Bed bugs are getting more numerous by the day. The National Pest Management Association recently did a study and found that most Americans believe that bed bug issues are on the rise. With more and more infestations occurring, more information needs to be available so that we can understand the problem. So the center of this article is to answer the question how do bed bugs bite? They use an elongated beak to pierce the skin and draw blood.
Unlike many other insects, bed bugs survive on blood alone. They can only get the nutrients and water that they need through this one source. Other insects can use multiple food sources to feed off, but the bed bug doesn’t have this option. They can feed off of many different animal species, but they only prefer humans. This is why they are so prolific in our homes and bedrooms and many Tulsa exterminators are left to treat them.
WHY DO BED BUGS BITE?
Bed bugs need blood to survive. It is their only food source. Not only do they need it for sustenance, but it gives them the energy they need to move through their lifecycles. For instance, before a nymph, or young bed bug, can molt, it must take a blood meal. The molting process happens when the insect out grows its skin and must shed it.
When adult females want to lay eggs, they must get a blood meal first. Without this feeding, there isn’t enough energy to complete the task. As much as they need this blood, they can go a long time without it. Bed bugs can survive up to a year without taking a meal. This gives them a resilience that is tough to beat.
THEIR MOUTH PARTS
Their mouth parts consist of a labium, or long beak, that neatly folds under them, and then pairs of maxillary and mandibular stylets. These stylets are used for applying saliva and taking in the blood of their host. The saliva that they use during the bite acts as an anticoagulant that keeps the blood from clotting and reduces the sensitivity so that they can continue uninterrupted.
It can take up to ten minutes and three bites to fully satiate a bed bug. They will balloon up in size and then find a place to rest and digest. Because of this, bed bugs are active at night, and and dormant by day. This makes day time treatment by an Oklahoma pest control company much easier.
BED BUG BITES AND THE REPRODUCTIVE CYCLE
As stated before, a bed bug must take a blood meal before it can move to the next lifecycle. This means that every stage of development, the insect must feed. When a bed bug egg hatches, it releases a nymph. This nymph looks the same as any other bed bug, except much smaller. As it grows, it will out grow its skin and must molt, or remove it. It will molt five times in its development and must feed each time.
Once the nymph gets to its adult stage, it will seek to reproduce. These insects reproduce by a process known as traumatic insemination. The females do not have exterior sex organs, so the male must break through the exoskeleton of the female to insert his reproductive material. Once the female is inseminated, she will need to feed in order to lay eggs. Then she will lay eggs for the next six to eight weeks.
When someone is bitten by a bed bug, the bug injects some of its saliva into the wound to numb the spot and stop the blood from clotting. This process mixes the fluids between the insect and the host and leaves an open door for disease to be transmitted from the bed bug to humans. But in real life situations, we just don’t see disease transmission from bed bugs.
Why this happens, we are not sure. But what is known is that these bugs still do remain a health risk. They risk the mental health of people whose homes have been infested with them. They cause discomfort, sleeplessness, anxiety, embarrassment and unnecessary stress. These stresses from living with bed bugs can have a significant impact on the emotional health and well-being of people.
WHY ARE THEY HARD TO GET RID OF?
There are many reasons why bed bugs are so hard to get rid of. Back in the 40’s and 50’s, Oklahoma exterminators and others across the country used DDT to kill bed bugs. It was very effective at eliminating these bugs, but DDT was found to cause cancer. It was so effective, that bed bugs were almost completely eliminated. By the 90’s, they had come back. Pest control companies now used a safer family of pesticides known as pyrethrins.
They used these pyrethrins so much that most bed bugs developed an immunity to them. There are modern methods of removing bed bugs, but they are difficult because of how close bed bugs live to people. They must be strong enough to kill the insect, but not harm us in our sleep. This is where a good Tulsa pest control company comes into play.
HOW TO GET RID OF THEM
So if you are in a situation where you have a bed bug infestation, what do you do? There are over the counter remedies available, but all of them are pyrethrins and probably will not do the job. The harsher, working chemicals are only available to Tulsa exterminators. Here at TermMax Pest Control, we can help you get rid of your bed bug issues. We specialize in this form of pest control and have competitive pricing to make it affordable for anyone. Contact us today… We’re here to help!