Bed Bugs Explained
The reputation of bed bugs explains that vampires are not the only popular blood suckers in our society. Scientifically known as Cimex lectularius, bed bugs are tiny, brownish flat-like insects that operate mostly during nighttime. During the day bed bugs prefer to situate themselves in areas people normally sleep on. Their small bodies enable them to fit in the narrowest of spaces, especially those related with headboards, box springs and mattresses. Unlike ants or bees, bed bugs do not congregate in a single area.
The problems on bed bugs are even documented in writings about medieval Europe and classical Greek during the time of Aristotle. Bed bugs were already known to feast on wild hosts mainly birds and bats.
Bed bugs were a big problem especially before World War II due to the poor focus on cleanliness and proper hygiene. However, the bugs nearly vanished in the 1940’s and 1950’s because of the widespread use of various pesticides. However, less effective pesticides and reforms in pest control methods enabled these creatures to make a comeback and again become a pest in society.
The adult bed bugs are normally mistaken as ticks or cockroaches, as they are approximately ¼ inch in length with flat and hard bodies. These insects can move swiftly in floors, ceiling, walls and other surfaces but cannot fly. The female bed bugs can lay as many as 500 eggs during their lifespan and choose secluded areas to make their move.
When the eggs hatch, the baby bugs or nymphs can fully develop as fast as a month. Cool areas or where there is no access to blood will prolong the development time. The nymphs can live for several months without feasting, while the adults can last for around a year.*