Do Bed Bugs Live on Blood?

If you suspect that you’ve been infected with bedbugs, you may have several questions. First, do bed bugs live on blood? These bugs feed on human blood and secrete saliva. It’s not unusual for a person to have no reaction to their bites, but long-term exposure to the bites of these insects can result in an allergic reaction.

Bed bugs can easily enter a room through a suitcase, pillowcase, or chair crevice. They will naturally gravitate to people who sleep in their beds. The problem is that the host may not be aware of the bedbug infestation until he or she gets bitten. While some may think that bedbug bites are caused by dirt or dead plaque, these insects do live on human blood.

Bedbugs feed by piercing the skin of a human during the night. This is done by their elongated mouthpart, which has four stylets. The stylets fold under their bodies when they rest, but fully extend during blood feeding. The maxillary stylets have two canals, the smaller one carries saliva into the wound and the larger one absorbs body fluids.

Adult bedbugs are brown and approximately 1/4 inch long. Female bedbugs lay hundreds of eggs in a single lifetime. The eggs are whitish and sticky when they are laid and hatch after a week or two at room temperature. Nymphs emerge within a week, and are about the size of a pinhead. The nymphs will shed their skin five times before they reach maturity.

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