A real attack in rural areas — a bedbug renowned in literature — may not even catch sight of many citizens in their entire lifetimes. But having met such a parasite in his apartment, another resident of the megalopolis may not even recognize in him a pest that sucks blood at night and leads to the appearance of itchy and sometimes painful irritations from bites.
At least in order to identify the bloodsucker at the first meeting, even if accidental, it would be useful to have an idea how bugs look. Photos of these insects, as well as their larvae and eggs are shown below ...
What does the bug look like?
The bed bug is quite well distinguished from all other bugs. And in general, among other household insects, it is easy to recognize. Look at the photos:
The main difference of bed bug from, say, a soldier or vodomerki bug - lack of wings.By the same sign he is well distinguished from cockroaches. Due to the absence of wings at the bug, the borders of the segments of the abdomen are clearly visible - his whole body is as if several times too tight in strips.
Adult bed bug has a dark brown color. If he is hungry, then the width of his abdomen is almost the same as the length. After feeding, the abdomen is stretched, and the insect itself becomes longer. On average, the body length of a bed bug is 5-6 mm.
It is interesting…
After a full meal, the body length of the bed bug is almost doubled. The bug itself consumes two times more blood than it weighs during one feeding. In the photo below you can see how the shape and size of the body of an insect change in the process of feeding.
In addition, after the human blood is saturated with a house bug, it becomes somewhat darker, and hungry individuals can even be light red. In the photo below you can clearly see the differences between dark and well-fed bedbugs and their lighter hungry relatives:
Like all representatives of the hemiptera order, the bed bugs have a small triangular head. On its lower side there is a long proboscis, formed by fused jaws.It is firm enough and durable to pierce a person’s skin. But with the more dense skin of cats or dogs, the bug cannot cope.
In the proboscis of the bug there are two channels (see photo). Through one insect it absorbs blood, through the other it introduces a special analgesic substance into the wound of a bite, due to which a person does not feel pain from a bite for several hours.
It is interesting…
Young larvae of bugs do not know how to introduce a special secret into the wound. Therefore, their bites begin to be felt earlier, in particularly sensitive people - even in the process of feeding the insect. However, due to the small size of the larvae and the fineness of their proboscis, even without anesthetic, their bites are not very sensitive.
The piercing proboscis of bed bugs outside the time of feeding is pressed against the lower part of the cephalothorax.
The body of a hungry bug is very low, and it is difficult to crush an insect. So the parasites have adapted to the fact that their victims in a dream often turn over, and even being crushed by a human body, the bed bug does not die. However, the full body, filled with blood, becomes inseparate and can be crushed right on the bed.
It is the appearance of small brown spots of incomprehensible nature on the bed - a clear sign of the presence of bugs in the apartment.
Bed bugs are quite mobile. An adult insect runs more than a meter in a minute. Thanks to their flat body, they comfortably settle in the crevices of furniture, behind baseboards, under carpets, and between books. In addition, they migrate very quickly and easily between rooms in apartment buildings.
Often the waste products of bed bugs come across a person’s eyes more often than insects themselves. Their excreta are tiny black dots, slightly similar to poppy grains.
In the photo below you can see almost black bedbug excrement:
They can be found when cleaning the apartment under the beds, in the corners of the room, right on the bed. But more often they are found where adult parasites and their larvae accumulate for a day.
Larvae and eggs of bedbugs: one in the photo, in the apartment - quite another
The larvae of bed bugs in science are called nymphs. Like other insects with incomplete transformation, miniature replicas of adults emerge from the eggs of bedbugs. They also have legs, antennae and pointed proboscis.
The main differences between nymphs and adult bugs are smaller sizes and their inability to reproduce. In addition, the bug larvae have a lighter color: being hungry, they are light yellow, almost transparent, and after saturation inside their abdomen a droplet of blood becomes well visible.
The photo clearly shows the blood in the stomach of the larva and the bright rim of the abdomen:
Unknown in entomology, apartment owners may confuse younger larvae with ants. Indeed, after hatching, the bed bug bug larva has a body length of about 1 mm and an elongated body. Only later, after the first feeding, it will darken and become similar to an adult insect.
Larvae of domestic bugs grow rapidly and often molt. Every 6-7 days, the larva discharges chitinous cover, and the remains of these covers easily give shelter to parasites in the apartment.
The photo shows the chitinous integuments of insects after molting:
Bed Eggs Eggs small - up to 1 mm in length - slightly elongated and have a white color. In the upper part of each egg has a kind of lid, opening which, the newborn bug starts its active life.
The photo clearly shows these egg caps:
Bedbug eggs rarely catch the eye separately from the main nest of insects, and therefore it is unlikely to meet them before meeting with an adult bug.
Differences of bed bugs from other domestic insects
The characteristic features of the structure of the body make the bed bug quite recognizable. However, in some cases, instructions on how to distinguish it from other domestic insects may be useful:
- If the insect does not see the division of the body into segments and there are wings - this is not a bug. Most likely, it is a cockroach. Maybe some kind of street insect.
- If the insect is very small and jumps far, it is a flea. The bug can only run.
- Insects, which, when closely examined, are clearly visible constriction in the abdomen area, similar to the waist - ants or stray wasps. In bedbugs, the body is broad, in the hungry, almost round.
- If the parasite is round, flat, wingless, dark in color and with a small head, you need to count the number of paws. If there are 6 of them, this is most likely a bug. If 8 is a tick. The latter is a dangerous parasite of a person, but it does not settle in apartments and does not form nests.
Finally, the bug can be confused with the cockroach nymph.But all cockroaches and their larvae have a distinctive feature - two small processes on the back of the abdomen, a kind of tails (see the photo). Bedbugs do not have them.
Bed bugs nest: is it it?
Bed bugs do not create a nest in the truest sense of the word. In general, there is no organization in their clusters. However, due to the fact that they prefer to hide in the same places, the places of their concentration very quickly begin to look like fairly well-lived and equipped. They are called nests.
A typical example of a bloodsucker's nest is shown in the photo:
As a rule, in such a nest is a large number of bugs of different ages. Here, eggs are scattered in disarray, developing and already empty, the excrement of insects and the remains of the chitinous cover of their bodies fallen after molting. Such a cluster itself gives the impression of a very untidy, dirty place.
Characteristic of bed bugs is their accumulation in large quantities in order to preserve heat. The typical nest of bedbugs is similar to the continuous moving mass of their bodies. In cockroaches, this behavior is not observed.
The location of the nest is also important.Bedbugs are most often concentrated in sofas, beds, behind carpets, in closets, where they easily find narrow cracks and from where they can quickly get to a sleeping person. At the same time, ants and cockroaches prefer dirty ventilation ducts and kitchens.
And the last thing: to find out that there are bugs in the house by the nature of the bites they leave. The bedbug leaves on the body several red dots located along one line at a distance of 2-3 centimeters from one another. Such bites are not typical of most domestic human parasites. Therefore, if in the mornings itchy points line up on the body along clearly visible lines, you can begin to look in the apartment for bed bugs.
The photo below shows the characteristic bites of bedbugs:
If you still have bugs in your apartment, you need to start fighting with them immediately. It is foolish to hope that the parasites themselves will disappear: their ability to reproduce rapidly will result in the apartment simply turning into a real trash, infecting the adjacent premises of a multi-storey building.
When destroying bedbugs, it is better to immediately apply modern insecticidal preparations, without wasting time on outdated and ineffective folk control methods like kerosene and vinegar (see "Review of the most effective means of bedbugs"). Choosing the same tool is useful to focus not only on its effectiveness, but also pay attention to the lack of smell, cost and safety for the person.
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