The airport was filled with people going to and fro. The people were waiting to pick up their luggage and make their way to their final destination. A bright red set of luggage moved up to the front and was picked up by a young couple. They were excited to visit Paris on their vacation. They had taken their luggage from the attic and packed hurriedly. Tucked neatly inside the lining of a few pieces of the leather luggage were two little brown bugs and many little white dots. They had traveled on this vacation and others in the past.
Beatrice and Barney were two little brown bed bugs and they were excited about the vacation as well. They loved to travel and leave eggs behind. They loved to stay in the luxury hotel rooms and quickly searched out each room to find a really good hiding place. They usually chose the mattresses or the bed frames for they were seldom cleaned well.
“Well Beatrice we have arrived. You check out the room for the best hiding places. Wow this bed is huge! You can lay lots of eggs here. Can you imagine us country bumpkins here in Paris? I know you have always said you want the finer things in life. I just don’t know how much finer it can possibly get.”
“Isn’t it just wonderful? I never ever thought I’d get to come to France but I’m so glad we hitched this ride.” Beatrice said as she searched out the beds frame.
“Look at this soft carpet. It feels so good on my feet. I could get lost in here without a great deal of effort!” Barney laughed as his little body sank down in the deep cut carpet.
“You are a parasitic insect! All we need now is for night to hurry and get here. I’m going to gorge myself totally on this nice ladies blood. You can have her husband.” She winked rubbing her empty stomach.
“I read that we are becoming more popular lately. Humans pretty much had us wiped out until 1995. Now we have made a comeback. I think it is all because the humans travel much more now. All we have to do is hide in the suit case and then pop out when they open it up. Heaven knows we might end up in China before our lives come to an end. Wouldn’t that just be awesome?” Barney stood up on his hind legs peeping over the edge of the suitcase.
“Traveling I’m sure has something to do with it. The humans don’t seem to realize we can hide in used clothes and furniture. Do you remember that song called “Hitching A Ride”? Well that is exactly what we bed bugs do. We feed exclusively on the blood of warm blooded animals and humans. There will be no cold meals around here.” Beatrice grinned.
“They thought they had us with all the insecticides but we are becoming more and more resistant to it. They will have to work harder to get rid of us for we have been around for thousands of years. For Pete’s sake we have laid eggs in many king’s castles. I can’t believe be have come so far.” Barney replied.
“Do you remember where our names come from?” Beatrice asked.
“Yes I do. They call us “bed bugs” because we prefer to stay in houses especially in beds. It’s a great place to eat, rest, and lay eggs. We have ancestors all over the world.” Barney answered as he crawled up the side of the bed frame. “I have heard we have several names. They call us a wall louse, crimson rambler; redcoat and mahogany flats just to mention a few. I can deal with the crimson rambler because I do like to ramble but a louse?” He smirked scrunching up his face.
“I like “redcoat” because it suits me well. Each time I fill up my stomach I turn blood red.” Beatrice commented.
“You are just a simple blood sucker like me. Don’t go and getting all prideful now.” Barney huffed.
“Well there is nothing like snuggling up to a warm body during the cold winter months and filling up your tank.” Beatrice said recalling the many nights she had done just that.
“Tonight I am going to use my stylet to puncture through the skin and find a nice healthy vein. Then I’ll use my maxillary bundle to suck up the blood. It amazes me how perfect we were created. After I feed for five minutes or so I can withdraw my stylet bundle, fold my tools back under my head and hide. I’ll bet if the humans could see my stylet they would be scared to death especially if we were as big as a cat.” Barney explained.
“Since we can live for a year in cold weather without feeding we need to think about staying in the warmer places like the tropics.” Beatrice winked hoping Barney would get the idea.
Night arrived sooner than expected because their host were exhausted from the trip and decided to go to bed early. Little did they know that they would soon be attacked by two adult bed bugs?
“I think we should just stay in this room for a few weeks and see who else comes in here. I’m sure we can catch some other unsuspecting people to hitch a ride with.” Barney whispered as he stretched his body out in a reclining position.
“Tomorrow will come before we know it. Right now I need to get some rest. I’ve stuffed myself and I’m as full as a tick.” Beatrice mumbled lazily.
“Go to sleep Beatrice and don’t let the bed bugs bite you!” Barney laughed. “Well that is what the humans tell their children every night. I’m just repeating what they say.” He continued.
“Be quiet now and stop with the rhetoric.” Beatrice answered as she drifted off to sleep.
So it happened that Beatrice and Barney traveled the world over leaving eggs everywhere they went. They wanted to be sure that they did not become extinct like other species do. They molted time after time shedding their old skin only to receive a new and updated wardrobe.
It might be a good idea to check around your bed frame and underneath your mattress. It could be that some of Barney’s and Beatrice’s ancestors are feeding upon YOU when YOU are sleeping.
Question: How do bedbugs suck blood out of people?
Written by Sybil Shearin
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