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Bedbug facts for kids

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Bed bug, Cimex lectularius.jpg
Cimex lectularius
Scientific classification

Latreille, 1802
Subfamilies, Genera & Species

Subfamily Afrociminae

  • Genus Afrocimex
    • Afrocimex constrictus

Subfamily Cimicinae

  • Genus Bertilia
  • Genus Cimex
    • Cimex adjunctus
    • Cimex antennatus
    • Cimex brevis
    • Cimex columbarius
    • Cimex incrassatus
    • Cimex latipennis
    • Cimex lectularius
    • Cimex hemipterus (C. rotundatus)
    • Cimex pilosellus
    • Cimex pipistrella
  • Genus Oeciacus
    • Oeciacus hirundinis
    • Oeciacus vicarius
  • Genus Paracimex
  • Genus Propicimex

Subfamily Cacodminae

  • Genus Aphrania
  • Genus Cacodomus
  • Genus Crassicimex
  • Genus Leptocimex
    • Leptocimex boueti
  • Genus Loxaspis
  • Genus Stricticimex

Subfamily Haematosiphoninae

  • Genus Caminicimex
  • Genus Cimexopsis
    • Cimexopsis nyctalis
  • Genus Haematosiphon
    • Haematosiphon inodorus
  • Genus Hesperocimex
    • Hesperocimex coloradensis
    • Hesperocimex sonorensis
  • Genus Ornithocoris
    • Ornithocoris pallidus
    • Ornithocoris toledoi
  • Genus Psitticimex
  • Genus Synxenoderus
    • Synxenoderus comosus

Subfamily Latrocimicinae

  • Genus Latrocimex

Subfamily Primicimicinae

  • Genus Bucimex
  • Genus Primicimex
    • Primicimex cavernis

A bedbug (or bed bug) is a small, elusive, parasitic insect of the family Cimicidae. They live by feeding on the blood of humans and other warm-blooded animals. The name 'bed bug' is used as the bug likes to live in houses, and especially in beds or other areas where people may sleep. Bedbugs are mainly active at night and can feed without people noticing. They leave a small itchy bite, like a mosquito.

Bed Bug bites

Bedbug bites

The bites of fleas, spiders, mosquito and bed bugs causes similar symptoms but there are a few differences that may help you find out the true cause.

Bed bug's bites mainly show up in groups or line formations due to the bed bug's nature to feed more than once in the same area. They appear on body parts that are exposed during the sleep, like hands, feet, neck. Those bites cause intense itching for a few days after appearing.

Flea's bites are smaller and more pinkish, the ones caused by spiders are mostly big, isolated single bites revealing pierced skin. Mosquitoes' bites are more pale and the itching gradually disappear after few hours.

There are herbal and chemical ways of removing Bed Bugs bites.

Fortunately Bed Bugs don't transit any diseases, however sometimes they can cause some serious allergic reactions.

Taking a shower under semi-warm running water and cleaning affected areas is advised for fast relief from the itching and discomfort caused by the bites.

Life stages

Bed bugs have five immature nymph life stages and a final sexually mature adult stage. They shed their skins through ecdysis at each stage, discarding their outer exoskeleton, which is somewhat clear, empty exoskeletons of the bugs themselves. Bed bugs must molt six times before becoming fertile adults, and must consume at least one blood meal to complete each molt.

Each of the immature stages lasts about a week, depending on temperature and the availability of food, and the complete lifecycle can be completed in as little as two months (rather long compared to other ectoparasites). Fertilized females with enough food lay three to four eggs each day continually until the end of their lifespans (about nine months under warm conditions), possibly generating as many as 500 eggs in this time. Genetic analysis has shown that a single pregnant bed bug, possibly a single survivor of eradication, can be responsible for an entire infestation over a matter of weeks, rapidly producing generations of offspring.

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