The bed bugs have been associated with the human being and lived in our homes for thousands of years.This small hemipterus insect is an ectoparasite of reddish brown color about 5 mm in length that feeds on human blood and other animals such as poultry, bats or rodents.
They are commonly known as bed beds, and there are two species that affect humans: Cimex lectularius, more cosmopolitan, and c.most frequent hemipterus in tropics and subtropics.
These insects were a public health problem worldwide, being almost eradicated in the 1940s and 1950s with the general use of insecticides such as DDT.
In recent years, they have experienced a dramatic resurgence that can be attributed to new aspects of the biology of pests and human behavior, such as the appearance of new resistance to insecticides or the increase in global trips.
What do their bites produce?
The bedbugs feed on blood and inject saliva while they bite, to prevent this coagule.Some people have no reaction to bites, while others experience allergic reactions that can sometimes be serious.
It can be difficult to distinguish bed bug bites from other insect bites or cutaneous eruptions.
The most common lesions include the development of papules (ranches), frequently greater than 1 cm, accompanied by pruritus (itching) and inflammation that often present a darker red spot in the center.They are usually multiple and present in group or arranged online, mainly on face, neck, arms and hands.
Wounds caused by scratch can be overlooked, causing more serious and difficult pictures to treat.
There is no evidence that they transmit any human pathogen, but they can cause emotional anguish to those affected, which is manifested with anxiety and insomnia.
How do we verify your presence?
It is important to know that accompanying cutaneous lesions and symptoms may appear up to nine days after having suffered the bites and that they usually need several days for their complete resolution.
If we suspect that the bed bugs have bitten us, we must seek evidence in the supposedly infested residence that demonstrate the presence of the insect.Let us thoroughly examine the place, especially cracks on the walls, mattresses and furniture.
As indirect or presumptive evidence, it must be taken into account:
The definitive or certainty diagnosis of an infestation is based on the following evidences:
What should we do if we have bites?
A topical treatment to mitigate the pruritus and good hygiene to prevent secondary infections are usually enough for most cases, although in any situation it is advisable to consult with a specialist who performs its monitoring and evolution.
For more serious cases, corticosteroid, antihistamine or systemic antibiotics may be necessary.
Where do bed bugs come from?
Currently, it is informed worldwide for an increasing number of infestations, which make their control difficult.Housing, bird nests and bats of bat.
In the houses, they hide in cracks or clefts on the walls, furniture, behind the wallpaper, wooden panels or pictures and under carpets, mattresses or bedding.They have nocturnal habits, so they are usually hidden during the day and be more active at night, when people sleep.
The risk of finding bedbugs increases if we spend time in places with high volumes of nocturnal guests, such as hotels, rural houses, hospitals or shelters for homeless people.
Why is it so difficult to get rid of them?
Bedbacks can live up to six months without eating and surviving up to 12 months without feeding on humans, attacking birds and rodents.
They also influence factors associated with some modern homes, such as moisture increase, lack of air circulation, poor cleaning and careless furniture, which provide refuge areas to bedbugs.
In addition, social stigma associated with bedroom infestations in homes can force people not to resort to pest control professionals, contributing to resurgence and resistance.
How can we prevent and control them?
Avoid entry is the best way to prevent them.A good sanitation is the first step to control an infestation by bed bugs.However, recently they are being detected in residences of elders, hospitals, cruises, cinemas, the subway and even airplanes, suggesting that good hygiene is not enough to avoid them.
For your control, the first thing to do is confirm that we are facing the presence of bed bugs.It is recommended not to use domestic insecticides, because they could worsen the situation and disperse insects, also putting them on alert and forcing them to look for new spaces inside the house.On many occasions, eradication requires more than a visit from a pest management professional.
Among the pesticides available in the market, the most used for their safety and efficacy are pyrethrins and pyrethroids, desiccants (boric acid), biochemical substances (Neem oil), pyrroles, neonicoticonoids (synoine synthetic forms)and insect growth regulators.
To minimize the use of pesticides, control must focus on mechanical methods, such as passing the vacuum and stating or sealing cracks in furniture and walls.The bedding must be washed at least 60 ℃.For severe infestations, pesticides can be used, although care must be taken and let the bedding, mattresses, upholstery and furniture dry completely before using them.
Once eliminated, special care will be taken to avoid a new infestation, especially with the introduction of furniture (particularly the second -hand) and equipment such as clothes, backpacks, luggage or bedding, where insects can travel in "hutop", dispersing and repopulating new territories.
*Lucrecia Acosta Soto and Fernando Jorge Bornay Linares are parasitology professors at Miguel Hernández University.
This note originally appeared in The Conversation and is published here under a Creative Commons license.
Read the original article here.
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