Scientists discover oldest bed bug

“Scientists discover oldest bed bug.” For about as long as humans have been living, bugs have been infesting our beds. In a study in the Journal of Medical Entomology, researchers present evidence of the oldest bed bugs ever discovered. Tiny fragments of the insidious insects have been found in archaeological sites from some 5,000 to 11,000 years ago.
Cimex lectularius and Cimex hemipterus, the species that haunt our nightmares (and sometimes, if we’re really unlucky, our apartments) are thought to have split from their close relatives at least 98,000 years ago. Indeed, predating modern humans, who only hit the scene 200,000 years ago.

How to check for bed bugs.

Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) feast on the blood of mammals. They are small, wingless insects with a flat body that is ideal for hiding in small places called harbourages. Human blood is the bed bug’s favourite food but they enjoy feasting on pets and rodents. The bed bug is primarily active at night.  During the day, the bed bugs hide in cracks in furniture and skirting boards. Bed bugs are difficult to track down.

H2 Distribution and Habitat.

Bedbugs are found worldwide. They occur  throughout towns and cities but they are most commonly found in densely populated inner city areas.  Bed bugs have become increasingly prevalent in hotels and hostels. In the 1940’s, bed bugs were close to eradication in developed countries. The recent resurgence in bed bug numbers has been attributed to increased rates of migration, international travel, changes in pest control practises and insecticide resistance. In addition, the widespread introduction of central heating has extended the limit of bed bug distribution into areas with colder climate. 

H2 Life Cycle and Biology of bed bugs.

Bed bugs follow the egg – nymph – adult life cycle. The female produces up to 200 eggs. The eggs will hatch when the atmospheric temperature reaches a consistent 13 degrees celsius and above. The resultant nymphs will take an average of four months to develop. A mature bed bug can live for several months without feeding. However, when they have the opportunity to feed the bugs can ingest eight times their own body weight in blood.

H2 Evidence of a bad bug infestation 

Bed bugs have a distinctive smell. At low levels of infestation the smell is said to resemble that of coriander. Hence, the bed bug was once called the bed bug.This odour is quickly identified by the professionals from The adult bed bug is about the size and shape of an apple seed. Additional physical evidence includes blood spatters and brown fecal matter.

Bed bugs cannot fly or jump but they are quick crawlers and they can spread through a house. Furthermore, bed bugs can move from place to place by hitching a ride on a host. 

H2 Interactions with humans

Bed bugs have not been identified as carriers of disease. However, their bites cause irritation, moreover, in some cases the bites may cause an allergic reaction. Medical advice for treating bug bites includes:

  1. Treat itching and swelling with a cool damp cloth.
  2. Clean the affected area.
  3. Avoid infection by not scratching the bites.
  4. After seeking medical advice use a mild steroid cream.
  5. Treat any irritation and itching with antihistamines.

However, bed bug bites will clear up on their own after a few days. 

H2 Prevention of bedbug infestations.

  • Clean your mattress using a steam cleaner. Superheated low moisture steam is ideal for sanitising mattresses and soft furnishings. A high quality steam cleaner will remove bed bugs and dust mites. In addition, stains from bodily fluids will be cleaned and the quality of the homeowners sleep will be improved.  This cleaning process should be repeated every two to three months. Allow your mattress to air and fully dry outside, ideally in sunlight, as ultraviolet light will aid the cleaning process.
  • Avoid buying second hand furniture and soft furnishings.
  • Washed used clothing and dry in a tumble drier using a high setting.
  • On arrival, check your holiday accommodation.
  • Have an expert from check out a new home before moving in. 
  • Clean and vacuum regularly. Bed bugs are found in both clean and dirty environments, but regular cleaning will help with early detection.
  • Declutter your bedroom.
  • Replace your mattress regularly.
  • Use protective covers on mattresses.
  • Use scented water around your house. Spray luggage and outerwear before and during stays in holiday accommodation. Essential oils that repel bugs include clove, lemongrass, peppermint, tea tree and eucalyptus.

H2 Bed bug control.

H3 Control by the homeowner.

This is not the kind of infestation that should be dealt with by the homeowner. However, you can take steps to help prepare your home for the pest control expert:

  • Dispose of magazines and newspapers.
  • Remove clothing.
  • Remove any storage boxes.
  • Move your bed at least one metre away from the walls.

H3 Professional bedbug infestation control. technicians will assess the infestation in conjunction with the homeowner. Thoroughness is the key because of the ability of the bugs to hide away in harbourages. Firstly, dispose of, or heat sterilise, bedding, soft furnishings and mattresses. The whole structure of a room will then have to be treated with a broad spectrum residual insecticide. The technicians will focus on bed frames, skirting boards, switches and any cracks in the walls and flooring. In addition, there may be a need for repeat treatments as studies have shown that some populations of bed bugs are insecticide resistant. 

Finally, any possible harbourages should be treated with a residual crevice insecticide and sealed.

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