Bedbugs Live Good and Horny Lives off Their Human Hosts
By Frank Parlato
The insect known as the bedbug, a smallish creature, growing in length to about a quarter of an inch, prefers a diet of human blood.
These cute critters, whose Latin name is Cimex lectularius, are active at night, while its customers sleep, and by day live inside beds, bedding, furniture, walls, and cozy nooks inside your house.
Bedbugs prefer exposed skin, preferably your face, neck and arms, although your legs are not necessarily an unhappy choice for the hungry creatures that depend on your blood to survive.
To consume it, the bedbug pierces your skin with its "beak" and injects two hollow tubes into you. One injects saliva with anesthetics and anticoagulants and the other sucks out blood.
Bedbugs fill up with blood in about 10 minutes.
Bedbugs like to eat together and will bite in rows, lining up along a fold on a sheet, all feeding at the same time, similar to cattle at a trough, along the same vein.
Sensitive to your movements, the bugs will stop feeding if you twitch while sleeping, take a few lateral steps, wait for stillness, and start sucking your blood again.
Each bedbug in your home will spend about 10 to 20 minutes with you once a week, sucking your blood while you sleep, leaving you alone the rest of the time. Bedbugs tend not to travel more than 100 feet from their host, and, if all goes well, a bedbug will spend his or her entire life - about nine months - near you when you sleep, coming out about 40 times before dying and leaving as many as 500 offspring to carry on a wondrous legacy.
Just like a faithful dog or a spouse, bedbugs will try to always remain near you.
Unfortunately, while bedbugs enjoy a moist meal of human blood, sometimes their hosts do not enjoy the experience and get skin rashes, allergic symptoms, red welts, and blisters from feeding the voracious parasites. The itch is caused from a reaction to the bedbugs' spit.
The presence of bedbugs in your home might be revealed by small, dark, sand-like droppings found in patches or blood smears on your bed sheets - this is, in fact, their fecal matter - and - since the insect molts - their exoskeletons - found dappled around your bedroom.
You might also smell them. Bedbugs smell like rotting raspberries.
Although bedbugs can be found alone, they are a gregarious creature that love to live - not unlike the hippie - in communes, and love nothing more than to copulate with one and all - and increase their clan, especially if you are gracious enough to feed them regularly.
Once a feeding is complete, a bedbug will retire to his or her communal home - or harborage - which might be in or near your bed or couch, in a thriving community of adults, juveniles, and eggs. Indeed you may be able to host hundreds of the creatures in a single night, each one taking a helping of your nutritious and satisfying blood.
In appearance, adult bedbugs are light brown to reddish-brown, flattened, oval-shaped and have front wings which are vestigial and no hind wings. Newly hatched nymphs are beautifully translucent, lighter in color and become browner as they molt and reach maturity.
A bedbug that has just consumed a blood meal will have a lustrous, red, translucent abdomen which will fade to brown over the next several hours and within two days will become opaque and black as the insect digests its meal.
Bedbugs' movements are ant-like, and they emit a disagreeable odor when crushed.
Try not to step on them.
Overall, bedbugs live a happy life where they consume blood, digest it, sleep and have loads of sex. Males are smaller than females and somehow the male finds a large, blood-engorged female incredibly attractive. Anytime he can, he will mount one, the bigger the better, and putting his head over her left shoulder, he does something that seems to please her, for she certainly does not resist. Maybe she cannot. After mounting her, he uses his penis in a most surprising way.
It is shaped like a lance, and the tip has a sharp, dagger-like point, and, while avoiding her genitals, the male pierces her abdomen and ejaculates into her body cavity.
The sperm travels into the female’s circulatory system, ultimately ending up in bags attached to her ovaries.
After copulation, the male moves on to find the next, suitable blood rich female.
By the simple law of near numerical equality of the sexes, soon enough another male arrives to spear the recently speared, blood engorged female.
Meantime, the female stores the sperm of each male in these handy ovarian bags and, the average female bedbug will copulate with as many as ten males during the first 36 hours after a meal. Since the last sperm in is usually the first to make it to the ovaries; the last male to mate with a female gets to father the offspring.
Therefore the males engage in what could be called a sperm competition. Instead of trying to be first, they try to be last, as they go about copulating with females, mating between 20 times the amount necessary for the female to fertilize and produce the maximum number of eggs.
In fact males so like copulating with blood engorged bedbugs that a male will mount any freshly fed partner regardless of sex. Sometimes male bedbugs will copulate with other males piercing each other in the abdomen.
Meantime, fertilized females, with a regular supply of human blood, will lay three to four eggs every day, generating as many as 500 eggs in a lifetime.
To eradicate bedbugs, one can use pesticide or non pesticide approaches such as vacuuming up the little insects and heat treating or wrapping mattresses. While cockroaches, ants, spiders, mites and centipedes like nothing more than to eat bedbugs and can be introduced into the home to rid a house of bedbugs, some people feel that these creatures, once introduced, are less enjoyable than the bedbugs they consume.
Individuals who do not enjoy hosting the hungry creatures, however, are encouraged to call a professional pest control service to evict them from the house through their mass and brutal murder through chemical warfare.
Still, bedbugs aren't dangerous like mosquitoes and fleas, who can carry disease. All they really want to do is just to sup on your superfluous blood and go home and have sex with ten or more partners.
|Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr.||www.niagarafallsreporter.com||
SEP 24, 2013