What Bug is Known as a Hitchhiker?

Pestworld.org states that “bed bugs get their name from their habit of feeding on human hosts in bed. They are excellent HITCHHIKERS, easily transported and are found in many different types of dwellings, which makes them difficult to control”.

Bed bugs are increasingly becoming a problem around the world. Bed bugs are parasitic insects that inhabit sheets, mattresses and furniture. The bugs spend their nights feasting on our blood, causing itching and blemishes and are extraordinarily small and difficult to spot, but they’re far from microscopic. They prefer the dark.

Bed Bugs Description

Size

Adults: ¼” long

Nymphs (newborn): Range from 1.3 mm to 4-5 mm

Color

Adults: Mahogany

Engorged Bed Bugs: Red-Brown

Nymphs (newborn): Colorless

Number of Legs: 6

Shape

Flat, broad oval when unfed; swollen and elongated when fed

Antennae: Yes

Wings: Wingless


Cause

Most people think that dirty and unclean conditions produce insect infestations, including bed bugs. While leftover food may attract ants and roaches, bed bugs aren’t actually interested in the dirt in your home. They feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals. Humans are the preferred hosts. The causes of the infestation are much harder to deal with than simple dirt on the carpet or food in the trash can.

Location

They are found throughout the U.S. and are virtually in every place that people tend to gather:

  • Homes
  • Hotels
  • Schools
  • Dormitories
  • Cruise ships
  • Army Barracks
  • Shelters
  • Offices
  • Retail stores, and even
  • Public transportation

Feeding

Most bed bugs feed on their hosts while they are asleep and the peak time for feeding is between midnight and 5 am. Bites can be seen quickly but may take up to 14 days to become visible. Bed bugs need to feed regularly to reproduce, lay eggs and survive.

Signs

The most obvious sign in the home is that people complain of bites that occurred while they were asleep. Examine the bedrooms for signs of bedbug activity. Look in bed linen and the seams and tufts of mattresses and box springs for bugs or eggs. The eggs will look like tiny, pale poppy seeds. Look specifically for dark brown or rust-colored bedbug droppings that stain material and mattresses. Bedbug excrement looks light brown or black liquid. A large population of bedbugs may produce a coriander-like odor.

Treatment

WebMD reports that the “recommended treatment for bedbug bites is to wash them with soap and water, apply an antiseptic cream or lotion, and take an antihistamine if necessary for several itching. A cool compress or ice may help the swelling. Avoid scratching. If you see signs of infection (tenderness around the bite, enlarging red area, and a white, yellow, or green discharge from the wound), seek immediate medical treatment”.

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