Other than to drive you absolutely bananas, what is a bed bugs environmental purpose? To begin with, its a common misconception that there is a direct correlation between bed bugs and a filthy environment. There isnt. Bed bugs are just as happy to move in beneath Egyptian cotton sateen as they are cotton dipped in motor oil.
Its commonly understood that bed bugs have no reason to exist. There are no predators that consume them. They do not pollinate and they offer no distinguishing benefit to their surrounding environment. They simply do two thingseat and make more bed bugs.
So, a bed bugs environmental purpose is nothing, at least insofar as all of the knowledge we have of them and their interactions with life and their surroundings. While that may sound cruel, its not a question of eradication, simply one of non-purpose. However, if you look for anything hard enough, you often find something you didnt expect.
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When asked if he could have a magic wand, would he wave it and make all bed bugs disappear, Mickey Eubanks, a Texas A&M insect ecologist said, Id wave it twice, just to be sure. As far as spiders and other predatory arachnids or insects are concerned, going after bedbugs is a waste of time.
Thats not to say that bedbugs dont end up as meals for spiders but it is to say that the spiders could do without. Life on this planet is a series of cycles, most of which are easy enough to decipher by simply observing our natural environment. The problem with bed bugs is, there is no observable cycle in relation to their environment.
However, like most other species on earth, a bed bugs environmental purpose is a cycle of self-interested survivability.
Bed bugs want what almost every living creature on earth wantsfood, shelter, and a source of water. If you can provide those things, bed bugs will move right on in and happily unpack their suitcases. So, from the point of view of having a purpose, a bed bugs purpose is to survive.
Its the things that bed bugs do to survive that drive us crazy, such as infesting beds, the cracks, and crevices in bed frames, couch cushions, and basically any upholstery that isnt leather or some variation of it.
Looking at a bed bugs environmental purpose from the PoV of the bed bug, it loves to reproduce. In fact, bed bugs reproduce at an insane rate if they arent discovered and summarily destroyed. If a female bed bug gets a bite to eat at her favorite fast food restaurant (otherwise known as a part of your body), she can begin the reproductive process.
The female bed bug is capable of producing between 1 and 7 eggs per day for ten days, so long as she has access to blood a single time. Thats between 10 and 70 eggs in a little over a week. Since the female bed bug lives for up to a year, she can lay a ton of eggs. Also, thats just one female.
Males also get pretty boisterous about mating after they have a blood meal. Unfortunately, the type of mating bed bugs engage in looks like the scene of a homicide. The male bed bug quite literally gashes the female open to insert the sperm. The female will then use this sperm to continually fertilize eggs as she creates them.
This means the female can go without a male for a long time, simply relying on the inseminated sperm to continually fertilize new batches of eggs as she produces them.
Theres not much to add to this other than the fact that bed bugs are not a part of the all-important act of pollination. Without pollination, its likely that the planet would not exist as it does today. In fact, many scientists believe that life on Earth would come to an end, with the food chain broken.
Since bed bugs dont contribute to crop pollination, of which 75% of the entire planets supply requires pollination, theyre irrelevant to the potential apocalypse.
Here is where most of the argument over the necessity of bed bugs takes place. As for a bed bugs environmental purpose, some believe that they are an important part of the food chain, where spiders are concerned. Others believe that spiders wouldnt suffer a bit if all the bed bugs in the world vanished overnight.
It would be like taking corn dogs out of the freezer, with all of your other frozen foods remaining. The corn dogs arent exactly good for you anyway. The argument against a bed bugs part in the food chain is a simple onethey only propagate in a relatively obscure and secluded environment (aka your bed).
Bed bugs play no role in the control of other species because they dont go after any other species. They only prefer to feast on human beings (at least for the most part). Unless they happen to transfer some wild disease, they may aggravate humans but certainly dont kill them.
The running theory is that bed bugs are descendants of bat bugs, the latter of which decided (way back when human beings were finger painting in caves) that human beings were far more tasty than bats. At some point, these bed bug ancestors made the decision to stick with humans exclusively and the rest is history.
One thing that bed bugs havent done over the passage of thousands and thousands of years is change much. Why bother? Humans are yummy and readily available. Unfortunately, that also means that bed bugs havent become an important and inseparable part of the food chain either.
All they do is eat, breed, and come back for seconds.
One argument that can be made in favor of the existence of a bed bugs environmental purpose is the spreading of disease. That sounds weird, however, were applying purpose to bed bugs and (outside of possible meals for spiders) there simply isnt much to go on.
Once upon a time, it was assumed that bed bugs didnt really pass on any diseases, at least not anything truly debilitating. A study conducted by the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene changed all of that.
The study found that Trypanosoma cruzi, a type of parasite capable of spreading Chagas disease, can spread to human beings via bed bug infestations and bites. Basically, the bed bug delivers the vehicle and the vehicle delivers the payload. Chagas disease is deadly, killing upwards of 50k people each year.
Though it sounds ghastly, you might say that a bed bugs environmental purpose is assistance in population control.
Theres very little in the way of scientific evidence that the existence of bed bugs serves a necessary purpose. If they all vanished overnight, we and the animals we share this planet with would go on living just as we always have. In fact, many of us would go on living in a more comfortable state, especially at bedtime.
While that kind of determination wont blow anyones socks off, its nice to know that bed bugs arent exactly a crucial necessity. Sure, spiders eat them. But, thats the equivalent of having a lone snack in the refrigerator that no one else likes. Its all thats left so you might as well dig in.
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Why Do Bed Bugs Even Exist? Discover Their Purpose in the ... - AZ Animals