How does a bed bug eat?

are small parasitic insects that infest mattresses, upholstered chairs and beds. They have a reputation of being very difficult to get rid of, but it is possible with proper care. There are different ways to control , including preventing an infestation, treating the affected area and sending the bugs away for disposal. ❌Understanding how a bed bug feeds and acts is essential for effective management of an infestation.

Bed bug feeding on persons blood!
Bed bug feeding on persons blood!

The Bed Bug Eats What?…

must eat blood meals regularly about a week apart in order to survive. A bed bug bites by accident, usually on the face/ arms or neck sticking out of bed covers. If on a couch or chair they are more likely to bite anywhere that’s open since there are no covers to hinder them. After biting someone, the bug will try to hide in dark crevices or cracks so that the person does not find it. Once a person finds a bed bug on their body, they may scratch the area or attempt to remove the bug with their hands. A bed bug usually bites in the early hours of the day while people are sleeping. It is also common for multiple bed bugs to bite an individual in a short period of time. Some people think that bed bugs only bite at night because this is when they act most aggressively toward humans. However, bed bugs can bite at any time if they feel hungry enough and the opportunity is given.

Bed bug hiding in mattress fold.
Bed bug hiding in mattress fold.

Coordinated Attacks …

usually bite in a coordinated attack that lasts about five minutes. The bugs inject saliva into their host’s skin which acts as an anesthetic and slows down blood flow to the area causing itching and swelling. This makes it difficult for victims to feel or identify bites on their bodies. After feeding through a straw like apparatus for their mouth and from the same hole used to inject their saliva, some bed bugs will wait several days before biting someone again since they need time to digest their meal. So cutting it short, bed bugs eat only blood meals through a straw like mouth part. No water, no food besides blood. Bed bugs do not carry disease like other insects; they do not transmit human pathogens like bacteria or viruses either. Bites produce painful lesions; however, some people may only experience minor symptoms such as itching or small bumps on their skin.

Bed bugs hiding next to zipper on a bed bug encasement.
hiding next to zipper on a bed bug encasement.

Eat Anytime…

Understanding how a bed bug feeds can help you identify when an infestation occurs and take steps to stop it before it becomes worse. People often misinterpret what happens while a bed bug feeds and incorrectly believe that only happens at night or when multiple bites occur simultaneously. Bites can be painful and produce unsightly lesions; anyone who finds a bed bug should immediately stop the insect from feeding more by contacting professionals or doctors involved with treatment for skin conditions.

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