Bed Bugs, Lice, Ticks, Cockroaches… & Diseases



Jewel Wasp Turning a Cockroach into a Zombie   …   Caught in the Act of Injecting Neuro-Toxins Directly Into the Brain   …   The neurosurgically altered victim recovers from its paralysis but now lacks the will to flee or fight. The wasp pulls on an antenna and leads the roach, like a dog on a leash, into a burrow. There she glues an egg to the underside of the roach. She leaves the burrow and seals it shut. In the darkness, the roach stands motionless as the wasp larva hatches from its egg and chews a hole into its side. The wasp feeds through the hole for a while, and then slithers inside. Later, it pops out as a full-grown adult.

Bed Bugs:  A New Debugger   …   The new trap could be used both to assess whether a hotel room or apartment is infested and also to kill the insects without dousing everything in insecticide—which is, in any case, an increasingly futile exercise, as many have now evolved resistance.

Body Hair:  The Not-So-Naked Ape   …   When the bug was on a hairy patch it was detected, on average, every four seconds. When it was on a shaved patch, more than ten seconds elapsed between detections. Moreover, the bugs seemed to find it harder to locate a good spot to bite when they were surrounded by hair.

Bed Bug Control   …   Want to Un-Friend your new BFF?

Crab Louse (Pthirus Pubis)   …   Sucking lice are small wingless external parasites that feed on blood. Three types of sucking lice infest humans: the body louse, Pediculus humanus humanus Linnaeus, also known as Pediculus humanus corporis; the head louse, Pediculus humanus capitis De Geer; and the crab louse or pubic louse, Pthirus pubis (Linnaeus).  Note:  Crabs can also thrive in other moist body areas, such as armpits and eyelashes.

Body Louse (Pediculus humanus corporis)    …   Infestation is unlikely to persist on anyone who bathes regularly and who regularly has access to freshly laundered clothing and bedding. Epidemics of typhus and louse-borne relapsing fever (LBRF) have been caused by body lice.

Human Wildlife: The Life That Lives on Us   …   By Robert Buckman Paperback: 208 pages.  Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press (February 2003).  ISBN-10: 0801874076 ISBN-13: 978-0801874079

The body: The great skin safari     …  The local wildlife includes fungi, viruses and mites, but bacteria are the most common denizens. With hundreds of species, they dominate the skin microbiome – all the microbes and their secretions that live on the surface. There are 1 billion bacteria per square centimetre – more than 1.6 trillion over the 1.8-square-metre surface of the average person….

Ticks are considered to be second only to mosquitoes as vectors of human infectious diseases.     Ticks (Acari) are important vectors of potentially debilitating and life-threatening diseases. There are more than 800 species of these obligate blood-sucking organisms. Diseases carried by ticks are transmissible between animals and humans (zoonotic diseases). Ticks can carry a remarkable array of pathogens including bacteria, spirochetes, rickettsia, protozoa, viruses and nematodes. The diseases these pathogens cause include babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularaemia, tick paralysis, tick typhus and Lyme’s disease.

Field Guide to Insects and Spiders & Related Species of North America   …   By Craig Tufts and Arthur V. Evans Paperback: 496 pages.  Publisher: Sterling (May 31 2007).  ISBN-10: 1402741537   ISBN-13: 978-1402741531

Welcome to the Plastisphere    Plastics are energy-rich substances, which is why many of them burn so readily. Any organism that could unlock and use that energy would do well in the Anthropocene. Terrestrial bacteria and fungi which can manage this trick are already familiar to experts in the field. Dr Mincer and Dr Amaral-Zettler found evidence of them on their marine plastic, too.

 They noticed many of their pieces of debris sported surface pits around two microns across. Such pits are about the size of a bacterial cell. Closer examination showed that some of these pits did, indeed, contain bacteria, and that in several cases these bacteria were dividing and thus, by the perverse arithmetic of biological terminology, multiplying. Though the two researchers have not yet proved the bugs in the pits are actually eating the plastic, that hypothesis seems a good bet. And if they are, it suggests plastic pollution in the ocean may not hang around as long as has often been feared.

 Less encouragingly, Dr Mincer and Dr Amaral-Zettler also found cholera-like bacteria in their tiny floating ecosystems. Both fish and seabirds act as vectors for cholera (the former bring it into human settlements when caught by fishermen, the latter when resting ashore or nesting), so anywhere that such creatures might pick up cholera bugs is something worth keeping an eye on.


Disease Vectors and Parasites

Head or Body Louse (Pediculus Humanus)

Lice and Human Evolution

Bugs That Live On You

Parasite Files 

Parasite of the Day

Parasites on Parade

Parasites:  Pictures

Microscopic Images (Dennis Kunkel)

Lice Thrived Before Dinosaur Extinction

Control of Bedbugs, Fleas, Lice, Ticks and Mites

Infectious Diseases in History

Ticks and Tickborne Bacterial Diseases

Microbial World (Tick Borne Disease)

Emerging Infections, Tick Biology, and Host-Vector Interactions

Geographical Distribution of Arthropod-Borne Diseases and Principal Vectors 

Microbiology and Immunology  (Parasitology:  Arthropods)

Morgellons Syndrome 

Disease Vectors and Parasites

Medical Entomology:  Photographs

Veterinary Support Personnel Network:  Parasitology

International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature