As their name indicates, bed bugs are, indeed, insects with a penchant for taking up living quarters in the mattress and sheets of humans. Strictly speaking, however, bed bugs are parasites that live off the blood of mammals, particularly humans. The term ‘bed bugs’ was derived from their preference of living and breeding in the mattresses of humans, while using it as a base to do most of their feeding at night.
Scientifically, they are known as Cimex lectularius, a category that effectively places them with all parasites that feed on warm-blooded mammals. They are nocturnal and capable of numbing the bites done onto their hosts. They have been known colloquially by several names, including wall louse, crimson rambler, and redcoat for their hard, small, flat and reddish-brown exterior. They also lack wings and have a tendency to shed their skin, which is often used as evidence to track down their habitat.
What are Bed Bugs?: Effects of Bed Bugs on You and Your Home
Bed bugs can leave a number of effects on you and your home:
- Bites. Bed bug bites are not particularly harmful, but they do leave annoying red swells all over the body that can be itchy.
- Sanitation. Bed bugs are still bugs that carry tons of bacteria with them.
- Possible spread of disease. This has yet to be concretely proven, so it remains a possibility.
On the home:
- Mattress and sheet infestation. Seeing how these are their favorite areas of habitation, mattresses and sheets will quickly become useless when bed bugs are around.
- Furniture degradation. Bed bugs can also live in between sofa cushion and pillows.
Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite!
The famous bedtime farewell may have said it in jest, but it is quite accurate in suggesting that bed bug bites need to be prevented by humans at all costs. Though they have not been proven to spread disease or cause an irreparable amount of furniture damage as other insects, bed bugs are nevertheless a nuisance that should be eliminated immediately from the home.
When the temperature rises, bed bugs can become more active in their feeding and breed continuously. This is why the spring is one of the best times to check for bed bugs around your bedroom and home, and if found, have them terminated. Hire a professional pest exterminator and get started today!