Are bed bugs that sneaky? Do they play dead when you try to catch them? Or, are we simply looking in the wrong place? While many people think that bed bugs play dead, it’s probably not what you think.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common myths surrounding these tricky little creatures and see if we can sort fact from fiction.
Do Bed Bugs Die?
Bed bugs are small, brownish, flat insects that feed exclusively on the blood of warm-blooded animals. They have a flattened shape and no wings; in fact, they’re so small they can be hard to see with the naked eye. The smallest adult bed bugs are only about 1/4 inch long – that’s even smaller than some mites!
Adult bed bugs are light brown to reddish-brown, while nymphs (juveniles) may be translucent or a darker brown. They have flattened bodies and feed by piercing the skin with mouthparts and sucking out blood.
However, they don’t usually spread disease to humans. Some people develop an allergic reaction called human ehrlichiosis that’s caused by a bacterial infection from bed bug bites, though it’s still considered rare for healthy adults.
Many bed bug species have evolved resistance to insecticides, and there are concerns that some may also become resistant to alternative control measures.
On rare occasions, bed bugs have been known to transmit diseases such as hepatitis B, but they do not carry HIV or parasites of other blood-borne diseases that would pose a significant risk to humans.
What Causes Bed Bugs To Die?
What causes bed bugs to die? Bed bugs can die from starvation, cold temperatures, desiccation, and contact with certain chemicals. Bed bugs will often play dead when disturbed as a way to avoid being eaten.
However, many people mistakenly believe that killing insects with heat is all it takes to get rid of them; in reality, this will only kill adults that have been exposed to extreme heat for a prolonged period.
When heated properly, bedbugs will die on surfaces by themselves. If there’s an infestation, pest control experts recommend using a professional-grade steamer. While steaming won’t eradicate bedbugs that are hiding in cracks or crevices in your home, it can kill many of them on the surface and make their work much easier for a professional pest controller. As always, avoid spreading any kind of pesticides in an area where people live or sleep.
How Do Bed Bugs Die?
Bed bugs die from heat, dehydration, starvation, suffocation, and insecticides. Insecticides are the quickest way to kill bed bugs and the most cost-effective form of bed bug treatment.
Bed bugs will die when exposed for an hour to temperatures of over 45 degrees Celsius or 113 degrees Fahrenheit.
All bed bugs can be killed rapidly if they are exposed to a temperature of over 60 degrees Celsius and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
What Happens To Bed Bugs When They Die?
Bed bug bodies are known to get curled up after death as a result of their muscles contracting during their final moments. In addition, their body will start to dry out and wrinkle when they die, you may also see traces of blood and feces as well.
Why Does Bed Bug Keep Dying?
No, bed bugs do not play dead for any purpose; they would rather run from things or from the environment they feel is toxic to them.
They will rather flee rather than play dead, it is not in their nature for them to play dead, unlike the popular opinion that people have got that bed bugs play dead when faced with danger, and this, however,r is not the case.
The fear of the predator is so great that bed bugs would rather scurry away when they sense they are in danger rather than play dead.
ALSO SEE: Which Animal Is More Dangerous, Possums Or Raccoons?
Why Don’t Bed Bugs Play Dead?
Bed bugs do not play dead, when they feel threatened or the light comes on, they prefer to run away as a defense mechanism than for them to play dead.
Other bugs have pretended to be dead but this has nothing to do with bed bugs.
The fear of a predator on them will make them flee in an entirely different direction than pretend and play dead.
When you see a bed bug lying still, it is either it is dead or in the process of dying but it is not pretending to play dead.
Bed bugs have not evolved enough to be able to play dead when given the circumstances, most of their predators go straight into squashing them or getting rid of them using any other method.
Do Dead Bed Bugs Shrivel Up?
Yes. After bed bugs have experience treatment, they will have the appearance of being shriveling and curved with their heads or legs curled into the middle of their body.
Do Bed Bugs Play Dead After Pesticide?
No. Bed bugs will not play dead even after pesticides, they are not known to play dead even in dangerous situations.
They will rather scurry off if they feel threatened or endangered instead of using playing dead as a defense mechanism.
Do Bed Bugs Have Defense Mechanisms?
No. It is not known if bed bugs have defense mechanisms or not, all that is gathered about them is that they will run out of scared and are threatened by predators.
How to Tell if Bed Bugs Are Dead?
It is pretty easy to tell if a bed bug does, this is because they tend to leave blood and feces in the areas of your home they call theirs. To people that do not understand the characteristics of bed bugs, you will think that it is a red or brown trail that is left behind as a residual stain.
Bed bugs are likely to be dead if you see them lying on their backs or if you see them looking shriveled up with their legs and head bent to their abdomen. And no matter what you do to a dead bug it will no longer move, that’s another sure sign to know it is dead.
Other Insects That Play Dead
Insects that evade their predators by playing dead include ladybugs, caterpillars, robber flies, weevils, beetles, and gain water bugs. Etc.