The Animal Planet show “Monsters Inside Me” recently featured an episode on bed bugs. Though the series title is misleading (since bed bugs do not live inside people), it is a show about human parasites.
I strongly caution you that the images linked below can be quite disturbing to someone who is experiencing, has experienced, or suspects a bed bug infestation.
The first clip provides an introduction and shows entomologist (and friend-to-Bedbugger) Dr. Louis Sorkin (of the American Museum of Natural History) feeding his bed bug colony and Lou and a bed bug sufferer talking about her bed bug infestation. The second goes into more detail on bed bug bites (with images of bed bugs feeding), and the third talks mostly about traumatic insemination (the bed bugs’ mode of reproduction, which is as nasty as it sounds). There are live and computer graphic animations of bed bugs feeding, having sex, and laying eggs.
Unfortunately, as Lou pointed out to me in an email, the digital graphic of the bed bug feeding, their narrator’s description of the feeding process, as well as the description of the mating process given by their biologist are all incorrect!
Lou points out that the announcer describes the stylet system as a syringe and straw, which is inaccurate; it is also figured only as a large proboscis.
Their biologist also “incorrectly describes the mating by referring to the male jabbing the female’s back (rather than her venter, and also not into a specific place on the abdominal venter).”
Thanks to Lou for his ceaseless efforts to learn about bed bugs and to spread good, accurate information about bed bugs, and for sharing these clips with us.
Read more stories about bed bugs in the media.