Can bite nymph bugs

Bugs: Colorful beauties

Everyone knows the nursery rhyme "On the wall, there is a little bug sitting in wait". But very few people know how bedbugs really live - and that some even smell beguilingly of vanilla

Bedbugs: Diverse and adaptable

There are animals that have a terribly bad reputation. Bed bugs, for example. Even at the thought of the crawlers, many people start scratching themselves. Bugs, they say, stink and sting and are ugly! Disgusting creatures that lurk in mattresses and pounce on their sleeping victims at night to suckle blood! And then you are covered with red pricks, as if you had chickenpox. Disgusting vermin - ugh the devil!

Poor bedbugs. They really don't deserve such abuse. Because on closer inspection, the six-legged friends are not only pretty, diverse, motley and extremely adaptable. Most of them are completely harmless to us humans: Over 40,000 species are known today - including the bed bugs, stink bugs,

Very few actually feed on blood. Most bedbugs prefer to sip sap or suckle mushrooms or other insects instead. Yes, one bug has even made it to the "Insect of the Year 2007" in Germany and Austria: the knight bug, a beautiful, black-red-white vegetarian. It should help to straighten out the crooked picture of their species. That should definitely be good for the almost 900 species of bugs in this country!

Photo Show: From the Beauty of Bedbugs

12 images

Bedbugs: a real nuisance?

The fact that bedbugs are so unpopular at all is thanks to one single species: the common bed bug, which is still wreaking havoc in bedrooms and hotel rooms. The bed bug is, there is no other way to put it, really torture. During the day, the paper-thin animal hides in the smallest cracks. At night it comes out, stings the sleeping people and drinks their blood. Sensitive people get thick wheals that itch like hell. But as I said: the bed bug is one of the few "black sheep" of its kind, as are some predatory bugs in South and Central America that transmit diseases.

Colorful beauties

Most bed bugs live in warm, tropical areas. And a lot of them look like some crazy artist made them up. Round or oval, flat or bulbous, with thin matchstick legs or powerful pounders, in yellow, red, brown or green. Some are only a millimeter long, others an impressive eleven centimeters.

Typical of all bedbugs is their proboscis, which consists of two wafer-thin tubes: the insect "spits" digestive juice into its food through one, which then dissolves. The bug sucks up the resulting liquid pulp through the other pipe. Some animals even slurp so quickly that in a few minutes they more than double their own body weight and turn from a flat blob into a round marble!

Also typical of the bedbugs: They are equipped with several scent glands. If an enemy gets too close to them, they spray a smelly and sometimes poisonous liquid at them. The attacker then usually loses his appetite. But other bugs smell like pear, cherry, cinnamon or vanilla. They send messages through the air to fellow species, such as requests to form groups or to mate. But if you ever come into a room that smells strangely sweet and musty: That could be the typical "perfume" of the bed bug. And you already know them.

In beds, on trees, in bushes, in apartments, meadows and forests - no other insect has conquered as many habitats as bedbugs. What is particularly amazing is that you can even encounter them far out in the open ocean! The only insects that live there are a few marine sandpipers. As their name suggests, they don't swim, but rather scurry across the surface of the water, which they carry like a thin membrane. As far as we know today, they feed on fish eggs, tiny marine animals or dead jellyfish. And the females lay their eggs on objects that float in the water: bird feathers, snail shells, plastic canisters.

By the way, the sea sandpipers could prove to be quite useful for us humans in the future. They have a very special substance that protects them from harmful sunlight. Researchers hope that it can be used to develop a super sunscreen.

Better than its reputation Another type of bug is already active "in the service of research": the Mexican predatory bug. It helps vets draw blood! Animals like rabbits or birds have extremely small blood vessels that can hardly be hit with a syringe. In addition, the patients fight back against the treatment with all their might. It is precisely this stress that the Mexican robber bug can avoid. You put it on the rabbit's ear, for example, where the insect punctures it accurately and painlessly. After a few minutes it is full to the brim with blood and can be plucked like a ripe blackberry. Then the bug's doctor sucks the meal off again with a syringe. The blood is so clean that it can be examined further right away. Someone said again that blood-sucking bugs are a nuisance!

Wanted poster: bedbugs

  • Generally: Bedbugs aren't bugs as many people believe. They form their own order within the insects. Unlike butterflies or beetles, they do not pupate. Around 40,000 species are known today, and there may be around 20,000 more previously undiscovered species. It is particularly typical that they have a proboscis and scent glands.
  • Distribution: in almost every habitat on earth, even on the open ocean.
  • Lining: Most bedbugs feed on sap, mushrooms, or other insects. A few species, such as the bed bug, suckle blood.
  • Size: from one millimeter to eleven centimeters.
  • Particularities: Many bedbugs spread a bad stench when in danger, which scares off attackers.

Photo Show: From the Beauty of Bedbugs

12 images