It's not nice having bugs in your bed. More so if they're capable of sucking your blood and leaving you with a lot of diseases. But that's exactly what the bedbug does unless you know how to control it.
Bedbugs are small, wingless insects that are found throughout the world. Their bodies are covered with fine short hair and they emit a foul odor when disturbed which is enough to keep people away from them.
For the most part, however, bedbugs are the ones that disturb man. At daytime, you won't see them. But at night, they're out for blood - human or otherwise.
"The bedbug is nocturnal, meaning that it feeds at night, usually on sleeping victims. It takes five to 10 minutes to suck a full blood meal. During the day, they avoid the light and hide in mattresses, cracks in the walls and floors, in furniture or behind wall posters, " according to the editors of “Health Alert", a publication of the Health Action Information Network (HAIN).
Even if you don't invite bedbugs for a nightcap, they're sure to find their way into your home and in your bed if you share clothes or use dirty bedsheets.
Aside from soiled bedding or clothing, you can pick up these critters from hotels, theaters, buses and other forms of public transport.
The adult bedbug is six to seven millimeters long but the female can lay hundreds of eggs. These are usually found in cracks or crevices in the home or in bedsheets or mattresses. In warm weather, the eggs hatch into nymphs in six to 10 days.
For the nymph to grow and transform into an adult bedbug, it needs a steady supply of blood. This lust for blood starts the moment the insect begins shedding its skin.
At each stage of shedding. which usually lasts from seven to 10 weeks, the nymph requires a full meal of blood to survive. Full-grown bedbugs, however, can live for years without taking anything.
The bedbug's bite never goes unnoticed even to a sleeping victim for it is extremely itchy. Other symptoms are swelling and inflammation of the skin in the form of whitish wheals, edema and pain.
"Bedbugs bite the parts of the body which are not covered by night clothing, especially the ankles, wrists, and neck, The bite causes intense itching which leads to scratching and sometimes secondary infection. The appearance of a bedbug bite shows a central puncture spot surrounded by swollen inflamed wheals. The discomfort and disgust caused by this pest may result in mental anguish, particularly in persons who are required by circumstances to continue to sleep in the same infested bed, " said Dr. Morris Fishbein, the late editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association, in his “Popular Illustrated Medical Encyclopedia. " (Next: How to eliminate bedbugs. )
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Sharon Bell is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and published author. Many of her insightful articles can be found at the premier online news magazine http://www.HealthLinesNews.com