Bed Bug Info
Bed bugs are insects from the cimex genus that feed on human blood and are usually nocturnal. While they are not known to transmit pathogens to the humans they feed from, their bites can have lasting and unpleasant effects; It can take weeks of infestation before any symptoms begin to appear, and the time between being bitten for the first time and when symptoms begin to appear allow the bed bugs to reproduce and settle into their new homes. Symptoms are difficult to pinpoint as bite marks can range from either small red spots to prominent, painful blisters. Some individuals may feel tired or feverish. In some cases, there may be patches of dead skin or vasculitis. (the restriction of blood vessels) Typically, bed bugs target exposed skin for feeding, ignoring places where the skin is covered.
Most bed bug infestations are caused by one of two species of insects. Cimex lectularius, which is found across the globe, and cimex hemipterus, which is found primarily in the tropics. Bed bugs can range in size from 1 to 7 mm in length. Bed bugs primarily travel by hitching a ride with humans from a location which was infested, or crawling between nearby locations in search of new feeding grounds. Contrary to belief, poor hygiene is rarely the cause of infestation. Rather, bed bugs travel with people by hiding in clothes and luggage. It’s more common for bed bugs to spread in highly populated areas as a result of this. When they are not feeding, bed bugs prefer dark, dry locations such as mattress seams or cracks in a wall.
Treatment is directed towards the symptoms. Eliminating bed bugs from the home is often difficult, partly because bed bugs can survive up to 70 days without feeding. Repeated treatments of a home may be required. These treatments may include heating the room to 50 °C (122 °F) for more than 90 minutes, frequent vacuuming, washing clothing at high temperatures, and the use of various pesticides.
Bed bugs occur in all regions of the globe. Infestations are relatively common, following an increase since the 1990s. The exact causes of this increase are unclear; theories including increased human travel, more frequent exchange of second-hand furnishings, a greater focus on control of other pests, and increasing resistance to pesticides. Bed bugs have been known human parasites for thousands of years.