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Bug of the Month – Bed Bugs

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Eww!

says Claudette

By Dr. Hector Carcamo

Bed bugs happen to anyone, anywhere. You get bed bugs simply by coming into contact with them. Click the photo for more info.

Bed bugs are more than just a nuisance human pest. Although they prefer our blood, they can also feed on chickens. This makes them an agricultural pest as well. The term bed bug applies to two related species that have similar life cycles: one occurs in cool regions (Cimex lectularius) and the other in the tropics (Cimex hemipterus). There are other species related to bed bugs such as the bat bug, but only bed bugs prefer human blood and can thrive in our dwellings.

These bugs don’t give up easily and can survive 18 months without feeding.

Bed bugs do not transmit diseases, but their saliva causes allergic reactions in some people. Bed bugs can go without food for up to 18 months and like to hide in wooden structures. Females can lay up to 500 eggs; which hatch in 1-2 weeks. The entire life cycle takes about two months. Given their cryptic nature and ability to survive, bed bugs are difficult to control. The best way to get rid of them is probably to get a licensed exterminator with experience.

Evidence of bed bugs on a mattress.