches are much darker than even adult blood-drunk bugs.
- From lice, adult bed bugs differ in size and color. With lice, small larvae of bedbugs can be confused, but here one should remember the lifestyle of both these and other parasites. Lice are found only on the hair, and each insect keeps its hair tightly and it is difficult to remove it from the head. Bedbugs, on the contrary, can not move normally on the scalp, and therefore occur only in open areas.
- With house ants, bedbugs are confusing quite difficult. Even just hatched larvae already have a wide body, and one gaze at them is enough to know exactly what is not an ant.
- From ticks home bugs are different in the number and size of the legs: in ticks, as representatives of the arachnids, legs 8, and in house bugs, as well as all insects, 6. Moreover, in bedbugs, the paws are not so large in relation to the size of the body, as in ticks.
- Flea bed bugs are less mobile, larger in size and unable to jump. Even the hatching eggs only outnumber the adult flea.
By the bites of bugs can also be distinguished from other parasites, since such bites look very peculiar. Each insect leaves several bites on the skin in the form of a peculiar path - 3-4 red dots stretched into a noticeable line. Usually, several adults and larvae bite during the night, and many traces of bites appear immediately on the body.
However, to understand that in the house, in the country or in the hotel, bugs can live even before a sleepless, agonizing night. Even before the settlement, it is possible to easily detect them and take appropriate measures.
How to understand that there are bedbugs in the house?
The first and most reliable way to detect the presence of bedbugs in the house is to see them. It's not so difficult, especially knowing what a bug looks like. In most cases, insects hide during the daylight hours under mattresses on beds, in folds of furniture and clothes, in corners under carpets and floor coverings. In a room infected with bedbugs, it is enough to examine only the most obvious places of their possible stay in order to find several individuals. This will be enough to make sure of their presence.
Most often and easily on the eye come across not the bedbugs themselves, but the remaining chitinous shells left behind. Under the nights of insects, whole deposits of them can accumulate if the room has not been removed for a long time. These same dry skins are often found in garbage and in the corners of the room.
Bedbugs themselves are characteristic enough to smell. In a heavily contaminated room, even a person can feel a slightly sweetish smell of almonds or fermented raspberries. In the US, even dogs are trained to search for bugs in sanitary services: for them it is much easier to find these insects than drugs at customs.
To give out the presence of bedbugs may have small brown spots on the bed, remaining after the person tossing and turning from bites accidentally crushes a blood-drenched insect. In addition, during the day, much more noticeable than the parasites themselves are their excrement - small black dots, similar to poppy seeds. They can be found near the skirting boards, under the beds, behind the cupboards.
At the same time, we should not consider that bedbugs are settled mainly in unsanitary conditions: these insects excel themselves well and take root both in rural barns for animals and in fashionable urban flats on all floors. It is very important that they migrate fairly easily between apartments in apartment buildings, and therefore if neighbors have problems with bedbugs, then residents of a particular apartment of these problems, most likely, can not be avoided.