Bug Bites and Stings

What are Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are small insects which live in human skin. They feed on blood from humans and other mammals such as cats or dogs. Their bite causes itching, pain, redness and swelling at the site of the bite. The symptoms usually appear within two days after being bitten. Bed bugs may spread disease to humans if they come into contact with them during their life cycle (eggs, larvae) or if they get contaminated with feces from infected individuals. Bed bugs are not considered dangerous to humans unless they bite someone and cause infection.

How many types of bed bugs exist?

There are three main species of bed bugs: Cimex lectularius, Cimex hemipterus and Cimex quinquefasciatus. There are several subspecies of these three species. Some people do not experience any symptoms even though they have been bitten by one or more of the different subspecies. However, it is important to note that all three species are highly infectious and pose a significant health risk to those who become infected.

What is the difference between bed bugs and ants?

Ants are tiny arthropods which live in various parts of the world including North America. Ants are sometimes called “walking bombs” because they carry diseases with them when they move around. They can transmit certain viruses, bacteria, parasites and worms to humans through bites or scratches. They can also contaminate humans with these harmful substances by carrying infectious materials on their body.

One of the main reasons that ants are so dangerous is that they can detect small changes in the environment. They use a combination of their senses of taste, touch and smell to detect humidity, gas leaks, electrical circuits and even electrical devices. Their bite is very painful and causes a burning sensation which can lead to infection if not treated properly.

How are bed bugs and ants different?

Bed bugs are small insects that feed on human blood. They lay hundreds of eggs which hatch into smaller versions of the adult insect after several weeks. These young bed bugs require a few meals of blood in order to mature. Ants can be distinguished from bed bugs by their antennae. Ants have a segmented antenna which consists of a combination of a few joints. Their eyes are located towards the front of their heads. Ants can be distinguished from bed bugs by their eyes, which are located towards the front of their heads.

How do you remove bed bugs?

The best way to get rid of bed bugs is to use a combination of non-chemical and chemical treatments. Many of the non-chemical methods such as extreme heat, steam and vacuuming can help to get rid of bed bugs. You can use non-chemical pesticides to get rid of bed bugs, but these should be used with caution as many of them are toxic to humans. If you choose a chemical treatment, it is important to carefully follow all of the instructions provided on the product packaging.

What are some non-chemical ways to get rid of bed bugs?

Non-chemical tools used to get rid of bed bugs include:

Vacuuming – pick up the bed bugs, eggs and waste with a powerful vacuum. You should also carefully check the vacuum bag after each use in case any bed bugs escape this way.

Laundering – remove the sheets and other fabric items from the infested bed and wash them at high temperature. Dry clean or freeze any items which cannot be washed.

Extreme heat – many insects die when exposed to high temperatures for an extended period of time. In some cases, it may be necessary to seal infested furniture inside a vinyl covering and expose it to very high temperatures. This could be done using a special heater or even by placing the furniture inside your car in the summer.

How can you get rid of bed bugs with chemicals?

There are several ways to get rid of bed bugs using chemicals. You can use spray and powder treatments. Some of these products contain fast-acting poisons which will kill the bed bugs instantly, while others are slower acting but last longer.

What are the health risks from bed bug bites?

The saliva that a bed bug injects into your skin when it bites contains anticoagulants, which prevents your blood from clotting. As a result, the bites of bed bugs often appear as itchy red spots on the skin which may become swollen and blistered. In most cases, people who are bitten by bed bugs do not develop any serious symptoms, but a small number of people may experience an allergic reaction. If you develop severe itching, swelling or a rash, fever or muscle aches you should contact your doctor immediately.

Sources & references used in this article:

Animal bites and stings with anaphylactic potential by JH Klotz, SA Klotz, JL Pinnas – The Journal of emergency medicine, 2009 – Elsevier

Prevention of bug bites, stings, and disease by D Strickman, SP Frances, M Debboun – 2009 – books.google.com

‘Kissing bug’bites. Triatoma species as an important cause of insect bites in the Southwest by PJ Lynch, JL Pinnas – Cutis, 1978 – experts.umn.edu

Got the travel bug? A review of common infections, infestations, bites, and stings among returning travelers by MP Vasievich, JDM Villarreal, KJ Tomecki – American journal of clinical …, 2016 – Springer