Bed Bugs will always approach their host, as they cannot travel a very long distance from their source of food. Biologically, humans are the primary host for Bed Bugs to survive, as they feed on human blood. That’s why Bed Bugs are so close to humans where you’re finding them around your bed.
It is known that blood is the source of food for Bed Bugs to survive, especially human’s blood. However, there are many people who are wondering whether Bed Bugs also eat other foods, except blood. If you want to find the real information about it, you can dive into our post, as we’ll show them for you. Here you go!
Is There Another Food Source for Bed Bugs Than Blood?
According to a number of studies, many researchers believe that there’s no other food that Bed Bugs eat, than blood. In other words, the Bed Bugs eat nothing, except blood. Reportedly, Bed Bugs eat almost completely on human blood. Well, this is one piece of common Bed Bug information that is no myth.
Even though there are no food sources, Bed Bugs do not turn cannibalistic, unlike other pests that can survive on basically anything. Furthermore, their bodies are not designed to process food crumbs or dead skin and cannot eat human hair or clothing. They also cannot chew through paper or wood.
The reason why they do not eat other food, except blood, is because Bed Bug’s mount is tube-shaped, so they cannot chew or bite any other foods. Certainly, the liquid is the only choice for them when it comes to mealtime, since they can only eat through their straw-shaped mouth.
In addition to feeding on human’s blood, the Bed Bugs are also known to eat warm-blooded animals such as dogs, cats, bats, birds and rodents. Reportedly, the Bed Bugs have also been known to feed on animals’ blood when they are really desperate, or away from humans.
Even though there are even reports in Scientific literature hundreds of years ago that revealed that the Bed Bugs eat on cold-blooded animals where their hosts are not available. Unfortunately, that is less likely to occur now, as the Bed Bugs are currently landed in almost every home, so the availability of hosts is no longer a problem for them.
Why Do the Bed Bugs Prefer to Feed on Human’s Blood?
There are roughly 90 species of Bed Bugs in the world. Sure, all of those species will depend on blood to live and survive. There are at least three species that really love human’s blood, others are reportedly feeding on mammals’ blood.
That’s not without reason why Bed Bugs really love human’s blood so much. Most researchers believe that the scent that the humans give off like temperature and carbon dioxide makes them prefer to feed off humans, instead of other things. It does not wonder if from nymphs to adults, they only eat on blood.
Some studies also proved that the Bed Bugs actually gain ample nutrition from the human’s blood where it is rich in vitamins and proteins, so they will get everything that they need from human’s blood.
It is known that human blood is so nourishing for Bed Bugs, so that they can survive for around a year without a host. Reportedly, the Bed Bugs are very experts at retaining moisture and are also designed to last without meals for a long time. Aside from that, a waxy coat on their external shells actually keeps moisture in and does not let any out.
Another reason why Bed Bugs love feeding on humans is that humans are considered as a much easier food source where they can only crawl along skin easier than they can with a full body of fur.
Generally, Bed Bugs will focus on feeding around your neck, hands, legs and back, as all of those parts of your body are easily accessible while you are sleeping. If they try to get food sources from furry animals, they may need to struggle to crawl through hair and fur.
The Bed Bugs obviously do not have to feed on too often, since they will be able to survive for around a year without a meal. Sure, they will happily eat every 5-10 days when a host is present. However, they will eat more often to get the most of the nutrition on offer when they are adolescent and still growing.
In the wild, the Bed Bugs will eat other mammals (as long as they are warm-blooded) if there are no human hosts nearby. Certain insects can eat on birds and bats, but the Bed Bugs do it rarely.
How Do the Bed Bugs Eat?
When the mealtime comes, they will be looking for their host, especially humans. Since they are nocturnal, they commonly feed on humans at night when you are sleeping. To feed on, they firstly will create a small incision.
After that, they will insert both of the tubes into your skin where the long one to find a capillary and the short one to stop it from hurting and itching. They will move the longer tube around to find a capillary. Once finding it, they will begin sucking up your blood.
They normally take between ten and twenty minutes when feeding. They will then scatter to get away from you if you move or brush them away in your sleep. Since they are very easy to kill, they are more careful when trying to feed on humans than other parasites.
They will become twice or three times bigger than their previous size, as their bodies are filled with blood. Once eating, they will go back to their hiding place to digest the food. Sure, the incision that they create on your skin will heal quickly, as their feeding tube is very thin.
Since a human’s body will recognize it and get rid of it, their saliva actually leaves behind to stop the wound itching wears off eventually. Well, this is what causes the allergic reaction to Bed Bugs bites, that is the raised, itchy bumps that you get from one.