My Story with Yucky Bed Bugs!
Types and Dangers of Bed Bugs
Are they Dangerous? That’s what I wanted to know, too…
I’m with you. A bed bug is a bed bug and they are all gross! However, it may be interesting to know if you have one that likes to feast on you or would rather feast on bats (even though they will settle for your blood)! Unfortunately like most people, I was stuck with the ones that liked my blood!
In my last post, we talked about ways to know if you have a bed bug infestation. This time, I am going to tell you about the different types you could encounter, with one being the most likely. I will also tell you the affects they can have on your health.
There are three basic types of bed bugs. These are:
Cimex Lectularius (Common or Household Bed Bug)
This is the most common type of bed bug found in households across the world in a variety of temperatures. They live off of human blood, and if they can’t get to you, they will go after your pets.
They do not eat crumbs found in your bed or on the floor, so a dirty house would make no difference to the bed bug. They come out to eat about an hour before dawn while you are still sleeping soundly.
Cimex Hemipterus (Tropical Bed Bug)
The tropical bed bug is limited to the tropical regions, including Florida. Like the household bed bug, they live in the same environment as their hosts and feed off of the host at night. Host being YOU! They do not like light and will hide in very small crevices in the daytime. They like to hide in wood and paper over stone or plaster.
Leptocimex Boueti (Bat Bugs)
These bed bugs are found in West Africa and South America. They are not as common as the household bed bug. They are known to feast on bats, as well as humans.
Description of the Bed Bug
When I realized I had bed bugs in my bed instead of fleas, I automatically thought that bed bugs could jump. Don’t ask me why, but that is what I thought. Turns out, the bed bug does not jump, nor does it fly. They are small wingless insects that have an amazing ability to climb just about anything.
Newborns and adults can be seen by the naked eye. Newborns, also called hatchlings or nymphs are very tiny. They resemble the size of a poppy seed. Adults can actually grow to a ¼ of an inch long. They are oval in shape and are flat.
Some colors you may see include white, light tan, deep brown, or burnt orange. They will molt (shed) at least five times prior to maturity. Right after molting, they appear to be white. After they eat, you may notice a dark red or black blob within their body.
Are they Dangerous?
This is what I wanted to know right away. Do these nasty bugs carry disease? I was literally scared to death when I found out these disgusting bugs were not only feasting off of my kids’ blood, but they were also leaving a little bit of saliva in them. I immediately came to the computer and did some research. This is what I found out….
It does not hurt when they bite. While feeding, they will inject a small amount of saliva into your skin. After about a week or two, you will become more sensitized to the anesthetic in the saliva and can develop a mild to intense allergic reaction. The result is the “insect bites” you see on your skin, which can take up to nine days before they appear. Most of the time, the bites resemble flea bites or mosquito bites.
At least half of the people bitten by bed bugs do not show any signs making it difficult to identify a bed bug infestation. Some people; however, can become ill and/or nauseous. It is also possible to get skin infections and scars from scratching. The good news is that there is no evidence that they carry disease. This is something I was at least grateful to hear.
Now that we know what bed bugs are and how they can affect our health, it is time to figure out how they came to invade your home. In the next post, I will tell you exactly how they found their way to my home and how they possibly got into yours.
Tags: bats, bed bug, bed bugs, crevices, feast, health types, hosts, hour before dawn, household, households, human blood, night host, pets, plaster, south america, temperatures, tropical regions, west africa, wingless insects