BEDBUG, a hemipterous inSect (Cimex or Acanthias lectularius). The body is broad, two and a half lines in length, flat and wingless; it is a rust red color with fine brown hairs. By its shape it is adapted for living in cracks be tween boards in furniture, etc., and by its long, slender beak it sucks the blood of its victim. This insect lays eggs throughout the warmer months of the year, the generations succeeding each other as long as the temperature is high enough. The eggs are oval, white and the young bugs hatch in about eight days, escaping by pushing off a lid at one end of the shell. They are white, transparent, differing from the perfect insect in having a broad, triangular head, and short and thick antennm. A species closely related to the bedbug lives as a parasite on domestic birds, such as the dove. A nest of swallows swanning with alleged bedbugs was once found on a courthouse in Iowa. Trestwood states that the bedbug is 11 weeks in attaining its full size; it molts about five times. De Geer has kept full-sized individuals in a sealed bottle for more than a year without food. The cockroach is the natural enemy of
the bedbug and destroys large numbers, as does also the Reduvius and certain kinds of ants. In Europe a small black ant, Monomor ium, is said to clear a house of them in a few days. Houses have been cleaned of them after being thoroughly fumigated with brimstone, or by the use of insect powder blown into the cracks and crevices where they live. They are also easily destroyed by painting the cracks with corrosive sublimate dissolved in alcohol.
Temporary relief may be had by sprinkling in sect powder over the sheets of the bed one is to occupy. As the bedbug was known to Aristotle, who supposed it arose spontaneously from sweat, it is probable that it originated about the Mediterranean Sea, for it was not known to have occurred in England before the 17th cen tury. Consult Osborn, 'Insects Affecting Do mestic Animals' (Department of Agriculture Bulletin) ; Sutherland, H., 'The Book of Bugs.'