By Dr. Stuart Mitchell

Defined as a public health nuisance, bed bug, Cimex lectularius, behavior favors agoraphobia and nocturnal activity. Host intimate and feeding upon blood, bed bug infestations are morally repugnant. When present, here, there, and everywhere, bed bugs pose a significant threat to occupant health and wellbeing.

Criminally cosmopolitan, sinisterly synanthropic (associated with humans), and malevolently multivoltine (many generations), HF is a flying infection. 4-8 mm long with four thoracic longitudinal stripes, adults are drawn to disease containing organic media.

Occuring in the foregut, HF starch digestion occurs via salivary amylase (enzyme converting starch to malt sugar). Ultimate digestion of carbohydrates occurs on midgut cell surfaces via membrane bound maltase. Low pH (acidity or alkalinity of a solution on a scale of 0 to 14 [<7=acidity, 7=neutrality, and >7=alkalinity]) or acidity within the midgut usually kills bacteria within ingested media. Trypsin (breaks proteins) works in the midgut.

With chaetiferous (covered with hairs) concealment, HF’s bodily exterior provides massive surface area for pathogenic loads. The hazardous HF is a mechanical disease transmitter of Salmonella and Shigella. HF harassment as flying infections! Dipterologists, pest management professionals, arrest HF felons and restore a lawful public health environment.

To download “PestWest Newsletter 411- Issue 21” in print ready format, please click HERE
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PestWest Newsletter 411- Issue 21

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