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Bedbugs

Cimex lectularius

Bedbugs (or bed bugs) are small, elusive, parasitic insects of the family Cimicidae. They live strictly by feeding on the blood of humans and other warm-blooded animals. The name 'bed bug' is derived from the insect's preferred habitat infesting houses and especially beds or other common areas where people may sleep. Bedbugs, though not strictly nocturnal, are mainly active at night and are capable of feeding unnoticed on their hosts.

Bedbugs are true insects and are not arachnids, unlike dust mites and ticks.

There are 6 recognized subfamilies of Cimicidae and up to 23 genera, while the number of species has been stated as anywhere from 75 to 108. Most species only feed on humans when other preys are unavailable.

C. lectularius and C. hempiterus will mate with each other given the opportunity, but the eggs then produced are usually sterile. In a 1988 study, 1 egg out of 479 was fertile and resulted in a hybrid, C. hemipterus x lectularius.

Bedbugs use pheromones and kairomones to communicate regarding nesting locations, attacks, and reproduction.

The life span of bedbugs varies by species and is also dependent on feeding.

Appearance

Bed Bugs

•  4 to 5mm long.

•  Oval and flattened from back to underside, well developed legs, but wings absent.

•  Mouthparts adapted to piercing and sucking.

•  Red to brown in colour.



Lifecycle

•  200 500 eggs laid over a 2 month period in batches of 10 to 50.

Habits

•  Feed on human blood.

•  Found in cracks and crevices, headboards, behind peeling wallpaper, broken plaster, light switches, under carpets and skirting boards etc.

•  Bed bugs are nocturnal.