What are Bed Bugs? What diseases do they cause?

Much is said about them, especially because they cause diseases in humans such as Chagas disease. But few people really know what bed bugs are, the types of chinchces that exist, their habits, food and more.

That is why in today’s article we will begin to explore the fantastic world of bed bugs, and the first thing we will answer is the following question: What are bed bugs?

Table of Contents hide ]

  • 1What are Bed Bugs?
  • 2The Bed Bug
  • 3Etiology of bed bugs
    • 1How can I differentiate the bed bug bite from other insects?
  • 4Dangers of Bed Bugs
    • 1What is Chagas disease of bed bugs?
  • 5Effective bed bug control and elimination
  • 6conclusion

What are Bed bugs?

The bedbug is a mainly parasitic insect of the Cimicidae family of the Hemiptera order that feeds on blood and has a parasitic life, a type of interspecific relationship where one of the species will be highly favored while the other will be weakened or affected. in a negative way. This is because the bed bug feeds on the blood of its hosts.

It has a way of life with nocturnal habits having several hosts such as pigeons, rats, mice, bats, among other animals .

They can also be found in bedding, boxes, suitcases, clothes that we collect from our garden clotheslines that are infected with this insect. In this way they come into contact with human skin, producing the stinging sting due to the saliva of this insect.

What is really dangerous is that in the presence of this bite, normally no human and even some professionals can differentiate it from other everyday ones such as mosquitoes. There is still no evidence that exactly proves the origin of the Chinche but there are theories that associate its emergence (C. lectularius), in Middle Eastern lands, more precisely in other animals such as bats or even humans that lived in caves.

Everything seems to indicate that C. lectularius spread throughout Europe, being discovered in Greece initially by Aristotle and later France, Italy, Germany among other countries. Given its discovery in France in 1583, it is believed that its dissemination may not have begun after the 16th century.

Anatomically, the Chinche has a dorso-ventral flattening as its main characteristic. Within the Cimex species, variations in coloration can be observed that go from a brownish to a reddish color depending on its evolutionary stage and feeding. Usually freshly fed, adults tend to have an intense reddish coloration.

They are about 0.5 to 7 mm long by 2.05 mm wide. It should be noted that females are larger than males, which makes them easier to identify. The Cimex is a heterometabolous with incomplete metamorphosis, another morphological characteristic to be highlighted is that they are large corridors, they do not have wings but they can move very quickly across surfaces.

It has a three-stage metamorphosis egg, nymph, adult. The life cycle in optimal conditions of temperature and humidity can last about 5 weeks. Females can lay a maximum of 12 eggs per day; the eggs hatch between 4 and 10 days.

Regarding the feeding processes, it is crucial that the nymph takes a first blood draw, being essential to be able to make the molt that allows it to move to the next stage.

The bed bug

As previously named, the cimex species is also called bed bug and usually has a domestic location, in fact they are very skilled at inhabiting unlikely places as household appliances if necessary. The name bed bug is that they detect levels of CO2 emanating from men as well as body temperature, being the bed where their victim is resting the place suitable for the attack.

Bed Bugs have great problems with temperatures since a temperature above 55 degrees cannot survive while a temperature below 10 or 12 degrees produces such a slowdown in their metabolism that it is unviable for their life. Perhaps this is the reason why homes, clothing and their affinity for the different types of textile fibers are suitable for their development in addition to their proximity to humans and other animals .

The flattened body of the Chinche allows it to get into very narrow crevices and spaces at night, where they are more active. There are ways to identify an invasion of Bedbugs in the home since their fecal matter usually stains the whites as well as we can find egg shells and nymph molts in them.

Bed bug etiology

The characteristics of infections by this parasitic insect is that the user always receives one or more bites.

The lack of association of the bite with the insect that causes it is due to several reasons: firstly it is nocturnal insects, therefore it is difficult to find, the lack of knowledge of the characteristics of bed bug populations, the presence of a sting that in most cases is painless among others.

When you sleep or live in the same places and the bites become frequent, whether or not they are painless, that is when humans begin to think about the possibility that said spots do not belong to mosquitoes, fleas or others.

Within the clinical picture of the bites we find pictures of large local allergies that cover many more centimeters of the affected area, the same usually being shoulders, lower and upper limbs and thorax.

Initially, the sting is painless, but as the days go by, the stinging begins to appear, the sting or stings become reddish and with a higher temperature, a sign of the intense work carried out by the immune system causing local fever. The lesion has various forms and may be due to the group of bed bugs that made unsuccessful attempts to bite a similar area.

In rare cases, symptoms such as asthma and anaphylaxis may occur, which are related to a chemical reaction to the saliva secreted by the insect at the time of the bite.

How can I tell the difference between a bed bug bite and other insects?

