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There are a number of little critters out there that you don't know of and the worst thing is that some of them do bite. Now, how do you figure out which one of these is causing all that trouble? Where are they coming from? How do you get rid of them? Are they carriers of diseases? Are they poisonous?
Bedbugs
These are tiny black bugs that bite you when you are sleeping. They like to hide in cracks found in furniture, in the creases of your mattress, or any other dark and cozy place. They feed on human blood and don't really like bright lights, which is why they are mainly active during nighttime. Though bedbugs have not been found to carry too many diseases, their bites are pretty nasty and can cause a bad reaction. They feed continually for up to five minutes, and the bite is quite painless. It is quite hard to get rid of bedbugs as they are pretty tenecious and can lay up to 200 eggs in a span of a few weeks. The best way to prevent bedbugs is to maintain cleanliness, by thoroughly cleaning up your home. If you suspect a bedbug infestation in your home, check for tell tale signs like tiny dark spots on the bed sheets and covers (which is their excreta), bites on your bodies, and the insects themselves hiding in crevices. Note that birds and rodents can sometimes the source of this bug.
Fleas
Fleas are the tiny black bugs on dogs and cats that effortlessly leap from one place to another and are almost impossible to catch. There are many different types of fleas, but the most common one in the United States is the Cat Flea or Ctenocephalides felis. These parasites feed on warm blooded animals including dogs, cats, and humans. Their bite may cause a reaction that is severe in some people, more than others. These are one of the hardest pests to get rid of, as they have a complex life cycle that includes the egg, larva, pupa, and finally, the adult stage. Fleas at the adult stage are the ones that bite. They lay eggs on your pet's body which then fall onto the floor or couch or carpet, basically any area that your pet likes to frequent. In the larval stage, the flea just stays hidden in your carpet or sofas, feeding on whatever organic material they can find. They then go on to the pupa stage, from where they emerge as adults. The only way to get rid of them is to vacuum-clean the home frequently and applying of pesticide over a period of few weeks. This is best done by professionals. Also, regular grooming of your pet is essential to make sure all the fleas have been removed from your pet. Regular baths with flea shampoos will help keep your pet flea-free. Fleas are carriers of the bacterium Yersinia pestis, that is responsible for causing plague, and were the cause of the deaths of many people all over the world. They would breed on rodents and then transfer the virus to humans on biting them.
Lice
There are three kinds of lice that are exclusive to humans. These are head lice, body lice and pubic lice. They are also called nits, cooties, and crabs respectively. Head and pubic lice do not transmit any diseases but body lice are known to transmit a disease known as epidemic typhus. Body lice usually lay their eggs on clothing, head lice in the hair, and pubic lice in the hair of the pubic region. These are not easily transferred as they are slow-moving insects and die out within a week or two. But their eggs hatch and give rise to new lice. Good personal hygiene and shampooing with anti-lice shampoos should help in getting rid of these pests.
Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes are among the most dangerous insects as they are possible carriers of a number of diseases including malaria, yellow fever, encephalitis, filariasis, and dengue. The best way to control mosquitoes is to get rid of their breeding grounds, which are stagnant pools of water that are left uncovered. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in the water where they hatch and allow the growth of larvae. Draining out any stagnant water reduces the chances of mosquitoes growing around your home. You could also install screens on doors and windows to avoid mosquitoes from entering your home, thus reducing the risk of mosquito bites. You could also use mosquito repellent creams on your body while going outdoors into a mosquito-infested area.
Ticks
Ticks are one of the most effective bugs in spreading diseases. They can also cause paralysis by toxins present in their saliva. They are common in the United States and are mostly found outdoors. They are slow moving animals and can be easily detected. They always move in an upward direction and are most likely to be found near the hairline at the back of the neck. A new form of disease called Lyme Disease, was discovered in the 1970s which was associated with ticks. The best way to get rid of these ticks is to inspect one's body for any signs of them and carefully remove them using a pair of tweezers. This is the safest way to detach them after they have bitten you.
There are a dozen other harmless insects out there, with some that are even helpful to us. So it isn't right to completely despise all insects, but we must beware of the ones that are a nuisance and could be a health risk to you and your families.