Over the past two decades bed bugs have increasingly been infesting homes all across Canada. In fact, they have been a nuisance all over the world throughout human history but had almost been completely eradicated from North America in the 1950’s due to a stringent pesticide campaign aimed at getting rid of them. Unfortunately due to increased world travel, resistance to pesticides and several other factors, bed bugs have been making a strong come back in Canada, becoming a part of every day life once again.
The good news is that unlike other blood sucking pests, bed bugs are not known to be carriers of disease and very rarely impose any serious physical harm to their victims. They can, however, inflict psychological damage caused largely by the fact that they feed on their victims blood at night time when they are sleeping and that they are so difficult to exterminate without the help of a qualified bed bug exterminator.
So how did such a tiny pest become prevalent all over the world? This article will explain where bed bugs originated and how they have come to infest homes all across the globe.
What Is A Bed Bug?
First off, you should understand what a bed bug is. They are tiny parasitic insects that are part of the cimicidae family; a group of parasitic insects that derive all their nutrition from the blood of warm-blooded animals. Within the cimicidae family there are approximately 90 different species, each of which has adapted to have a preferred warm-blooded host who’s blood they consume. If the circumstances present themselves, a species of cimicidae can adapt to feed off the blood of a new host over time.
In the case of bed bugs, we are referring to the species cimex lectalectularius. This species prefers to feed on the blood of human hosts, but has also been known to occasionally feed on other warm-blooded hosts such as mice, rabbits and bats whenever it is necessary.
Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?
Unbeknownst to most people, cimicidae parasites have been around since before humans inhabited the planet. Bed bugs are just one species of this parasitic family of insects that evolved to feed on human blood early on in human history.
It is suspected that during the “caveman days,” humans cohabited caves with bats that were infested with a cimicidae species feeding on bat blood. Eventually this species of cimicidae adapted to feed on human blood as well. As human civilizations evolved and began building homes and villages, bed bugs were able to flourish by moving into these homes with many hiding spots and living just a few feet from their hosts.
Bed bugs spread even further as their human hosts began inhabiting regions all over the world and building sophisticated homes that protected them from the elements. This allowed bed bugs to even survive in regions of the world that would naturally be too cold for them. Nowadays with travel being so common in society, bed bugs have been able to spread much quicker than ever inhabiting homes all over the world.