Parasites In Humans
Find The Nastiest Parasites In Humans

Cimex Lectularius - Bedbug

Bedbugs are skin parasites that live inside or near beds and feed on blood during the night. The most common bedbug species is Cimex lectularius. Bedbugs remain in the same room as long as there is constant blood supply. They can survive a few years without feeding but normally eat every week, if the human host is present.

Bedbugs are flat and can easily hide in the wall or under the mattress. Adults are 1–3 mm wide and 4–5 mm long wingless brown bugs. They crawl towards the meal by following heat and carbon dioxide. They penetrate skin with two hollow tubes. The other is for drinking blood while the other injects anticoagulants and pain relieving anesthetics. After feeding for a few minutes a bedbug returns to its hiding place.

Bite marks might take up to a week to appear depending on the sensitivity of the host's skin. The bites are often in a sequence or a clump. One bedbug can leave a number of sore red spots, if it has to drill many holes before finding a blood vein. It also bites many times, if interrupted by a touch or movement. If the bedbug is not disturbed, there might only be one red spot. Spots can be found anywhere on the body. If bites are always found in a certain area, the hideout might become easier to find.

Some chemical sprays are effective against adult bedbugs but powerless against eggs. The preferred treatment for an apartment is to use heat. New heating methods are effective against most domestic bugs and safe for delicate furniture. (See the link below for the heat method video.) High temperature of at least 45 °C is applied to trouble areas. A fabric steamer is handy for small items. Treating with other methods is effective, if the bugs are inside removable objects such as mattresses. In addition to heat, freezing a few days at -20 °C kills most parasites. The best treatment for a human is to stay away from bedbugs. If the bedbugs cannot be killed, there are a few ways to keep them away. Two-sided adhesive tape can be applied to bed legs to stop the bugs from crawling up into the bed. There are also some chemical powders that can be applied on the floor around the bed legs that kill bugs that walk over it. Moving out of the house is the best way as long as furniture and other objects are treated with heat or frost. A temporary vacation is not long enough because bedbugs can survive years without eating. Bags should be kept closed, when not in use on a vacation to stay clear from any additional bugs. Used clothes that are bought from flea markets should be washed immediately. You might want to avoid using other people's clothes or letting pets in the house.

Cimex lectularius life cycle

Cimex lectulariusCimex lectularius - nymph stage

Also check out the videos.