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Types of bedbugs - at home and in nature

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The suborder of hemipteran insects known as bugs (lat. Heteroptera) contains more than 40 species, mainly found in Southeast Asia. Russia is also home to more than 000 species, ranging from warm regions to Siberia and even the Arctic Circle.

Despite the diversity of species, bedbugs have some common features:

  1. Wing structure: Partly membranous, partly leathery. Wings are not present in all species; some have become wingless during the process of evolution.
  2. Number of limbs: Adults always have three pairs, regardless of their habitat.
  3. Special glands: They produce a substance with a strong odor that serves to repel predators.
  4. Setae and proboscis: Acting as mouthparts used to pierce and absorb liquids such as blood, plant juices, etc.

The size of bedbugs varies from a few millimeters to 15 centimeters. The body is usually oval, flat, covered with a chitinous shell. Coloration is also varied, reflecting different survival strategies, and includes bright colors to warn of danger. Bed bugs also use cimycin acid to repel predators.

Bug. Kinds

Members of the suborder Heteroptera include a variety of species, including land, aquatic, house, outdoor, herbivorous, predatory and ectoparasitic bugs. Herbivores, or phytophages, feed on the juice of leaves, seeds and fruits. Predatory bugs prey on a variety of insects, larvae and invertebrates. Ectoparasites, also known as hematophages, feed on the blood of warm-blooded creatures, including humans.

Bedbugs are also classified according to their relationship with humans - they can either be beneficial or pose a threat to humans. Most bed bugs are completely harmless to humans, but there are also a number of species that are direct pests, such as the well-known bed bug. Let's take a closer look at these different types.

water bugs

A variety of bedbug species live in aquatic environments, including:

  1. Water striders: These long-legged insects, known to many since childhood, move along the surface of the water. This extensive family includes more than 700 species. They feed on insects that fall into the water and overwinter among fallen leaves.
  2. Water scorpions: This is not just a species, but a whole family, uniting more than two hundred different species. The average length of these brown insects is about 4,5 centimeters. They are unable to swim and live in shallow water, using a special appendage for breathing.
  3. Belostoma gianta: This bug amazes with its gigantic size, capable of reaching up to ten centimeters. It even hunts turtles and is a predator not found in Russia.
  4. Plautus vulgare: A water bug that preys on fish fry, larvae, mollusks and other insects.
  5. Gladysh: A water bug capable of flight, whose diet consists of insects and even small fish. Its bites, although capable of stinging, do not pose a danger to humans.

Land bugs

Land bugs live in a variety of places, including grass, soil, trees and shrubs. Their adaptation to climate is varied - from desert and steppe to tundra. These insects are found both in natural environments and in heated human structures such as barns, poultry houses and homes.

One of the most numerous families of land bugs are stink bugs, also known as tree bugs because of the shield-like shell on their backs. However, they do not only live in trees. There are more than four thousand species of stink bugs, many of which cause serious damage to agriculture.

Some key species of stink bugs include:

  1. Berry shield: A red-brown bug that feeds on the juice of berries, as well as the leaves and buds of agricultural plants.
  2. Lined shield: Painted in red and black stripes. A herbivorous bug that consumes inflorescences of dill, parsley and carrots.
  3. Marbled shield: A rapidly reproducing bug that feeds on the sap of various plants and overwinters in heated rooms, such as residential buildings.
  4. Shield turtle: Damages and consumes cereals, causing significant damage to agriculture, and is divided into more than 50 species.

Beneficial types of bedbugs

Some types of bedbugs can bring noticeable benefits to humans. Among these types are:

  1. Red bug without wings, or soldier bug: By feeding on dead invertebrates and dry leaves, this bug speeds up nature's self-cleaning process.
  2. Flower Bugs: Some species feed on aphids, mites, larvae and eggs of harmful insects. They are even grown to protect flowers and other crops.
  3. Zicron blue: Feeding on the eggs and larvae of harmful leaf beetles, this bug saves plant leaves, including those grown by humans. It also helps reduce the number of Colorado potato beetles that attack potatoes.
  4. Perillus: Another bug that prefers to feed on leaf beetles, including their adults.

Harmful types of bedbugs

Now let's look at the types of bedbugs that cause harm. First of all, the bedbug stands out among them.

