|Description:||This highly-magnified, digitally-colorized scanning electron microscopic (SEM) image revealed some of the ultrastructural morphology displayed on the rostral head region of a bedbug, Cimex lectularius. Note the proximal anatomical relationships the insect’s skin piercing mouthparts it uses to obtain its blood meal, and how they join the head.|
Although bedbugs have been found naturally-infected with blood-borne pathogens, they are not effective vectors of disease. The primary medical importance is inflammation associated with their bites (due to allergic reactions to components in their saliva).
Bedbug bites are usually self-limiting, and require little attention other than antiseptic creams or lotions to prevent infection at the bite site. Efforts should be made to eliminate the source of the bedbugs in their sheltered locations. Insecticide treatments are usually effective, but care should be taken, as people may have prolonged contact with treated areas (beds, couches, etc). Professional pest control is recommended as over-the-counter pesticides are usually ineffective. Local environmental health officials should be contacted regarding control efforts in public places (hotels, motels, etc).