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Bed bugs

Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius)

Bed bug
Bed bug filled with blood

The bedbug is a species of insect that belongs to the suborder of the house bug, the bedbug family.

It is a synanthropic species (related to human settlements), however it originally evolved from ancestors who fed on the blood of bats inhabiting caves. At the beginning of the human race, the bedbug adapted its biology and life cycles to life with humans, and today humans remains its main reservoir and means of transport allowing it to take over new areas of this burdensome and dangerous insect.

In the 1980s and 1970s, the species was almost completely destroyed by the use of DDT. However, due to its significant adverse environmental impacts lasting more than 15 years, it has been banned in Europe and in many other places.

Skin changes
Bed bugs, and skin changes

Currently, the bedbug, due to frequent travels, is dragged from all over the world to Europe, from hotels to our homes, and as it is perfectly adapted to life in the human environment, it copes very well. In addition, its new feature is particularly important, i.e. resistance to new insecticides.

Insects have a flattened body which allows them to penetrate into the smallest crevices where they find shelter from our eyes. In these crevices, they lay eggs that are inaccessible to conventional chemicals. Until now, reaching the cracks has been achieved by spraying dry fog with insecticides, but this method has ceased to work. Therefore, in many places around the world, the problem of bedbug infestation in buildings is growing exponentially.

Bites of bed bugs on body

Bed bugs are dangerous to humans. It has been proven that they are a vector of staphylococcal and streptococcal skin infections. Bite wounds can heal poorly, and in the case of allergic diseases and additional swelling, it is particularly bad.

The bedbug life cycle is approximately 45 days. The female, drunk with blood, lays about 250-500 eggs in the gaps several times and then dies. Hatching larvae look for hosts, then mature and start new cycles by laying eggs themselves.

Life cycle
Life cycle of Bed bugs takes 45 days

Bed bugs can spread between homes through cracks in walls or along sewer or district heating pipes. They can also be easily carried on clothing including travelers’ luggage.

Despite chemical or physical control, bed bugs can recur arduously through reinfection from neighboring properties or due to resistance to insecticides, which are not able to destroy eggs and, more and more often, adults.

For this reason, for many people, an effective and cheaper solution than the repeated calling of disinfestation teams is to employ the main enemy in home conditions for bedbugs, i.e. the pharaoh’s ant.