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Bed Bug Information Part 2

Written by Paul J. Bello, author of The Bed Bug Combat Manual

This list of practical and useful things to know about bed bugs was written specifically with the many bed bug victims, hospitality professionals, property management professionals and pest management professionals in mind. Please note that these bits of information were gleaned from years of first hand field experience in dealing with bed bugs and working with industry colleagues across the country. They are presented to you the reader in an effort to assist you with your current bed bug concerns.

Part 2; 26-50

26. Newly hatched bed bugs are translucent, may appear shiny and milky white to slightly yellowish in color making them difficult to see on light color mattress, bedding materials and other such surfaces.

27. Bed bug eggs can be about the same size as one stitch of sewn mattress fabric.

28. Much like mosquitoes, bed bugs suck blood from their host victims. These blood meals are sucked in through the piercing sucking mouthparts at the "north end" and once digested are expelled out the œsouth end as a dark ink-like appearing fecal liquid.

29. Reportedly alcohol, such as rubbing alcohol, kills bed bugs on contact.

30. At the time of this writing there are no independent university research trial proven bed bug repellent products currently available.

31. There are no effective university research proven "sonic electronic" type repelling devices to rid your dwelling of bed bugs currently available at the time of this writing. However, this doesn't prevent the consuming public from buying a surprising number of these sonic pest repelling devices each year.

32. Bed bug eggs hatch in about three to five days depending upon a number of factors, including temperature and resource availability. Again, your mileage may vary.

33. Generally speaking, bed bugs spend most of their time hiding.

34. Not all people react to bed bug bites in an equivalent manner and it's possible that while some family members react that others may not.

35. Bed bugs prefer to hide in undisturbed areas.

36. When viewed from the side, bed bugs are built rather flat and adult bed bugs can be thinner than the thickness of a normal business card.

37. It's a "wives tale" that bed bugs "bite in a line" or "along a vein". Bed bug bites may appear to be in a line because of where the bed bugs were located at when they bit the victim such as along the area where the victim's body was laying on the bed. Bed bugs resting on the mattress, sheet or other surface where the host's body contacts that surface may then appear to have bitten in a line.

38. Generally speaking, bed bugs avoid crawling on their host when seeking a blood meal. This kinda-sorta makes sense because in doing so the bed bug may inadvertently awaken the host which would very likely result in its demise.

39. It seems that bed bugs do not bite where the body is covered by clothing or pajamas however, it is possible for bed bugs to crawl underneath loose fitting garments.

40. Adult bed bugs are about 1/4 of an inch long by about 3/16 inch wide, your mileage may vary.

41. As a snake does, bed bugs must molt or shed their skin to grow to the next stage of development ( entomologists call these stages an œinstar ) until they become adults.

42. Shed skins may be found in bed bug harborages or other areas and can be a tell tale sign of the presence of bed bugs.

43. Bed bugs must have a blood meal to molt or grow to the next instar or stage of development. If you find multi stages of bed bug development at your location along with the typical fecal staining present, guess what; that's probably your blood !

44. Bed bugs go through five instars to become adults. This means adult bed bugs in your house may have fed upon you, your guests or your family members at least five times if they started off there as first instar immatures.

45. There are no "albino bed bugs" (nor are their albino cockroaches either). Immature bed bugs may appear light in color after molting and get their dark rusty red color after feeding or taking a blood meal.

46. A bed bug's abdomen (the hind end area) grows many times its original size as it takes in your blood. Just check out one of the popular bed bug feeding videos now widely available online.

47. Based on their size, bed bugs are capable of hiding nearly anywhere within a hotel room, apartment, dorm room, home or any such place.

48. Where do bed bugs come from?  The short answer is mommy & daddy bed bugs.  However, people get bed bugs from being at places where bed bugs are.

49. Bed bugs reproduce via a process entomologists call œtraumatic insemination.  This term is used because the male actually pierces the abdomen of the female to inseminate her. The University of Florida, Department of Entomology has published excellent photos of this.

50. During traumatic insemination the male climbs atop the female and wraps the tip of his abdomen around and toward the underside of the female where he inserts his reproductive appendage known as a paramere. The female bed bug is pierced where an inverted œv-shaped invagination is present in the margin of one of her abdominal sclerites. Spongy tissues within her abdomen at the insemination site serve to prevent the female from suffering lethal fluid loss. The male bed bug must then mow the lawn, clean the garage or basement as he promised prior to this event taking place.

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