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Tropical Bedbug Species Reappear in the US

By Rose C
Nov 28, 2016 07:29 AM EST
Bed Bug Summit Held Near Chicago
The tropical bedbug, Cimex Hemipterus, has disappeared in the 1950s. These bugs are seen in warmer regions, including southern states of USA as well as countries in Asia and Africa.
(Photo : Brian Kersey/Getty Images)

After disappearing for 60 years, the tropical bedbug has reappeared in Florida, as confirmed by the University of Florida - Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers.

The tropical bedbug, Cimex Hemipterus, has disappeared in the 1950s. These bugs are seen in warmer regions, including southern states of USA as well as countries in Asia and Africa. According to Bedbugs.net, tropical bed bugs are nidicolous parasites (living in the same environment as their hosts) and are known to prefer wood, textiles, and linen for their habitat.

With the resurgence of tropical bed bugs, residents are alarmed at how fast these bugs are spreading. It was found in Brevard County, Florida last year, and researchers are puzzled where it originated or had it been present all this time.

Unlike the regular bed bugs, the tropical species spread faster than the regular one in a report published in Sciencenews.org. Accordingly, female tropical bed bugs lay up to 200 to 500 eggs which hatch after 6 to 17 days under favorable conditions. Even without feeding, and adult bed bug can survive for 10 months and up to a year if fed.

UF/IFAS doctoral student in entomology Brittany Campbell said in a media release that the discovery of tropical bed bugs "could mean that this species would develop more quickly, possibly cause an infestation problem sooner, and also could spread more rapidly."

Campbell added that this species of bed bugs are likely to cause similar health problems if you get a severe infestation: fear, anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, and itchy, blistery reactions on some people.

"I have been asking people to send bed bug samples to our laboratory so that I can properly identify the species," Campbell said. "If they do have a bed bug infestation because they are so difficult to control, I ask that people consult a pest-control company for a professional service. There isn't as much research available on tropical bed bugs as common bed bugs, but hypothetically they should be able to be controlled the same way as the common bed bug species because their biology/behavior are similar." 

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