Ideally, take into account the characteristics of the condition for: mosquito bite, spider bite, chickenpox, scabies, allergy to certain foods, drug reaction, dermatitis herpetiformis, pemphigus herpetiformis to compare and eliminate variables and characters of the lesion .

Sometimes the bite can still have the bed bug feeding since the blood supply takes several minutes, especially in the nymph state (15 to 10 minutes), so if the capture is achieved and engulfed in a container of the same it would be of great relief for a better and faster diagnosis and prevention of possible transmitted diseases.

There are reports of homes that were massively infected that they can cause strong changes in human behavior such as anxiety, delusions, anxiety and depression due to factors such as lack of sleep and good rest.

Dangers of Bed Bugs

Studies and bibliographies on the bed bug C. Lectularius date from diseases that they can transmit, that is, they are not only responsible for stinging bites among other conditions in order to look for food but also in the same process of fluid exchange with the human being. Humans can transmit diseases ranging from serious to fatal.

They tested positive for transmission at an experimental level, which does not detract from its merit, but it does generate a real uncertainty as to whether they are responsible for the transmission of Chagas disease or hepatitis B.

What is Chagas disease from bed bugs?

American trypanosomiasis is the scientific name for the Chagas disease, it is caused by a parasite called trypanosoma cruzi. It is one of the most frequent diseases that Central America has today and is linked to the socio-economic conditions of the inhabitants since it is frequent that villagers in the area live in huts and that the health of coats or clothing of different types of thread are not frequently neat.

This parasite is transmitted mainly by insects, including the Cimex Bug. This disease has two phases, the first one that does not present relevant symptoms, an acute phase where the host presents abdominal pain, fatigue, dizziness and nausea, while during the chronic phase these parasites that already circulate in a massive way through the bloodstream begin to take places like the heart muscle among others causing multiple systemic and organic failures.

The problem that Central America also faces with respect to Cimex is the cost of treating chagas disease, since it requires a strong deworming for a long time and this battle must be fought on a budget. The disease tends to have reactivations of foci very quickly and the priority is to stop the transmission congenitally and in immunosuppressed patients.

Effective bed bug control and elimination

As mentioned above, one of the most outstanding aspects of the bedbugs’ way of life is that they have problems with the temperature for their survival, since at a temperature above 55 degrees they cannot survive as well as very high temperatures. Low metabolic failures occur that also prevent their survival.

This could be a chemical-free way to eradicate this insect. The problem is that it also has the characteristic that they are skilled runners, therefore the heat must be of impact and quickly, not allowing it to escape, which is extremely difficult.

The application of external antiparasitics to our pets is also a preventive measure in addition to the spraying of homes with chemical products and the application of heat. Even so, as a first control measure, information should be considered since it is not known to identify the bites or their existence within the home, there is no awareness of the risk of transmission of diseases such as Chagas disease.

With regard to Chagas disease: improvements in controls and the existence of blood banks that check the blood prior to being transfused and the donor is notified of the presence of the parasite. Screening tests of organs and tissues that are going to be donated prior to the donation. Improvements in the health and hygiene conditions of the populations at risk are also essential to find the foci where there is a greater presence of this insect.

The spraying and fumigation of houses and perimeters of houses, identification and treatment of newborns of mothers that are invaded by the parasite and have not been treated for their corresponding treatment in the first phase. Border controls such as the requirement for certificates that verify the correct state of health of the traveler to reduce the spread of the parasite.

With regard to Uruguay, it is common to see more water bugs on the coasts than bed bugs, since Uruguay has applied controls and contingencies against invasions of them for many years. We have a wide range of fumigation and pest control companies as well as hard work from the Ministry of Public Health in controlling transfusion medicine centers as well as hospitals.


Frequent consultation of new bibliographies regarding Bed Bug and especially bed bug is crucial, since many of them contain very ambiguous conclusions and data on their epidemiology and clinical data on bites.

The truth is that the existence of the Bed Bug is tremendously underestimated in many countries over all those that have had improvements in their health systems and sanitary and building conditions in the last forty years.

Due to these improvements, which are of course positive, there are countless young doctors who cannot identify and differentiate the bites of a bedbug compared to other bites, which is a greater problem if we transfer to a population without studies on this insect. There are health professionals who have not seen a bed bug in their entire professional life.

The information, the approach of people to the problems that bed bugs carry as transmitters of diseases as well as the awareness of responsible pet ownership since the consumption of chiche blood can also affect domestic animals such as dogs is of utmost importance.

The participation of the State in the face of the gradual rise in cases of diseases transmitted by the bedbug should also be considered urgent since the implementation of hygiene protocols depends on them in order to cope with the situation and reach a possible eradication of the disease. herself.

by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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