In The Beginning…
Let’s start with the origins of the bed bug and where it came from. It seems the bed bug, or Cimexlectularius, really was there “in the beginning”. They’ve been found in the Middle East in caves thought to be some of the original “caveman” dwellings; the birthplace of man. These caves were not just inhabited by prehistoric man, however. They were also home to bats, who carried the parasites and most generously shared them with early mankind. Fossilized bed bugs have been found dating back to more than 3,500 years ago, and believe it or not, were used in home remedies by the ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians. The Greeks and Romans used them by burning them, which would get leeches to release their bloodsucking hold. The Egyptians, however, drank a potion made from the disgusting critters, as a remedy for snakebites! Whether it was successful or not is left to our imagination – as is the tasty potion itself. Another interesting tidbit stems from an old cure for having them infest your home. They used to get a big pot of what was then called “brimstone” – aka powdered sulfur – and alcohol, put it in the middle of the room, set it on fire, and let it fumigate the house. It smelled putrid, damaged wallpaper, bleached fabric and burnt floorboards. But apparently, it also worked, killing all stages of the blood-loving parasites.
Say Your Prayers
So what does a bed bug look like? If one dared show its ugly face in my house, it’d look like a “dead bug walking”! Just a little humor there, and let’s be real here: bed bugs can infest or get into any home or dwelling on the entire planet, these bugs are not biased. They love clean places and clean people as much as filthy places and people with the poorest hygiene, and they’re not racist, either. An adult bed bug is usually a reddish-brown color and about the size of an apple seed, with a flat, oval-shaped body. They have had many colorful nicknames throughout history and in other parts of the world, such as “crimson ramblers” and “bed goblins”. We are unconsciously taught to fear them as children, when our parents recite seemingly innocuous and “cute” rhymes like; “goodnight, don’t let the bed bugs bite!” But the recent spike in bed bug infestations is ridiculously significant, and quite frightening. Though they do not carry any diseases or pose any serious health risks, their bites are enough to drive you crazy scratching them, plus they can lead to anxiety and sleeplessness. And let’s face it – they’re gross, and no one wants blood-devouring insects taking over their home. Which is what they do, since a female can lay up to 500 eggs in her lifetime – in reality, a relatively low number, compared to other small insects – and though they may start in the room you sleep in, left untreated, they will infiltrate your entire house.
Armageddon Is Coming
There have been many so-called “home remedies” used to get rid of these nasty, vampire-like creatures for centuries, even to this day. However, nowadays they are quite resilient, and have been found to have built up an immunity to pesticides that once worked to kill them. In fact, they’re nearly impossible to get rid of on your own once they’ve taken root, so if you’ve got an infestation, don’t hesitate to call a professional. Don’t waste precious time on home or DIY remedies, because these methods only diminish the numbers for a short time, rather than eliminate them. They hide in fabric seams, behind pictures and wall sockets, in cracks, and pretty much anywhere cool and dark, but generally within just 8 feet from their meal ticket (that would be YOU). They are mostly nocturnal and usually do most of their feeding while you’re sleeping. They know you’re nearby because they can smell the carbon dioxide you exhale, and though they prefer darkness, if hungry they’ll come out even on a bright, sunny day. The reason we generally don’t know when they’re biting us, is because their saliva contains a numbing agent, as well as an anti-clotting agent to ensure your blood flows freely. Typically, therefore, you never feel a thing. Now that’s creepy. It’s time to declare Armageddon for these tiny monsters, and get rid of them for good!
If all of that isn’t enough, they reproduce by something called “traumatic insemination”. This is where the male takes his aedeagus, akin to a hypodermic needle, and forcefully stabs the female to pierce her abdomen and inject his sperm into her. This process cracks her exoskeleton and leaves an open wound that is susceptible to infection, and impairs her until she heals from it. The really strange part about this type of reproduction is that it’s an evolved method, borne out of competition among males to get their sperm closest to the ovaries, scientists speculate. Prior to this, the females have a “reproductive plug” which the males would use, but which would effectively “glue” shut afterwards, preventing other males from mating with her. So the males just started forcing the females to take their sperm, by traumatic insemination instead. The competition is now in who can get their sperm closest to the ovaries for successful fertilization. The female lays an average of 1-5 eggs per day, which hatches 10 days later and then must go through 5 stages of life, molting after each one. They need to feed before successfully molting, each time. It’s common for adults to feed on human blood once a week or more. The invertebrates are amazingly hard to exterminate from your home or business (or pretty much anywhere, for that matter!) once infiltrated. This is why it’s best to call a professional, such as Crime Scene Cleaners, to handle getting rid of these pests once and for all. It’s definitely time to crucify these critters, once you verify that they have indeed invaded your home or business. In need of a bed bug exterminator Seattle comes to Crime Scene Cleaners.