A real attack in rural areas - famous in the literature bed bug - many townspeople in their entire lives may not even get caught in the eye. But having met such a parasite in his apartment, another inhabitant of a metropolis may not even recognize it as a pest sucking blood at night and leading to the appearance of itching and sometimes painful irritations from bites.
At least to ensure that at the first meeting, even accidentally, to identify the bloodsucker, it will be useful to have an idea of how the bugs look . Photos of these insects, as well as their larvae and eggs are given below ...
What does a bug look like?
The bed bug is quite different from all other bugs. And in general, among other domestic insects, it is easy to recognize it. Look at the photos:
The main difference between a bed bug and, say, a soldier or bedbug is a lack of wings. By the same sign, it is very different from cockroaches. Due to the absence of wings in the bedbug, the boundaries of the abdominal segments are clearly visible - all of his body seems to have been strung several times.
The adult bed bug has a dark brown color. If he is hungry, then the width of his abdomen is almost the same as the length. After feeding, the abdomen stretches, and the insect itself becomes longer. The average body length of the bed bug is 5-6 mm.
It is interesting…
After a full meal, the length of the body of the bed bug increases almost twofold. The bug itself consumes twice as much blood during one feeding, than it weighs itself. In the photo below you can see how the shape and size of the insect's body change in the process of feeding.
In addition, after saturation with human blood, the home bug becomes somewhat darker, and hungry individuals can even be light red. In the photo below, the differences between dark and well-fed bugs and their lighter, hungry congeners are clearly visible:
As with all members of the squad, the bed bugs have a small triangular head. On its underside there is a long proboscis formed by fused jaws. It is strong enough and durable to pierce the skin of a person. But with a more dense skin of cats or dogs, the bug can not cope.
In the proboscis of the bug there are two channels (see photo). Through one insect sucks blood, through another introduces into the wound from a bite a special substance-analgesic, due to the action of which a person does not feel pain from a bite for several hours.
It is interesting…
Young larvae of bedbugs do not know how to introduce a special secret into the wound. Therefore, their bites begin to be felt earlier, in especially sensitive people - even in the process of feeding the insect. However, because of the small size of the larvae and the fineness of their proboscis, even without an anesthetic, their bites are insensitive.
The spiny proboscis of bed bugs outside the feeding moment is pressed against the lower part of the cephalothorax.
The body of a hungry bug is very low, and it is difficult to crush an insect. So the parasites have adapted to the fact that their victims in a dream often turn around, and even when they are crushed by a person's body, the bed bug does not die. However, the full, blood-filled body of the insect becomes dense and can be crushed directly on the bed.
It is the appearance of small brown spots of incomprehensible nature on the bed - a clear sign of the presence of bugs in the apartment.
Bed bugs are quite mobile. An adult insect runs over a meter in a minute. Thanks to the flat body, they comfortably settle in crevices of furniture, behind skirting boards, under carpets and between books. In addition, they very quickly and easily migrate between rooms in apartment buildings.
Often, the products of vital activity of bed bugs come to the person's eyes more often than the insects themselves. Their excrement is a tiny black dot, a bit like a poppy seed.
In the photo below, almost black excrement of the bed bug is clearly visible:
They can be found when cleaning an apartment under the beds, in the corners of the room, right on the bed. But more often they meet where adult parasites and their larvae accumulate for a day.
Larvae and eggs of bedbugs: in the photo - one, in the apartment - quite another
The larvae of bed bugs in science are called nymphs. Like other insects with incomplete transformation, miniature copies of adult specimens from the eggs of the bugs come out. They also have paws, antennae and thrusting proboscis.
The main differences between nymphs from adult bugs are smaller sizes and inability to reproduce them. In addition, larvae of bedbugs have a lighter coloration: they are hungry, they are light yellow, almost transparent, and after saturation inside their abdomen, a drop of blood becomes clearly visible.
The photo clearly shows both the blood in the stomach of the larva and the light rim of the abdomen:
Uncompressed in entomology, the owners of apartments may confuse younger larvae with ants. Indeed, after hatching, the larva of the bed bug has a body length of about 1 mm and an elongated body. Only later, after the first feeding, it will darken and become similar to an adult insect.
Larvae of domestic bugs quickly grow and often moult. Every 6-7 days, the larva discards the chitinous cover, and the remnants of these integuments easily reveal parasite shelters in the apartment.
The photos show the chitinous cover of insects after molting:
Eggs of bed bugs are small - up to 1 mm in length - slightly elongated and have a white color. In the upper part, each egg has a kind of cap, revealing that the newborn bug begins its active life.
In the photo, these egg caps are clearly visible:
Eggs of bedbugs rarely come to their eyes separately from the main nest of insects, and therefore it is unlikely to meet them until they meet an adult bug.
Differences of bed bugs from other domestic insects
The characteristic features of the body structure make the bed bug quite recognizable. However, in some cases, instructions on how to distinguish it from other home insects may be useful:
- If the insect does not see the division of the body into segments and there are wings - this is not a bug. Most likely, it's a cockroach. Maybe some kind of street insect.
- If the insect is very little and jumps far, it's a flea. A bug can only run.
- Insects that, when under scrutiny, clearly notice the constriction in the abdominal region, similar to the waist - ants or wasps. At bedbugs the body is wide, in hungry - almost round.
- If the parasite is round, flat, wingless, dark in color and with a small head, you need to count the number of paws. If their 6 - it's probably a bug. If 8 is a tick. The latter is a dangerous human parasite, but in apartments it does not settle and does not form nests.
Finally, a bug can be confused with a nymph of cockroaches. But all cockroaches and their larvae have a characteristic distinctive feature - two small appendages on the back of the abdomen, peculiar tails (see photo). Bugs do not have them.
Nest of bedbugs: is it it?
Bed bugs do not create nests in the truest sense of the word. In general, there is no organization in their clusters. However, due to the fact that they prefer to take refuge in the same places, the places of their concentration very quickly begin to look as well-lived and well-equipped. They are called nests.
A typical example of a nest of bloodsuckers is shown in the photo:
As a rule, in this nest is a large number of bedbugs of different ages. Here, eggs are scattered in disorder, developing and already empty, the excrement of insects and the remains of the chitin cover of their bodies that have fallen after molting. The very cluster gives the impression of a very untidy, dirty place.
Characteristic for bed bugs is their accumulation in large quantities in order to preserve heat. A typical nest of bedbugs is like a solid stirring mass of their bodies. In cockroaches, this behavior is not observed.
The location of the nest is also important. Bedbugs are most often concentrated in sofas, beds, behind carpets, in closets, where they easily find narrow slits and from where they can quickly reach the sleeping person. At the same time, ants and cockroaches prefer dirty ventilation ducts and kitchens.
And the last: to find out that in the house there are bedbugs it is possible by the nature of the bites left by them. The bug leaves several red dots on the body, located one line at a distance of 2-3 centimeters from each other. Such bites are not typical of most household parasites. Therefore, if in the morning the itchy points line up on the body along well-marked lines, you can start looking for bed bugs in the apartment.
The photo below shows typical bug bites:
If there are bugs in your apartment, you have to start fighting them immediately. It is foolish to hope that the parasites themselves will disappear: their ability to reproduce rapidly will lead to the fact that the apartment will simply turn into a real bug, infecting the neighboring premises of a multi-storey building.
When destroying bedbugs, it is better to immediately use modern insecticides, without losing time for outdated and ineffective folk methods of fighting like kerosene and vinegar (see "Overview of the most effective means of bugs" ). Choosing the same tool is useful to focus not only on its effectiveness, but also pay attention to the lack of odor, economy and safety for humans.