5 Things to Know About Bedbugs

in About Bedbugs

Bedbugs have been known to live alongside humans for centuries and have been mentioned in different circumstances throughout history and studied.

Bedbugs have been documented throughout history and there have been beliefs that they have medicinal properties, such as being used in treatments for hysteria, snake bites and ear infections. Today, they are seen as hematophagous (bloodsucking) parasitic insects which are starting to invade human society again in the big cities.

But, even so, most people are not aware of them and do not know their capabilities. Because of this I wanted to tell you five things you need to know about bedbugs.

Bedbugs have lived alongside humans for millennia.

Bedbugs, also known as Cimex lectularius, are a species of parasites. They are closely related to another species which live on the blood of bats. Because of this, scientists speculate that bedbugs have actually evolved from their cousins during the time when humans lived in caves.

From a historical point of view, the first evidence of the existence of bedbugs comes from an archeological site in Amarna, Egypt. The site is 3550 years old and at this place, signs of bedbug infestations were found, especially amongst the pyramid workers who built the tombs.

You can identify bedbugs by their certain odor.

Households infested with bedbugs give off a certain smell, depending on the species, but it is usually sweet and musky. The difference in smell can be observed by a specialist with a fine sense of smell, but even if you do not possess one, a general sweet musky smell is a giveaway for bedbug infestation.

You can also identify bedbugs by their aspect. The adults are small, giving the resemblance of apple seeds. Their color is brown or reddish, and they cannot fly.

The habitat of the bedbugs consists of mattress creases, cracks in the wall or clothes.

Bedbugs are not nocturnal creatures, but are mostly active at night when they leave their hiding place known also as refugia, to feed.

Bedbugs mate frequently.

Bedbugs have a certain mating ritual. When a male is ready to mate he will search for a female which has just eaten or which has just recently fed. The fact that a bedbug has recently had a blood meal can be easily seen by the fact that it becomes three times larger than before. There is often the case that a male will confuse a male for a female and the error is usually realized once he has mounted him.

Once the male has found a female he uses his reproduction system to pierce through the abdomen of the bedbug female and ejaculate directly into her bloodstream. This is called traumatic insemination.

Female bedbugs also have a genital tract, but it is used only for laying eggs.

A female bedbug will have an average of 5 males inseminate her after every blood meal.

The bedbug possesses a specialized immune organ.

Because of the traumatic insemination and to avoid evisceration, female bedbugs have a specialized organ known as mesospermalege. This organ has the function of protection during insemination, but also has an immune function. It captures and destroys bacteria and fungi which enter the body during the reproduction act. This organ is only found in the female bedbug.

They can be used by forensic scientists at crime scenes.

Bedbugs are hematophagous insects, which means they feed off the blood of humans. The DNA of a human is also found in their blood, so a bed bug is actually making a note of the people present in the house for a small period of time about as long as week only by feeding. By using this aspect, forensic scientists can identify the perpetrator of a crime up to one week after it has been committed if bedbugs are found, by using the blood in them for analysis and DNA identification.

This is just a small review on bedbugs. They are fantastic creatures which have adapted to our environment. Even so, contact with bedbugs is not actually what most of us desire.

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