Posted on | July 18, 2012 | 1 Comment
Bed bugs typically feed on their preferred host – humans. For thousands of years, they never changed their preference when it comes to food. They only feed on blood. We, humans, are very aware about this. They will not take meat, dairy or any left-over, just blood. When bed bugs feed, they release a natural anesthetic, pierce through the skin and insert their sucking mouth part. They also put in anti-coagulants so that blood does not clot.
It has been speculated that chinches prefer to feed on a certain person but not on the other. The reasons behind this mystery are unknown but researchers speculate that it is because of the carbon dioxide and some chemicals that the body emits. Other factors are blood chemistry and nutrition – things which vary for every person. All bed bugs – male and female, adult and nymph chinches, and adult and hatchlings – feed on blood. They need at least one blood meal so they can move on to the next stage in their lives.
These nasty parasites are delicate creatures. They cannot survive without feeding on human blood. In laboratories, researchers develop ways and devices to feed them. However, no method or gadget is as successful as the fresh human blood in keeping these tiny creatures alive. Animal blood cannot give them proper sustenance, not even warmed human blood. They must feed in their natural way – sucking blood directly from humans – otherwise they perish.
If there are no humans present where they infest, they will be forced to feed on mammal blood. These can include rabbits, cats, dogs and practically any animal that has a warm blood. In fact, there are studies about a kin to the chinch bugs that feed on blood from birds and bats. The insects are not bed bugs but they share several characteristics with these little bloodsuckers. It is important to identify the insect before taking any action.
According to old scientific literature, these insects can feed on cold blooded animals if there is no other animal present. That would mean chinches feeding on blood from lizards or other reptiles. In fact, one study even claims that they can feed on another bed bug provided that the prey is help on heated forceps.