What You Need To Know About The Different Types Of Bed Bugs
Not many people know that there are numerous types of bed bugs. Yet it is more important to know about bed bugs in your home as some species of these creatures are immune when it comes to certain treatments.
The main bed bugs include Cimex lectularius (common bed bugs), and Cimex hemipterus (topical bed bugs). There are many other species linked to the Cimex genus that mainly feed on birds and bats. Cimex includes more than just the genus of bed bugs. In fact, there are many more, and a few with several species.
Yet, most of these do not feed off humans. Each species looks very similar when compared to others, and they are all genetically related. All these species leave a bite mark and feed off blood.
How Many Species Of Bed Bugs Are There?
The common types of bed bugs belong to the genus Cimex. This genus form a part Hemiptera, which are regarded as true bugs rather than insects.
Many of these species do not feed on the blood of humans. In the genus Cimex, there are only two species classified as “bed bugs”. These include the Cimex hemipterus and Cimex lectularius. These are the species that are commonly referred to as common bed bugs and the topical bed bug.
The rest of the genus Cimex species are not known for feeding off people. They will not come into homes and they are even hard to find or detect in their natural habitats.
These species include bat bugs, swallow bugs and more. In addition to the genus Cimex, there are other genera that are also regarded as bed bugs. These include:
Species within each genus may feed off blood and look like bed bugs, but most of these species will rarely interact or come into contact with humans.
Only the 2 species that are found in homes of humans are classified as “true bed bugs”.
– Cimex Lectularius – Common Bed Bugs
Cimex lectularius is a species of bed bugs that are the most common in the U.S and across the world. The population of these bed bugs has steadily increased since the 1990s. Today, they are in all the states of the U.S, and most European countries.
This type of bed bug is:
- Around the size of apple seeds
- Pointed on one end, and round at the other
- Dark brown
- Broad and flat
- Slightly hairy
They also have 6 medium-sized legs, 2 that come straight out, and 4 that point to the back. They feed on blood through straws similar to mosquitos.
These bed bugs are attracted to enclosed and dark spaces. This includes mattresses, under furniture, and cracks in floorboards or walls. Once they have found a safe and suitable space they start to lay eggs and then live in extremely large aggregations.
– Cimex Hemipterus – Topical Bed Bugs
The topical bed bug is very similar to the common bed bug. The primary difference between the two is that the topical bed bug prefers subtropical and tropical habitats, where it is warmer.
More specifically this species is found 30 degrees latitudinally south and north of the equator. This makes it a more common species in South America, Africa, and Asia. However, this species is also found in any other regions where the climate is warm enough.
The Cimex hemipterus look very similar to common bed bugs. They are rounded, brown, flat, and similar in size. The infestations also look very similar, along with the shells and feces that these bugs leave behind. Their physical differences are very slight and just about unnoticeable.
The topical bed bug also behaves similarly to the common bed bug. They also look for enclosed and small spaces, like mattresses, crevices, and cracks.
You would need pest controllers with experience or microscopes in order to detect the differences. Topical bed bugs are currently the 2nd most common species found in the U.S. This species was just about eradicated (made extinct) in the 1940s in the U.S. through the widespread use of DDT. In fact, even the common bed bug was eradicated at this time.
However, this species was reintroduced again to Florida in 2016. They were initially identified by researchers from the University of Florida. They have gone onto spread all over the southern U.S, where temperatures are warm enough for them to thrive.
The Most Popular Products Used To Treat Bed Bugs
Many people that go through the experience of a bed bug infestation often want to know about products for bed bugs that actually work. Aside from hiring the services of pest control experts that deal with bed bug infestations, there are many effective products on the market to choose from.
Here is a list of some of the popular products used to treat bed bugs:
1. Bed Bug Sprays
These sprays are among the top DIY bed bug treatments currently available. These sprays are either Pyrethroid or insecticide based, alcohol-based, or 100% organic and herbal. The sprays are further broken down in Aerosol sprays or Liquid sprays. The aerosol sprays are designed to leave residual actions behind that means the spray remains active for many days after the first spray. The liquid sprays are designed to work on direct contact.
2. Bed Bug Dust Or Powders
The powders and dust option for bed bugs provide a residual effect that often lasts for several weeks or even months. When the bed bugs come into contact with these treatments the molecular shards in the dust or powder rip up the insides of the bugs. The powders offer long-term protection from a further infestation.
3. Bed Bug Foggers And Bombs
These treatments involve the use of aerosol insecticides and propellants. Many of them contain an ingredient known as pyrethrin that is released into room. This is an effective method of getting into areas that are inaccessible to eliminate a bed bug infestation.