WIRE TELEGRAM: Ignorance is bliss, and before this past year, I lived in blissful ignorance of the bed bugs. You see, as I’d never been somewhere infested by bed bugs, I didn’t know they actually existed. I’d never thought to look up the bed bugs on Wikipedia, for me, they may as well have been as real as the boogyman. Everyone has heard the jingle,good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite! The old rhyme seems to cheapen the experience, and it is an experience you simply should never have to have, while also making the pests seem fanciful, as though they may not be real.
Cimex lectularius is the common bedbug, and it is the dominant species of the cimicid family of insects. It is a family of parasitic creatures sustaining themselves entirely on the blood of their hosts. There are many Cimex species feeding on the blood of various and sundry hosts, but it is the Cimex lectularius we are concerned with here, as that species is the parasite hosting itself among humanity, and sucking our very life blood.
Bedbugs, parasites and their host
If the photo above is disturbing to you, then congratulations, your empathy is in fine order. How could someone just allow such a thing to be going on on their own body? Well, a bed-bug infestation exerts a traumatic psychological effect on persons suffering with or through it; but imagine yourself injured or so weak you can’t much get out of bed. Elderly or disabled persons could have their lives severely disturbed and depressed for such.
If you care about someone at all, and you know they’re dealing with an infestation, then you are morally obligated to assist them. Letting someone just live with a bedbug infestation shows a lack of concern, a lack of empathy, indeed, a lack of humanity. I’ve seen with my own two eyes how disabled persons in group homes are left to rot in their beds, beds crawling with bedbugs; helpless persons feasted upon by parasites. Imagine having caretakers who care so little about you they leave you laying in a bed with bedbugs crawling and feeding all over you, in such a position, would you not then feel your life has no value to you, nor anyone else? The psychological effect of living in the filth of a bedbug infestation alone justifies any or all efforts towards their eradication.
A female bedbug may lay as many as 300 eggs in her lifetime. An adult bedbug is supposed to be hardy and hale enough to survive between 8 months to a year without having a chance to feast on anyone’s blood. The bugs are tough, pervasive, and wretched.
Bedbugs are an ancient enemy of humankind. The first human records mentioning or describing the parasitic pests are from Greece, 400 years before the advent of the Christ. As time and literacy spread throughout Europe, so did documentation of the bedbugs. Bedbugs are not limited to the Americas and Europe. They can live anywhere where it is warm. The proliferation of home heating has allowed for bedbugs to survive the cold winters, and allowed them to spread.