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By Dr. Abdul Rauf

12Th August 2018

Bedbug Bedbugs have been known as human parasites for thousands of years. At a point in the early 1940s, they were mostly eradicated in the developed world, but have increased its prevalence since 1995. Because infestation of human habitats has been on the increase, bedbug bites and related conditions have been on the rise as well.

Bedbugs are elusive and usually nocturnal (peak activity usually occurs between 10:00pm – 6:00 am.), which can make their detection difficult. They often lodge in dark crevices, and the tiny adhesive eggs can be nestled by the hundreds in fabric seams. A side from bite symptoms, signs include fecal spots (small dark sand like droppings that occur in patches around and especially beneath nests), blood smears on sheets (fecal spots that are rewetted will smear like fresh blood), and the presence of their empty molted exoskeletons.

Although bed bugs can be found singly, they tend to congregate once established.  Although they are strictly parasitic, they spend only a tiny fraction of their life cycle physically attached to their hosts. Once feeding is complete, a bed bug will relocate to a place close to a known host, commonly in or near beds or couches in clusters of adults, juveniles, and eggs which entomologists call harborage areas or simply harborages to which the insect will return after future feeding by following chemical trails.  These places can vary greatly in format, including luggage, inside of vehicles, within furniture, amongst bedside clutter, even inside electrical sockets and nearby laptop computers.

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