Bedbugs, Ticks & Fleas
Bedbug: An adult bedbug (Cimex lectularius) is about 1/5″ long and 1/8″ wide. Its reddish-brown body is greatly flattened and oval-shaped. A bedbug has piercing-sucking mouthparts which enable it to piece the skin and suck blood from its host.
Bedbugs are generally active only at dawn, with a peak feeding period about an hour before sunrise. Attracted by warmth and the presence of carbon dioxide, the bug pierces the skin of its host with two hollow tubes. With one tube it injects its saliva, which contains anticoagulants and anesthetics, while with the other it withdraws the blood of its host. After feeding for about five minutes, the bug returns to its hiding place. The bites cannot usually be felt until some minutes or hours later, as a dermatological reaction to the injected agents, and the first indication of a bite usually comes from the desire to scratch the bite site. Because of their dislike for sunlight, bedbugs come out at night.
Deer Ticks: The deer tick is found in grassy areas, open fields, and especially the margin where fields meet wooded areas. The deer tick transmits a bacteria which causes Lyme disease, a serious human disease that exhibits symptoms common to many other diseases. It is initially flu-like but if not treated can develop into rheumatoid arthritis-type conditions. Lyme disease is not usually fatal but can be debilitating and difficult to treat if not detected early.
Adult deer ticks are tiny–approximately the size of a sesame seed. Males are black; females have a brick-red abdomen and a black shield near the head. Females swell to 1/4 mm when fully engorged after feeding. Adults are found primarily from September through November, and again in March and April. Adults feed mainly on deer, but will also attack cattle, horses, dogs, etc. Humans are accidental hosts.
Brown Dog Tick: Adults are flat, about 1/8″ long and uniformly red-brown with tiny pits scattered over the back. Unlike the male, the female enlarges after feeding to about 1/2″ long and 1/4″ wide. The enlarged portion of the body becomes gray-blue to olive in color. Found most often in the ears, between the toes and on the backs of dogs. After feeding they retire to baseboards, molding, around window cord pulleys and protected openings. The most common roach in United States homes. Breeds throughout the year. Favors humid atmosphere and an average temperature 70°
Cat Flea: Most common during the summer, especially when homes are reoccupied after vacation. Most common hosts are cats, dogs, man and a wide variety of animals. These fleas are extremely small and are wingless