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Friday, 28 June 2013

What is Hematophagy?

Roger Mitnick  /  at  23:13  /  No comments

What Exactly is Hematophagy ?


Let's first start off by talking about what bed bugs are.  Bed bugs are from the Cimicidae family of insects. They live by using blood as a nutrient and feeding off warm blooded things.  There are a few different types of Bed Bugs, the most common bed bug that people see are Cimex Lectularius.  This type of bed bug is most adapted to using humans as a host.  The reason for this is because bed bugs find homes and then feed off the people that live there.  The reason for this is because bed bugs like some other bugs are considered to live by hematophagy.


Hematophagy is a habit of some animals to live off of blood of another animal.  The Bed Bugs are best example for Hematophagyreason for this is because blood is full of nutrients and it is so easy to get.  Many species have adapted to specialize in feeding off of blood to survive. 
 Hematophagy can be separated into two categories, the first one is called Obligatory.  Obligatory are species that only drink blood to live, that is the only source of food for them.  Bed bugs, assassin bugs, and some species of mosquitoes are considered obligatory.  Optional is the other type, these are species that have other food sources but will feed on blood if there is an opportunity. 

 Most species in the world are more optional then obligatory.  There are species of mosquitoes drink pollen and fruit juices, but also drink blood when they have to.  There are some species of moths that do the same thing.  Many mammals are in the category of optional.
It can feel very overwhelming trying to get rid of bed bugs.Bed bugs can live up to a year or longer without feeding, this is what makes them so hard to catch because most the people that have infestations don't even realize it right away.  Normal bed bugs that are not hibernating feed between every 5 to 10 days. 

The feeding habits of bed bugs vary but normally they feed just before dawn so they can rest and digest the blood during the day when they are hiding out.  When the bed bug feeds it injects two tubes into the host, one of the injects saliva that has anticoagulants and anesthetics in it.  That makes it so the blood will not clot and the host does not feel anything.  And with the other tube the bed bug sucks out the blood.  This whole process only takes around 5 minutes. The reason for the irritation and red bump is your body reacting to the saliva that the bed bug injected into you, to help the itching and redness you can pour hot water on the bite, or lay a hot rag over the bump until the itching goes away.

The next pages will show pictures of bed bugs, and bed bug bites.  Bed bug bites can vary in intensity depending on your bodies reaction to the chemical concoction of saliva that the bed bug injects into site.

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