Bed bugs have been around longer than we thought

by nobugsonme on May 17, 2019 · 6 comments

in bed bug research

The big bed bug news this week is that researchers have found that bed bugs have been around much longer than we thought.

We’ve previously been told that the earliest Cimicidae had bat hosts, and eventually moved on to parasitize humans living in caves. The new research has confirmed that bed bugs originated 100 million years ago, before bats or humans existed. The original host would have been some prehistoric animal.

Much of the research work (involving, among other things, digging around in bat guano in caves) would not appeal to the squeamish. But the researchers also considered other forms of evidence. According to the New York Times:

Insights about bedbugs emerged from other surprising sources, such as Hopi folklore. “They have quite a strong cultural heritage relating to bedbugs,” especially with one species that infests eagles and other birds, said Dr. [Klaus] Reinhardt [of Dresden University]. “The Hopi must have had a lot of contact with this bug, otherwise they wouldn’t have several stories about it.”

The team’s efforts, which began in 2002, have culminated in a sprawling Cimicidae family tree with roots deep in the Cretaceous period. Their data corroborate fossil evidence of a bedbug ancestor, Quasicimex eilapinastes, preserved in 100-million-year-old amber, which was first identified by Michael Engel, a University of Kansas entomologist, in 2008.

It matters how bed bugs have evolved because they’re going to continue evolving.

You can read the research study in the new issue of Current Biology.


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Stacy August 23, 2019 at 6:51 am

I finally rid my apartment of bedbugs. But now I have nightmares of bedbugs everywhere — all the time. I wake up in terror and cannot go back to sleep. I recently read that bedbugs are a mental public health hazard and I certainly understand the reason.

2 Shanice August 30, 2019 at 4:29 pm

I’m in hell right now…lack of sleep , having to wear long pants/shirts in summer due to bites. I’m exhausted & itchy. My sofa is infested & how we got them , I don’t know. I’ve lived 25 yrs in the same home & never had an issue. However , the past month I’ve finally found the source of my night time itch! I can’t take the lack of sleep & bites anymore. Help!

3 Concern user September 12, 2019 at 12:23 am

How did u get rid of them

4 trustinthejust September 13, 2019 at 7:36 pm

I’m familiar with this bug. I have a tactic that helps and has given me some chance at sleep.
Apply shipping tape all around your mattress like a ‘fence’, no sheet, It has to be applied very stiffly. You cant move it around or you will screw it up. FIND THE BEST TAPE you can. The bugs will get caught or not be able to cross it. Either way— You get the idea.

If this helps you can thank me by studying w/ Alan Watts on youtube. <3

5 Deadbug September 20, 2019 at 10:34 pm

I suggest Aprehend… excellent and new. It’s actually a fungal spray that spreads and kills them all. However good luck finding it for public purchase. I’ve only found one place that sales to individuals. Every one else says professional sales only. Even though it’s not supposed to be harmful to humans. Pretty sure it’s a money thing. Also it’s great for anyone that live in apartments and that pesky neighbor that refuses to treat keeps sharing their bugs… here’s some of the field trials in the early testing

6 Loretta Andrews October 6, 2019 at 10:32 am

HELP US! We’ve had professional treatment 4-6 treatments, the 1st treatment was removing everything in the bedroom,now I’ve placed diatomeous earth around,they’ve decreased but we’re still seeing babies & adults.BTW,it’s been 2yrs now,are we ever gonna be rid of these demons?

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