Bedbugs are quite unique insects. From other congeners of the order of the half-wings, the bed bug is well distinguished by the absence of wings, and from the remaining insects settling in human habitation - their parasitic way of life.
If cockroaches, ants and moth harm a person by spoiling food supplies and clothing, bed bugs infringe directly on the most expensive and sensitive - the human body. That is why the activity of these parasites is very clearly felt by residents of apartments, houses and cottages almost immediately after insects infiltrate the room - bed bugs leave obvious, numerous and unpleasant traces of bites on the skin. And these bites make bedbugs the most unpleasant companions of man.
Bedbugs and their bites: are they dangerous?
If you abstract yourself from the unpleasant sensations from bites of bed bugs, you can talk about the epidemiological harmlessness of these insects in general: today there has not been a single case where a bed bug infects a person with a bacterial or viral infection.
Despite the fact that bed bugs - especially in natural populations - are carriers of pathogens of many diseases, none of these viruses and microorganisms are transmitted by the bite.
It is interesting:
In the course of special studies, scientists found in the body of bed bugs several dozen pathogens of various dangerous to humans diseases. Including typhus, brucellosis, anthrax, leishmaniasis, plague, tularemia, Ku fever and others.
However, surprisingly scientists themselves, these pathogens were found only in the excrement of bedbugs and in their internal organs. And none of them was transmitted by the bite. Evolutionally, this is very beneficial for parasites: the less risk the host is exposed to, the greater the chances of keeping the main food source in bedbugs.
Nevertheless, the bite of a bed bug can be fraught with certain troubles.
- Allergic reaction to bite. According to statistics, an allergy to bug bites in various manifestations is observed in 80% of people. Such manifestations can be the appearance of papules, extensive redness, itching and pain, extremely rarely - even anaphylactic shock.
- Inflammation, damage to the skin, pustules, which occur when combing places of bites. Through such micro-sarcas, pathogenic organisms are easier to penetrate into the human body.
- Iron deficiency anemia in children. This is a very rare consequence of bites of bed bugs. It occurs with a very large number of simultaneously biting parasites, when the amount of blood sucked by them is significant, and the action of their saliva leads to some changes in the composition of the blood.
According to statistics, 70% of the victims of bed bugs do not feel their bites. It is because of this that parasites actively occupy cities: in many apartments people do not even suspect that at night they suck the blood of insects.
The bites of bed bugs themselves quite characteristic look: they are arranged along the line in four to five red dots. Of all the bloodsucking insects bugs are the only ones that suck blood consistently from several wounds for saturation.
But not only on this basis, bugs can be calculated: their appearance is also quite specific.
What does a bed bug look like and how does it differ from other insects in the apartment?
The bed bug has a flat, wide body. Being hungry, it generally becomes almost round when viewed from above. At the same time, because of the absence of wings on his body, always noticeable constrictions at the place of joints of segments of the abdomen.
Adult bed bugs have a uniform brown color. If a particular insect is hungry, it can be light, almost red. After saturation with blood, the bed bug darkens, sometimes - almost completely black.
In addition, the body of a full-bodied bed bug is lengthened and increases in thickness due to the filling of the stomach with blood. Such a bug becomes like a wingless larva of a cockroach. The body size of the bed bug varies from 4 to 8 mm, and there is practically no difference in size between males and females.
The flat bed bug body shape well protects it from crushing a person tossing and turning on the bed. However, after drinking blood, the bug becomes more vulnerable. It is the crushed, well-fed bugs that leave ugly brown spots on the bed, which are often the first sign that the parasites are in the room.
To the note: regardless of age, the bed bug consumes, during one feeding, a mass of blood that is twice the mass of its body. It is not surprising that larvae of bedbugs grow at an incredible rate, and adult females can lay off fairly large eggs almost every day.
Larvae of bed bugs seem to resemble adult insects, but are smaller and lighter in color. The larvae of the earliest ages, being hungry, are generally transparent, and after they are saturated they can clearly see a droplet of blood in the stomach.
Eggs of bedbugs are similar to strongly reduced rice seeds. They have the same white color, elongated shape and a length of not more than a millimeter.
Klopov is easy to distinguish from other domestic insects:
- Difference from cockroaches. The cockroaches on the back of the abdomen have two characteristic processes, similar to short antennae. Bedbugs do not have such outgrowths. In addition, adult cockroaches are larger than bedbugs and have wings and a more elongated abdomen.
- Difference from ticks. Purely externally the bugs are more or less similar to ticks. Here, for the difference, it is enough to count the legs of the parasite. In bedbugs, like all insects, they have 6, in mites, as representatives of a group of arachnids - 8.
- Difference from ants - the shape of the body of ants is very well known: these insects are slender and have a waist in the waist area. In bedbugs, even the larvae are wide and do not have such constrictions.
