T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Bug (Bed bug) Cimex lectularius

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hemiptera
Suborder: Heteroptera
Infraorder: Cimicomorpha
Superfamily: Cimicoidea
Family: Cimicidae
Genus: Cimex
Species: C. lectularius,
Binominal name: Cimex lectularius
Common names: Bed bugs, bed-bugs, bedbugs

Cimex lectularius are blood-sucking human parasites that are found worldwide. They are oval shaped, flat, reddish brown, and up to 5 mm long. Immature bed bugs are smaller than adults and may be translucent to light yellow.

The name "bed bug" derives from the preferred habitat of warm houses and especially near or inside beds and bedding or other sleep areas. Bed bugs are mainly active at night, but are not exclusively nocturnal. They usually feed on their hosts without being noticed.
A number of adverse health effects may result from bed bug bites, including skin rashes, psychological effects, and allergic symptoms. Investigations into potential transmission of HIV, MRSA, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and hepatitis E have not shown that bed bugs can spread these diseases. However, arboviruses may be transmissible.
Cimex lectularius can survive for long periods (e.g. up to one year) without feeding. They often hide in the cracks and crevices of mattresses, bed frames, and other nearby structures. They can travel in furniture, luggage, and clothing, or can migrate through holes in walls, water pipes, or gutters.

Bed bugs generally bite in a linear pattern (a line) on exposed areas of skin such as the face, neck, back, hands and arms. Most patients do not experience a reaction to a bed bug bite, and the only evidence is a tiny punctum (hole) at the site of the bite. When a reaction occurs, the lesions are most commonly 2 to 5 mm red, itchy bumps. If they are not scratched they usually resolve in a week or so.

Cimex lectularius (Common bed bug)
  

Bed bug bites on the back