The common bed bug is a resilient and adaptable species that can be found in locations all across the world. They favour temperate climates and are well suited to survive in areas inhabited and developed by humans.
Since the species is spread out over such a wide range there are many different types of bed bugs. Those listed below are common in Canada, as well as in other parts of the world.
The exact type of bed bug is difficult to determine because of their small size. Accurate identification will require visual magnification of the specimen. Identification is important because not all methods are effective on all types of bed bugs. Obviously, an infestation should not be allowed to continue so it is best to consult local pest control services or other specialists when dealing with bed bugs in your home.
Types of Bed Bugs
Types of bed bugs are categorized based on their preferred food source as well as the region or climate they inhabit. However, most bed bugs will bite humans if they move into a human household and their preferred food source is unavailable to them.
Types of bed bugs include the tropical bed bug and Mexican Chicken bug. Both these types will feed on humans if necessary but the Mexican Chicken bug prefers chickens or other types of poultry.
Bat bugs will feed off of bats and Barn Swallow bugs take up residence in birds’ nests. However, since swallows migrate they carry this type of bed bug with them to a variety of locations. If they nest near a populated area the bugs are likely to move into human residences.
Bed Bug Bites
Bed bugs subsist on a diet comprised completely of blood, which they gather by biting other, larger animals. They prefer to feed at night while the target sleeps. Using a large beak-like protrusion, they pierce the skin and lap up the blood that wells out. These bed bug bites are so small that they do not cause noticeable pain, allowing the bed bug to feed for up to 10 minutes at a time without waking up the unaware donor.
However, they inject an anticoagulant into the area which prevents the blood from congealing and the puncture from closing for a short amount of time. This substance is what causes the itching and irritation bed bug bites are known for. Often, these do not occur until several hours after the “donor” has been bitten.
Bed bug bites are not lethal, however humans can have allergic reactions of varying severity. This depends on the individual as well as the number of bites sustained and in what time span.