With fleas and lice bugs it is almost impossible to confuse because of their size: if the first is very difficult to see with the naked eye, then bed bugs are well-marked insects.
But here's a way of life, they lead such that as little as possible come across the eyes of their victims.
The lifestyle of bed bugs: where they settle and when they are active
Bed bugs are highly nocturnal insects. To make them move by day can only destroy the place of their accumulation or the action of some strong drug.
The most active bugs in the pre-wee hours, from 3 to 6 o'clock in the morning. This is the time that accounts for the greatest number of bites. Due to their mobility and high running speed, bedbugs can in minutes from any corner of the apartment to the bed, spend 20-25 minutes on the food itself and quickly get into the shelter.
In those places where bedbugs wait for the day, the females lay eggs.
Over time, large concentrations of parasites are formed in the most suitable shelter for insects, which are called nests, although there is no structure or system in such settlements.
Bed bugs feed once every 5-10 days. On days when a full-bodied insect digests food, it is in shelter and does not come to your eyes. That is why in places of clusters it is possible to find much more individuals than on a bed or in a room at night.
Bed bug is very prolific. Each female lays more than 300 eggs for its life, approximately 4-5 every day.
Bug larvae are excreted from eggs on day 5-6 and after 4-5 weeks are converted into adult parasites.
During this time, they moult several times, and the remaining chitinous shells after moulting can serve as a good sign of the presence of bed bugs in the house.
Methods to combat bed bugs
Since the bed bug accompanied a person throughout the history of civilization, against these parasites, many ways of fighting were developed, from conspiracies to powerful chemical insecticides.
Bed bugs have several features of biology, which determine the specifics of the fight against them:
- Bugs are sensitive to the temperature of the air in the room. Normally they feel in a range of temperatures from +10 to +30 ° С. At a temperature of more than 50 ° C, bedbugs and their eggs die instantly, at temperatures below + 5 ° C, insects fall into a state resembling anabiosis.
When the temperature in the room drops to 10-15 ° C, the larval development of bed bugs to adult individuals is extended to three months. But the total life of each individual also increases. But eggs of bedbugs at this temperature cease to develop at all.
- Bed bugs quickly develop resistance to various chemical insecticides. That is why manufacturers of chemical means to combat bugs have to constantly improve their products: every few months in one or another place in the world there is a population of bugs, resistant to the next drug.
- Bed bugs quickly migrate and spread between the rooms. Therefore, getting rid of one apartment in an infected house does not guarantee that in a month or two the parasites will not move from neighbors to it.
Given these features of bed bugs, today the most commonly used methods are the following:
- the destruction of bed bugs with chemical insecticides. This method is considered to be most effective in the use of modern tested drugs. Most of these drugs are harmless to humans and pets, and proper use of them can help get rid of bed bugs in one day.
- Fighting bugs with temperature methods is very effective, but also quite technically complex. For reliable disposal of the room from bedbugs, powerful industrial hair dryers or heat generators are used, or the room is freezed at low ambient air temperature on the street.
- Physical methods of struggle, consisting in using a vacuum cleaner or a sneaker. Special effect is not given.
Today, the possibilities of biological control of bed bugs are also being studied. There are known superparasites, which lay their eggs in the bodies of bed bug larvae. Later on, the larvae of such an insect are destroyed either by a nymph of a bedbug, or by an adult insect.
Moreover, more recently, a mold was discovered that affects the settlements of bedbugs and leads to their death. However, the practical application of such methods of struggle is only being developed.
You can deal with bed bugs yourself, or you can call for special sanitary services.
Independent struggle will cost less, but it will require serious work and, perhaps, more time.
The call of the same services of pest control is most justified when a large number of neighboring apartments in a house are infected with bugs and treatment must be carried out quickly and at a time in all premises.
Means for getting rid of bugs
Disposal of the premises from bedbugs includes a large number of methods. For example, in addition to insecticides and temperature treatment, it is possible to use some folk recipes.
So, vinegar, denatured alcohol, fresh wormwood and tansy have a strong enough deterrent effect on bedbugs. All these means do not destroy bedbugs, but help to scare them off before infecting the premises or to prevent the penetration of bugs into the apartment from neighbors.
Famous insecticide crayons and pencils continue to remain more or less effective in controlling bugs. For example, Mashenka's remedy consists of two rather strong insecticides, to which bugs have not yet developed resistance. Therefore, the correct use of such chalk provides protection of the apartment from bedbugs, and their destruction in the already infected (but only with a very small number of parasites in the apartment).
But the actively advertised today ultrasonic scarers on bugs do not work. Bed bugs have no instinct for avoiding high sounds, and therefore, even if they are directly in the area of action of such a device, the bug does not change its behavior in any way.
It is important to understand that because of the ability to quickly resettle the fight against bed bugs in one apartment of an apartment building is meaningless. In such buildings, the campaign against bed bugs should be carried out jointly and in concert with the neighbors.