The bed bug, officially called Cimex Lectularius is truly one of the worst household pests that we know of. Certainly is one that most people are afraid of, terrorized by and most difficult to exterminate. And definitely it's one of the oldest species on Earth as well. Apparently there is a species of bed bugs found in caves that date back from the times when humans only started to colonize the early caves themselves, many thousands years ago.
Bed bugs have the characteristics of feeding on human blood and unfortunately the human species is one of the most favored host for these little blood vampires above anything else.
Bed bugs have really started to become a huge universal problem starting from the 1980s onward, and hotels seem to be especially affected, although more and more homes are invaded by these pests as years go by.
The main problem with these creatures is that they can live longer than a year and can stay without feeding for quite some time before needing to feed again. So even if someone moves over to another room for a week to sleep hoping that the animals will die, they will come back to a sad disappointment and tons of new stings: the bed bugs are still there.
Over the years there were many different pesticides used to eliminate bed bugs, starting with DDT, which was working well enough by the small crystals that a spray of DDT was leaving behind, crystals that would be absorbed by the bugs, which would be killed once the crystals got into the central nervous system.
The problem with DDT was that it was also dangerous to other living creatures, birds, animals and even humans. So as efficient as it used to be at exterminating bed bugs, at the moment DDT is on the no-no list.
Image source: Creative Commons Wikipedia