Bed bugs were thought to have been eradicated in the 20th century, but according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), they are back. The number of bed bug encounters and reports have increased by 500%, which means they are back with a vengeance in the 21st century.
The Different Kinds of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs belong to a species group known as Heteroptera Cimicidae. They include sub types such as Cimex Lectularis (the common bed bug), Cimex Hemipterus (the tropical bed bug) and LeptoCimex Boueti (bat bug). Bed bugs, bat bugs, poultry bugs and swallow bugs all belong to this family of pests and are seen in various parts of the world.
When it comes to their biology, these bugs all have similar characteristics. They are all visually the same, except for minor differences that you wouldn’t be able to tell by simply looking at them. They have similar structure like those of common ecto-parasites; their bodies are also divided into head, thorax and abdomen.
Problems They Can Cause
In the United States, different types of bed bugs are mainly seen in college dorms, nursing homes and hospitals, residential areas, hotels, offices, day cares and even in schools. Every Pest Control company in the U.S. has reported some type of encounter with bed bugs on an annual basis. On the contrary to popular belief, this problem is not just in dirty motels or cheap apartments. But even the highest rated five-star hotels in the United States have reported having such infestations all across the country.
Different types of bed bugs found across the country are known to impact human lives owing to the mental, physical and economic consequences they have. While most types of bed bugs only cause a mild rash in humans, the more severe infestations are known to have led people into severe allergic shocks. Additionally, the bites of these ecto-parasites are also known to cause secondary complications and skin infections which include impetigo, lymphangitis and ecthyma.
Where Can They Be Found?
As with all types of bed bugs, the species found in the USA also has three main life stages and throughout all of the stages, none of them can fly. Due to this inability, bed bugs rely on passive modes of transportation. The Cimicids family has characteristic specialized organs to support their blood feeding diet. The bugs use these organs to attach to their host at nighttime and feed upon them for up to 10 minutes. The surprising fact is that most adult types of bed bugs can survive without a blood meal for up to a year! This is what causes these bugs to be such a pest, when they sense they’re in danger they can hide until they feel safe.
The common bed bug can be predominantly found in North America and Europe. Common dwellings for the pest include; human homes, bird nests and bat caves. This is because they offer shelter and warmth, as well as a source of nourishment. They are not evenly distributed within their environment, instead they focus on small refuges, which in homes include; crevices, cracks, even behind the wallpaper/within the walls.
The next bed bug that is common in the United States, is the tropical bed bug. As their name suggests, are seen in tropical or warmer regions including southern states of USA as well as countries in Asia and Africa. Their feeding and shelter habits are the same as the common bed bug, and under ideal conditions their eggs may hatch in just 10 days. They also will do everything to avoid confrontation with the light.
The final kind of bed bug you will commonly find in the U.S. or Europe is the bat bug. They’re most commonly found in the place’s bats like to rest, such as attics or chimneys. Although, if the bats take off for a new home or die out, bat bugs will move downstairs and can show up in mattresses and beds. Instead of wandering into the sunlight on the backs of humans, bat bugs (as their name implies) will rather stay in their caves, thriving by feeding on sleeping bats. In today’s world, bat bugs can be found just about anywhere a nest of bats are (which is to say, pretty much anywhere in the known world). They don’t nest on the bats themselves, but they are known to ride on them from place to place. Unfortunately, if the bats leave the area for any amount of time, a hungry bat bug will settle for a human meal that’s close by. Their bites and behavior are identical to those of a bed bug, making them just as annoying when they start feeding.
If you spot what you think is a bat bug or a bed bug, you should call your pest control professional as soon as possible. A trained technician can assess the situation and determine whether you might have bat bugs or bed bugs in your home. If you do have bat bugs, you’ll want to make sure your technician implements steps to account for the bats or leftover guano (bat excrement) that may be in your house. And if it turns out you have bed bugs, you’ll still need to work with a pest control specialist to customize a treatment plan.
Have you seen an insect that might be a bat bug or bed bug? Don’t panic. Your trained Pestrol technician can help you set up a pest control plan that suits the needs of your home. Click here to get help today!