Bed bugs and fleas my be living in your bedroom waiting for the lights to go out and for you to fall asleep in order to celebrate their blood feast. If you have animals in your house such as, cats or dogs, it is a good chance you have bloodsucking insects in your home also. These bugs are hard to find because they are so small but, they will usually leave telltale marks on your body in the form of bites. Bed Bugs and fleas main source of nourishment is human blood.
The smallest of these insects is the flea. It measures between 2 and 3 millimeters in length and can jump over one hundred times its body length. If a human had this super power we would be able to jump a city block. This amazing jumping ability allows the flea to find an animal to hitch a ride into your home and then jump on its human host. Fleas like living and hiding between feathers and hairs, they have a small flat like brown body with a small head. This body design has the optimal purpose of slipping in unnoticed between your hair as a hiding and feeding spot. These tiny blood sucking insects are wingless. They do not need to fly to find a host because of the jumping powers that they have.
Flea reproduction starts with an egg that is laid in your carpet by an adult. These eggs take between two and twelve days to hatch into a worm or larvae. These baby blood suckers can survive in your carpet on food they scavenge for a long time before they go through the two phases of a molting process. After the worm like larvae molt twice they will turn into a cocoon. Fleas can stay in this cocoon in your carpet for up to a year. The cocoon acts as a protection or barrier against harm. It protects the flea from such things as climate change to pesticides. This is why it is so hard to get rid of these little insects in your home. After the cocoon hatches the adult flea emerges and is ready for its blood feast.
When most people think of blood sucking insects in their bedroom they think of the bed bug. This parasitic animal is making a major comeback in the United states because of the banning of DDT. Whereas dust mites live off of human skin, bed bugs feast on human blood in the middle of the night when you are asleep. These nasty little critters have only one source of food, you. These insects are like tiny vampires. They are very small and flat, about 1/5 of an inch in total. Bed bugs are big enough to see by the human eye, but they hide during the day and come out at night when you are sleeping to feed. They are very adept at hiding in cracks and in your mattress.
These bugs are built for bloodsucking. Their flattened body structure makes it easy for them slip into tight spots and cracks in which to hide during the day. Bed bugs have a needle like mouth they use to pierce humans with. Before these parasites begin to drink your blood they inject saliva into your system. This saliva acts in two ways. First the chemicals in the saliva causes a numbing effect, so that its human host can not feel the bite. Secondly this saliva causes your blood to flow freely, so that the bug can feed easily.
Bed bugs go through five stages in their lifetime. The first is the egg stage, which takes from one to four weeks to hatch into nymphs. This parasitic nymph will molt five times during its life on the journey to adulthood. During each molt the bed bug will have to have a human blood feast in order to grow and survive. A female bed bug can produce over two hundred eggs during its lifetime. This is what causes these insects to multiply so rapidly.