These bad boys have several names in Fiji like Kutu ni tana, Khatamal and that creepy crawlies. As if bed bugs weren’t already horrific enough, we are just now learning how they mate, and it truly is the stuff of nightmares.
If you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to have a bed bug infestation in your house or on holidays, you know just how vicious these little demon insects can be.
But there’s one thing that bed bugs traumatise more than humans – and that’s other bed bugs.
In today’s fact that you didn’t ask for:
males bed bugs mate by a lovely little process called ‘traumatic insemination’. And it’s just as dreadful as it sounds.
Unlike some animals, who like to court each other before they finally decide to mate, bed bugs waste absolutely no time showing off or getting to know their mate.
Instead, male bed bugs will essentially stab the female on the side of her body with their hypodermic genitals and release sperm into the hole he has left in her body.
Sperm then diffuses through the female’s system until it reaches her ovaries.
Although the female’s body is able to heal after the horrible ‘stabbing’, the open wound is susceptible to infection until then, so it can be a pretty deadly ritual for female bed bugs.
Thankfully for lady bed bugs – and all of us – evolution has provided the female species with a little pocket of spermicide on their right side – the side that males tend to stab most.
The spermicide pretty much stops the insemination in its tracks, and ensures that her body produces fewer eggs – fewer bed bugs for us!
If this story didn’t already have your skin crawling, you’ll definitely start to feel an itch when I tell you that, despite her best efforts, the female bed bug will lay between one and five eggs per day – or 200 to 250 eggs in her lifetime.
Like you and I, bed bugs can’t tell the difference between male and female beg bugs. And, unlike the females, males don’t have a strong exoskeleton or spermicide to protect against a stabbing incident if another male gets the wrong idea.
So safe to say that Bed bugs are just the worst to us but also to their own species…..YIKES