In addition, among these insects there are several pests, such as:

  1. Rapeseed and cruciferous bugs: These insects feed on agriculturally important plants such as rapeseed, radishes, turnips and cabbage, causing significant damage to crops.
  2. "Bad Turtle": This bug poses a threat to cereal crops. Its shell makes it difficult to distinguish among vegetation. The larvae of these bugs appear during the ripening of the crop and spoil the grain along with the adults.
  3. Light green stink bug (or berry bug): Feeding on the juices of various berries, such as gooseberries and raspberries, this bug leaves an unpleasant odor on them, making the berries unfit for consumption. In addition, it poses a serious threat to cereal crops.

Domestic types of bedbugs

Of all the types of harmful bedbugs, domestic ectoparasites pose the greatest danger to people. This term applies to bedbugs that feed on the blood of animals and people. There are several dozen species of this category of insects that live in houses. They are small in size and have a flattened body shape, but after drinking blood they become much larger. They lack wings and eyes, but they compensate for this with a developed sense of smell, touch and fast legs. The larvae of these bugs measure 1–4 mm, adults - up to 6 mm.

Household ectoparasites live in various crevices, cracks and interior parts of furniture. They are able to move between different apartments or even houses, preferring to be nocturnal.

Despite the widespread stereotype that blood-sucking bugs live exclusively in beds and drink only human blood, this is not true. Some of them live in caves and parasitize bats. Others, such as "swallow bugs", prefer bird blood, but will not refuse human blood if given the opportunity.

The bed bug, or house bug, is common in all countries of the world. No one is immune from it, regardless of lifestyle or wealth. However, some types of domestic ectoparasites are quite rare and do not live in Russia, preferring warmer countries.

These include, for example:

  1. Triatomous: This type of bug is dangerous; its bite can cause anaphylactic shock. It is also a carrier of Chagas disease.
  2. Burning: You can guess from the name that its bites cause a severe allergic reaction.

In Russia, the three most common types of bed bugs are:

  1. Cimex lectularius: The most widespread type of house bugs that feeds on human blood. Hardy and capable of fasting for a long time.
  2. Occiacus hirundinis: Swallow bugs, which can also feed on human blood. They carry dangerous diseases.
  3. Cimex pipistrelli: This type of bug feeds on the blood of bats.

Sometimes in Russia you can find a tropical subspecies of bedbug - Cimex hemipterus.

Why are bed bugs harmful?

The life cycle of a bed bug covers a period of 12 to 14 months. When bedbug larvae bite a person, they can suck up to half a milliliter of blood, while an adult insect can require up to seven milliliters in one bite. After a bite, characteristic signs appear: the skin turns red, begins to itch, and a rash may occur. However, thanks to a special substance with an analgesic effect secreted by the bug, bites can be barely noticeable, and many people do not even notice them.

Getting rid of bedbugs is not an easy task, making them a major threat to humans. When they breed in beds and living areas, they can torment a person with endless bites. Although this is not a direct threat to physical health (except for possible allergic reactions), it has a significant impact on mental health. Moreover, if bedbugs move between different apartments or houses, they can carry certain infections. Bite areas can also cause unpleasant itching, which can lead to various skin problems.

Bed bugs prefer temperatures ranging from 25 to 30 degrees Celsius and are extremely sensitive to temperature changes. They cannot tolerate sudden fluctuations in heat or cold. In addition, they are afraid of strong insecticides, although, unfortunately, bedbugs are developing resistance to these products, and therefore more effective methods and means for their control are needed.

Bed Bug Basics: 10 Tips to Protect Yourself

Frequently Asked Questions

What to do if your neighbors have bedbugs?

The most logical step is to have an open conversation with your neighbors, where you can draw their attention to the problem. Discuss possible measures to control bed bugs and offer to help, such as inspecting furniture together, performing cleaning, or even covering part of the cost of professional treatment. Keep in mind that your neighbors' bedbug problem can affect not only them, but also you, increasing the risk of these insects in your home.

What are bedbugs afraid of?

One of the biggest concerns for bedbugs is the use of insecticides to treat their habitats. Some individuals may gradually develop resistance to them. In addition, bedbugs cannot tolerate sudden changes in temperature.

How to get rid of bedbugs at home?

There are many special means that allow you to destroy bedbugs without the involvement of professionals. Preparations such as dichlorvos, karbofos and others can be used for home treatment. For maximum effectiveness and safety, the instructions for use of each product should be strictly followed.

How to detect bedbugs?

House bugs often choose furniture used for sleeping, such as beds or sofas, as their habitat. Therefore, it is important to carefully inspect the sleeping area, including the corners, joints, underside and back. If possible, turn over and disassemble the sofa. It is also a good idea to check other furniture in the house, especially in the bedroom.

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