What Do Bed Bugs Eat?

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The bed bug does not have teeth they can’t eat. Bed bugs only drink blood. Bed bugs use both humans and bats blood as a food source. 

“They survive blood of mammals however, they can’t reproduce without bats blood so both are necessary for them to survive and reproduce at the same time.”

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This makes them the worst enemy of human civilization for thousands of years. There it is very important to first identify which species of bed bugs you have in the case of bat bug infestation, you might need a different strategy. 

Type of bed bug species found most commonly called Cimex lectularius suck human blood and they are infamous for invading 70% of houses in the United States. 

Bed bug can’t eat wood! This is the common myth due to its name “ Bed” and the reason they are found in beds, furniture, etc. Usually, people think they eat wood but this isn’t the reality. Bed bugs live close to humans to survive.  

They hide in cracks and crevices, mattress and beneath your bed during the day and are active at night. You would probably see bed bug infestation near to places/tools humans use frequently.

Bed Bug Infestation In Empty Houses

You might be wondering if bed bugs can’t survive without human blood, why we often see infestation in empty houses without humans. 

According to University of California, Bed bugs can live almost one year without a supply of blood. This makes them extremely hard to control. That is the reason why treating bed bug is the most expensive service in the pest control industry. 

Bed bugs are mostly found in public places. For example Hotels, movie theaters, bus stations, and hospitals. 

There are some species of bed bugs who can only survive on mammal or birds blood. Bed bug bites can result in skin rashes (in rare cases) some psychological effects include nightmares, flashbacks, hypervigilance (to keep the bugs away), insomnia, anxiety, avoidance behaviors, and personal dysfunction. 

These symptoms are suggestive of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Source: A study on Psychological Effects of Bed Bug Attacks by the American journal of medicine.

The study analyzed the content of 135 blog posts and social media statues reporting bed bug bites or infestation. The contents were checked against PTSD checklist and they found 80% of the posts were negative as per PTSD checklist. That’s unbelievable.

Why Bed Bugs Can’t Eat?

They do not have teeth or mouth to eat! They only have a long needle-type straw which they used to suck the blood out of humans. Bed bugs aren’t the only insect who can’t eat there are hundreds of different species of insect who can’t eat. 

List of Blood Sucking Insects. 

That’s pretty much it. if you are having a severe bed bug infestation, I’d recommend hiring professional bed bug exterminator who has experience dealing with bed bugs. The complex biology of bed bugs makes them very hard to control. And due to less entomological knowledge in these pest control people, it makes bed bug infestation even worse. 

Regardless of technological advancement and sophisticated equipment, we are still losing the battle. The recent increase in bed bug population in developed countries is alarming. This is due to frequent travel to third world countries by Americans. 

Thinking of home remedy to get rid of bed bugs. My answer would be No! Home remedies won’t work. Especially if the infestation is high. If you have a low infestation you can use these strategies ( like washing, heating) to get some control.

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