Effective Bed Bug Control relies on knowledge of their development and behavior.
Bed bug control is constantly on the minds of pest control pros in the Phoenix and Scottsdale area. We are always getting called by grossed out folks who are looking for answers and treatments for their infested homes. Learning about the bed bug’s life cycle and behavior is an important first step in understanding how to win the battle against them.
Everything you’ve always wanted to know about bed bug sex but were afraid to ask!
Okay, if I’m Being honest it’s probably:
“Everything you didn’t know you wanted to know about bed bug sex but now that I mention it you’re cautiously interested in learning.”
Still With me? Okay, In this series of posts on Bed Bug control I plan to teach you all about the life cycle of bed bugs. Of course, you can’t start the study of the life cycle of any animal without learning about their mating habits first.
I’m going to do my best to be a grown up about this but just a fair warning: the bed bugs themselves aren’t too grown up, or nice, or civil about it. Trust me, this will get… weird.
Seriously though, bed bugs are already gross enough with the way they feed on your blood and then poop blood stains onto your sheets so it’s really crazy to find out about their less than nice mating rituals. So put the kids to bed, lock up the cat and/or dog, and maybe even your spouse if they get squeamish about some things, and enjoy the read!
The Differences Between the Sexes
Male and female bed bugs are relatively simple to tell apart. Males are more egg shaped, slimmer and longer. Females are rounder, especially toward the rear. If you ever have a reason to memorize the two, just remember “Baby Got Back.” She got them “Egg bearing hips.”
After they have had a nice, filling meal of human blood male bed bugs are ready to mate. Male beg bugs are one of the more frisky critters in the animal kingdom. They aren’t necessarily looking for “Mrs. Right” as much as they are looking for, well any adult bed bug. Luckily for nymphs, or juvenile bed bugs, they produce a pheromone that tells the adult males that they are not a good mating partner. However this seems to be the limit of their “discretion.”
Male bed bugs are pretty much “Down for anything” or anyone. Males will chase down (literally chase down, because the other bed bugs are definitely not interested) any other adult bed bug and forcibly mate with it. Females (and, yes, other males) are resistant to this because of the violent nature of the mating and the damage that it can cause to them.
The Battle of the Sexes
I apologize for this part, but really, this is why you’re here. Right? The female bed bug’s body is not actually designed for easy insemination. So male bed bugs have a sharp, pointy penis that is shaped like a curved hypodermic needle.
The male bed bug mounts the female, finds a weak body segment and jabs his sword-like penis into the females abdomen, ejaculating directly into the female’s (or male’s) body cavity fluid, called hemolymph. This process is called “Traumatic Insemination” by scientists but most ladies call it “not cool!”
Understandably, this traumatic insemination can cause serious damage to the female, or male, bed bug that was inseminated. It leaves a hole as well as cracks in the exoskeleton of the female, and can lead to infection and even death in some cases. What’s really scary for the females is that to reproduce at the most efficient rate this must happen several times during her lifetime.
After insemination the sperm travel through the fluid inside the body of the female until they find her ovaries. This is where the eggs are fertilized and.. well if you don’t already know all of this part you probably shouldn’t have been reading this article in the first place.
Well now you’re probably really glad that when Mom and Dad sat you down and gave you “The Talk” all those years ago, that they didn’t tell you about the “Birds and the Bed Bugs!” That could’ve really messed you up!
To me, it is interesting though to see how one gender in a species has such a resistance to mating while the other gender has developed a way around that resistance. Though that way around is pretty nasty! In fact, it’s so nasty that if you have bed bugs you are probably wanting to make sure this kind of activity does NOT go on in your home anymore. Put a stop to it!
If you’re having a problem with Bed Bugs…or any other pest…or simply a question about Bed Bug control or anything else…call NaturZone Pest Control at 602-476-1088 and ask for me, Jeffrey. I’ll be happy to speak with you anytime.
Till then, thanks for reading!
Here’s to helping YOU live Pest Free,