Bed bugs are one of the most famous insects with incomplete transformation. This means that in its development, each individual bug does not go through such complex transformations as are characteristic of butterflies or beetles. Bug larvae outwardly represent miniature copies of adult insects, although some features of their structure, besides body size, still clearly demonstrate their juvenility.
An inexperienced inhabitant of a large city, often not knowing what the bug's larva looks like , can easily confuse the young insect with other guests of the dwelling: ants, small cockroaches, lice. But in this case, the presence of larvae of a bed parasite in a house, hotel or at a dacha means that there is a whole population of insects that will spoil life and will not let you sleep peacefully. Therefore, it is worthwhile to know how they look, if only at the first meeting with them, in time to begin taking measures to protect their home from uninvited guests.
Appearance of larvae of domestic bedbugs
Larvae of domestic bugs are similar in appearance to adults and have a torso flattened from above. The length of their body varies from 0.5 to 2 millimeters, and the color varies from light yellow, almost white (in the youngest), to the usual brown insect-like insects (in larvae before the last molt).
In entomology, larvae are called such age forms of insects, which differ significantly from adults. For example, butterfly larvae or flies are so-called typical. Such insects are classified as a group of insects with a complete transformation. In addition to flies, mosquitoes and butterflies, they include beetles, riders, ants and bees and some other detachments.
Bugs also belong to the group of insects with incomplete transformation. They have an egg-like larva that has a body structure similar to an adult insect, differing only in some details and inability to reproduce. Such a larva is called a nymph.
As it develops, it grows out of its hard shell and is therefore forced to constantly shed. The nymph sheds 5 times, after the last molt, turning into an adult insect. The development of the insect from the exit from the egg to the transformation into the imago lasts from 4 to 6 weeks, depending on the temperature in the room. The higher the temperature, the faster the entire cycle.
Larvae of bed bugs are more elongated than in adult insects, corpuscle. Outwardly they are easily confused with a nymph of a cockroach. For larvae of the first age, the absence of a dark color of the abdomen (posterior part of the body) is characteristic, while the nymphs of later ages have a common light reddish color of the head, paws and fringes of the body, and the dark middle of the abdomen. However, the saturation of the color of this dark part of their body depends primarily on the time that has passed since the last feeding: in the hungry larva, the entire abdomen is light. In the photo with a flash in the larva of the bed bug, the blood-filled stomach and the adjacent organs are clearly visible.
Differences of larval bugs from other arthropods
Unsophisticated in entomology, a person can confuse the bed bug's larva with some other unwanted guests at home.
But looking closely, or comparing the larva of the bug with photos of other arthropods, it is possible by certain indications to reliably establish its species identity:
- from nymphs of cockroaches, the larvae of the bugs are distinguished by a lighter color and less mobility. In addition, the most common nymphs in the apartments of red cockroaches have a well-defined bright spot on the cephalothorax. Larvae of bedbugs do not have such a pattern;
- from older cockroaches, the larvae of older bugs are small in size (no more than 2 mm, while an adult red cockroach reaches 10-15 mm in length) and lack of wings;
- from house ants larvae of bedbugs can be easily distinguished by the shape of the body: on closer examination, the absence of a "waist" between the abdomen and the cephalothorax and, in general, the broader body becomes immediately noticeable;
- from mites, only occasionally brought into the house, the larva of the bed bug is distinguished by the number of paws: they have six, and the tick has eight;
- with fleas can be confused only the smallest larvae of bed bugs. But if the flea is difficult to catch because of its jumping, the nymphs of bedbugs are very slow. In addition, the fleas are painted in a dark brown color, and the corresponding size of the larvae of bed bugs are almost transparent.
The universal difference between larvae of domestic bugs is their preferred habitat. If cockroaches live mainly near food reserves, ants - behind skirting boards and under floor coverings, fleas - on the fur of domestic animals, the nymphs of bedbugs prefer completely different places. The same they differ from lice: the latter keep only on the scalp parts, while the bugs avoid them.
Nutrition and typical habitats of bedbug larvae
Due to the low speed of movement, the larvae of bugs can not be removed for long distances from their main sources of nutrition. Therefore, in the largest quantities, they are found where people rest: under the mattresses, inside them, in the folds of the bed or the upholstery of furniture, in close proximity to the beds on the floor and under the skirting boards. Importantly, in places where adult insects hide, their larvae meet with them: no hostility is shown to them by adults.
By the way, having discovered once the place of congestion of parasites, the difference between adult insects and larvae is very simple to understand, even without knowing how the larvae of bedbugs or eggs look. In places such clusters usually come across large numbers of eggs of white color, excrement - black, and chitinous shells remaining after molting insects.
Larvae of domestic bugs feed, like adult insects, with human blood. It is believed that small nymphs leave on the body much less painful points from bites than adult insects. But they can spoil the dream and give a lot of unpleasant sensations.
Where to look for larval bugs and how to deal with them?
Measures to control the larvae of bed bugs are no different from those of adults.
Before starting the fight, it is necessary to find out whether the bugs are the cause of the bites that appear on the body. Let's look at the characteristic signs of bites of bed bugs:
- a large number of them after each night. Not only that bugs are usually present in the room in large quantities, each of them for one feeding makes several bites in different places;
- distinctly visible "routes" for the movement of each feeding larva. Typically, this movement is similar to a small line of 4-5 bites;
- itching in the places of the bites themselves, redness of them.
Immediately at the time of feeding, the nymph of the bug is difficult to notice: it feeds at night, usually - in the pre-shorter time, coinciding with the phase of the person's most strong sleep. If the itch and pain are felt at the moment of the bite, then the larva bites: they do not have enough secret in the saliva to provide an anesthetic of the bite. After an adult bug bite, itching begins to be felt after several hours.
Nymphs of bedbugs are even less than adults, resistant to extreme temperatures for them. Freezing an apartment, house or dacha in winter in the northern regions for 2-3 days with a temperature of about -20 ° C ensures the death of almost all the larvae of bugs in the room. The treatment of the room with dry heat gives a result in any premises, however individual individuals in this case can remain inside the mattresses or on clothes.
Very effective means of fighting bugs are various chemical insecticides: dichlorvos, carbofos, various pyrethroids. However, they are toxic not only to insects, but also to humans, and when handling the premises, all precautions should be followed, and if possible, for several days during which treatment lasts, not be in the room.
It is important to understand that all chemical means of protection against insect parasites are designed primarily to destroy them. Bugs are very difficult to scare away with different smells, and if they are hungry - it is completely impossible. Therefore, the use of the majority of folk remedies for scaring bed bugs usually gives only a short-term result.
After using insecticides and killing bugs in a few days, a new population of larvae of the youngest age may appear in the dwelling. They are derived from the eggs laid before the disinsection, and the fight against them requires a repeat of the procedure.
The photo below shows eggs and larvae of the bed bug:
However, after such repeated disinsection, the probability of repeated appearance of bedbugs in an apartment depends only on the contamination of neighbors' apartments. In multi-apartment buildings, it is most useful to conduct an agreed-upon mass disinfestation of several (ideally - all) apartments at once.
In order to protect your home from the penetration of bedbugs into it, it is necessary first of all not to visit places where these parasites can be: cheap hotels, houses in which hygiene is not maintained. Do not invite people to visit you, in the house of which bugs are known to live . One or two individuals, being on clothes, will easily move into a new house and give birth to a new population. In addition, you should regularly hold a wet cleaning in the house, check the condition of beds and sofas, wash and shake out the bed.
You can keep birch brooms and bunches of dry tans in the house, which to some extent scare off bedbugs and can prevent their movement from neighbors.