Bedbugs feed by puncturing a human’s skin with their elongated mouthpart. Their mouthparts are made up of four stylets that fold underneath their body when they are at rest and fully extend during feeding. Each stylet has two canals, the small salivary canal carries saliva into the wound and the larger food canal takes in human body fluids.
In a single feeding event, bedbugs can drink up to six times their weight in blood. This feeding event usually lasts between three and ten minutes. This feeding event will often occur during the night when humans are sleeping. This process can cause an allergic dermal reaction and rashes in some people. This swelling may not appear for a day after a feeding session, and some people will not even experience symptoms at all. Although bedbugs have not been shown to transmit disease to humans, their feeding behavior is an indication of the presence of bedbugs.
The first step in preventing bedbug infestations is to train the staff to identify the signs of activity in the home. One proactive step is to change the bedding often, and to launder it thoroughly. Bedbugs hide in clutter, so it is crucial to clear your space. Bedbugs also hide in holes and cracks, so removing them is crucial.
In addition to being a nuisance, bedbugs can cause mental stress and a lack of sleep. They also can cause delusory parasitosis, which leads to a false sense of presence.