Blood feeding pests are of great concern not only because of their annoying and often painful bites, itching and swelled areas, but more importantly because many can also be vectors (carriers) of pathogenic (disease) organisms, that seriously injure or kill humans and domestic animals. Every blood feeder needs a blood meal at some point to complete its life cycle. The only exception are some of the males of this group, e.g., male mosquitoes, male horse flies, etc., who don't need blood. Some blood feeders will feed on only one host species. However, most blood feeders have not only a preferred host, but also will feed on a wide range of substitute hosts. When multiple host species are involved, there is a greater possibility of disease transmission, e.g., the malarial parasite, yellow fever virus, etc.
Homes are a suitable habitat for bed bugs because they provide warmth, areas to hide and, and most importantly some hosts on which to feed. They usually spend the day hiding in cracks and crevices in walls, furniture, behind wallpaper and wood paneling, or under carpeting and in mattress seams.
Bed bugs are usually only active during the night but they will feed during the day when hungry! They can ingest up to 7 times their body weight in blood in one feed, although they can also survive for over a year without food.
They can ingest up to 7 times their body weight in blood in one feed, although they can also survive for over a year without food. After mating takes place, Bedbugs will lay up to 200 eggs. The nymphs that hatch out are miniature versions of the adults, there is no larvae stage. The nymphs will molt several times over a period of 6-18 months before becoming an adult.
Fleas have hard bodies piercing, sucking mouthparts. Their legs are powerful, adapted for fast movement and jumping, enabling them to find new hosts as well as to escape quickly when the hosts attempts to remove them. Scientists have found that fleas can jump up to 33cm.
Adult fleas can live from a few months to more than a year and can survive away from a host for several weeks without eating.
Fleas attack a wide variety of warm-blooded vertebrates including dogs, cats, humans, chickens, rabbits, squirrels, rats and mice. Fleas are not simply a source of annoyance; however their bite generally results in the formation of a slightly-raised swollen itching spot with a single puncture point at the centre. The bites often appear in clusters or lines, and can remain itchy and inflamed for up to several weeks afterwards. It's this saliva, not the actual bite that causes an allergic reaction and some may even suffer allergic reactions to the flea saliva, resulting in rashes.
Besides the biting and annoying problems posed by the fleas it-self, it can also act as a vector for disease. For example, fleas transmitted the bubonic plague between rodents and humans by carrying Yersinia pestis bacteria. Murine typhus (endemic typhus) fever, and in some cases Hymenolepiasis (tapeworm) can also be transmitted by fleas
For fleas to breed, temperatures must be between 70 and 80 degrees, with humidity between 60 and 70 percent and female flea can lay up to 50 eggs each day, but before laying eggs, a flea must first find a blood meal.
Mosquito is a member of the family Culicidae. These insects have a pair of scaled wings, a pair of halteres, a slender body, and long legs. The females of most mosquito species suck blood from other animals. This blood sucking characteristic has made mosquitoes one of the most deadly vectors known to man, literally killing millions of people over thousands of years and continuing to kill millions per year. Size varies but is rarely greater than 16 mm. Mosquitoes weigh only about 2 to 2.5 mg. A mosquito can travel up to 10km in a night, and fly for 1 to 4 hours continuously at up to 1-2 km/hr. Most species are nocturnal or dawn or evening feeders. During the heat of the day most mosquitoes land in a cool place and wait for the evenings. They may still bite if disturbed.
Various sizes and shapes, depending on the type of tick and stage of life. They are blood feeders and can transmit diseases such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, and tick paralysis. Ticks are blood feeding external parasites of mammals, birds, and reptiles throughout the world. Approximately 850 species have been described worldwide (Furman and Loomis 1984). There are two well established families of ticks, the Ixodidae (hard ticks), and Argasidae (soft ticks). Both are important vectors of disease causing agents to humans and animals throughout the world. Ticks transmit the widest variety of pathogens of any blood sucking arthropod, including bacteria, rickettsiae, protozoa, and viruses. Some human diseases of current interest caused by tick-borne pathogens include Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, rocky mountain spotted fever, tularaemia, and tick-borne relapsing fever.