A long common story
Bed bugs love people. But that love is unrequited, to say the least. The fact is that many people do not consider bed bug bites the worst aspect of an infestation, the psychological trauma is actually even worse. Something that can linger a long time after a decontamination.
The bites are not harmful to the majority of people, and from what we know today, bed bugs cannot spread disease. But they can cause rashes or blisters, which cause itching and discomfort. Some people can suffer severe allergic reaction.
What are bed bugs?
Although called bed bugs, they are actually “true bugs” (Hemiptera). An adult bed bug is reddish brown in colour, flat and the same size as a flax seed. They have five stages of development and need to suck blood at least once between each stage in order to develop. Bed bugs are obligatory (strict) bloodsuckers, as they can only survive on blood. After a meal of blood, an adult bed bug can grow as large as an apple pip. Bed bugs need to eat to grow and reproduce. They can only survive on blood and females usually lay between 5 and 8 eggs per day. Nymphs in the primary stages have most difficulty surviving without blood, whilst adult bed bugs can survive without food for longer than a year by sleeping. It is almost impossible to starve a bed bug out.
In addition to itching, bed bugs can cause different types of rashes, including blisters, and in rare cases, severe allergic reactions. They can also cause insomnia, anxiety, and in the long run, Entomophobia (the phobia of insects). Anyone affected by any of these should seek professional medical help.