Bedbug (chharpoka) any of the minute, blood sucking, widely distributed insects of the family Cimicidae, order Hemiptera. The group includes about 36 species occurring in all the continents. The bedbugs lack wings; two small scale-like pads represent the front wings. They have piercing and sucking types of mouthparts; like all other hemipteran insects, the mouthparts develop from the ventral side of the anterior part of head like a proboscis. All species are small, about 6 mm in length, oval, flat bodied, and reddish brown in colour. Integument fairly tough. All the six legs are small, fitted for running and walking. They have a pair of compound eyes, but ocelli are absent.
All bedbugs are ectoparasitic on warm-blooded animals including man, bats and different species of birds. They are exclusively blood feeders. Cimex lectularius, C. hemipterus, and C. rotandatus attack man. The most familiar species among the bedbugs, C. lectularius occurs throughout Bangladesh and often creates a great problem in dwelling houses, hotels, barracks, restaurants and other living quarters. This species is worldwide in distribution and nocturnal in habit.
During daytime they remain hidden in cracks and crevices of furniture and walls and in beds, pillows, cushions etc. Because of their extremely compressed body they can easily enter into these narrow openings. The bedbugs can emit an unpleasant-smelling oily secretion from two glands located on the undersurface of the body. A female can lay 100-250 eggs and it takes about two months to complete the development in warm climates. There may be three or four generations a year. Adult bedbugs survive for about a year and can live several months without feeding. They have no role as a vector of any human disease. Their bite however, causes irritation. [SM Humayun Kabir]