|Description:||This digitally-colorized scanning electron microscopic (SEM) image revealed some of the ultrastructural morphology displayed on the ventral surface of a bedbug, Cimex lectularius. From this view, at the top, you can see the insect’s skin piercing mouthparts it uses to obtain its blood meal, as well as a number of its disarticulated six jointed legs. You’ll also notice a beautiful diaphanous structure at the bottom of the image. It is speculated that this wondrous ultrastructural organ is most probably a scent gland, or related to the dissemination of scent, which may be pheromonal in nature. A further dissection of this, and the adjacent mesothoracic region, could possibly reveal an internalized aspect of this organ, which would be glandular in nature, and actually involved in the production of the aromatic chemical. See PHIL 11742, 11743, and 11744 for successively greater magnifications of this marvelous structure.|
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).Treatment:
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).