Following its 60-year nonappearance in the U.S., a bed bug famous for its capability to spread so fast just recently invaded Hawaii and Florida, as stated by experts that study about the parasitic pest.
Tropical bed bug vs common bed bug
The tropical bed bug, with scientific name Cimex hemipterus, is increasing concerns since the usual eradication methods may not keep its numbers at bay.
Brittany Campbell, an entomologist from the University of Florida, spoke to Seeker, and said that the tropical bed bug and the common bed bug, Cimex lectularius, look similar to a person’s naked eye. Likewise, signs like shed skin, blood spots and bites are also the same for both. She also added that they cause tiny bite marks to some serious allergic reactions, which may require fast medical action.
However, under microscopes, these two species will look different, according to Campbell. She continued that the tropical bed bug’s pronotum is shaped differently. This is U-shaped in common bed bugs.
The bed bug’s existence in tropical areas
The bed bug’s existence has still not been proven in Hawaii, she said. However, the presence is Florida is more known. A family in Merritt Island reported the infestation and sent a sample to Campbell. She, together with her team, found out that the it came from a long-lost tropical species.
It was found during the 1930s to 1940s, but it wasn’t reported again until the incident from Merritt Island.
The parasite is sometimes found in Africa, Asia, South America, parts of Australia and other tropical environments. It favors humid and warm environments and could possibly spread to southern states like California.
News spreading about the tropical bed bug
With the news spreading about the parasite invasion, John Cooksey from McCall Service thinks that pest control operators are going to pay greater attention to these species.
Cooksey mentioned that these species may be resistant to some insecticides. Exterminators depend mostly on controlled heating in order to kill bed bugs. When done right, this method is a way on how to kill bed bugs at home, eliminating pesticide use which bugs become resistant to.
Tropical bugs, on the other hand, are used to the heat. Cooksey said that several researchers think these can evolve to having great heat resistance.