Bed bugs are insects from the genus Cimex that feed on blood, usually at night. Their bites can result in a number of health impacts including skin rashes, psychological effects, and allergic symptoms. Bed bug bites may lead to skin changes ranging from small areas of redness to prominent blisters. Symptoms may take between minutes to days to appear and itchiness is generally present. Some individuals may feel tired or have a fever. Typically, uncovered areas of the body are affected. Their bites are not known to transmit any infectious disease. Complications may rarely include areas of dead skin or vasculitis.
Bed bug bites are caused primarily by two species of insects: Cimex lectularius (the common bed bug) and Cimex hemipterus, found primarily in the tropics. Their size ranges between 1 and 7 mm. They spread by crawling between nearby locations or by being carried within personal items. Infestation is rarely due to a lack of hygiene but is more common in high-density areas. Diagnosis involves both finding the bugs and the occurrence of compatible symptoms. Bed bugs spend much of their time in dark, hidden locations like mattress seams, or cracks in a wall.
Bed bugs are active only at night, usually just before dawn. During the day, they hide in cracks and crevices. in walls, floors, beds, and furniture. When only a few bed bugs are present, they live close to human sleeping areas; when numerous, they can be found in many rooms of the house. A characteristic “bed bug odor” is frequently present in a home infested with bed bugs.
Despite the fact that the bed bug can acquire many human disease organisms during feeding, there have been no documented cases of disease transmission as a result of bites. However, their bites can produce irritating, itching, and burning sensations. Bed bugs feed rapidly, becoming engorged in less than ten minutes. The act of biting is usually not felt, but later there is an allergic reaction to the protein found in the bed bug’s saliva. A colorless wheal or lump develops at the bite location; in contrast, flea bites have reddish centers.
CONTROL AND MANAGEMENT MEASURES:
Bed bugs become established in structures when they hitch a ride in boxes, baggage, furniture, bedding, laundry, and in and on clothing worn by people coming from infested sites. Poultry workers can carry bed bugs to their residences from their places of work.