Bed bugs are small, brownish, flattened insects that feed solely on the blood of animals. The common bed bug, Cimex lectularius, is the species most adapted to living with humans. It has done so since ancient times.
Bed bugs do not fly, but can move quickly over floors, walls, ceilings and other surfaces. Female bed bugs lay their eggs in secluded areas, depositing up to five a day and 500 during a lifetime. The eggs are tiny, whitish, and hard to see without magnification.
Under favorable conditions (70 - 90° F), the bugs can complete development in as little as a month, producing three or more generations per year. Cool temperatures or limited access to a blood meal extends the development time.
Bed bugs usually bite people at night while they are sleeping. They feed by piercing the skin with an elongated beak through which they withdraw blood. Engorgement takes about three to 10 minutes, yet the person seldom knows they are being bitten.
Many people develop an itchy red welt or localized swelling, which sometimes appears a day or so after the bite. Others have little or no reaction.
Unlike fleabites, which occur mainly around the ankles, bed bugs feed on any bare skin exposed while sleeping (face, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, etc.).
Adult bed bugs are about 1/4 inch long and reddish brown, with oval, flattened bodies. They are sometimes mistaken for ticks or cockroaches.
Why are they called bed bugs?
New York City saw an increase in bedbugs in 2004 and 2005. They even crept into some fine hotels. And hotel guests spending hundreds of dollars a night on a room do not want to be bitten by bedbugs. Some of the guests even sued.
If a person gets bitten by a bedbug, the bite will feel itchy. Bedbug bites look like little red bumps, and they can sometimes occur in a line on the body.
“If you notice bites, especially several bites in a row, it’s important to inspect for bed bugs in the seams of your child’s mattress and cracks or crevices in the bedroom,” says Karen DeMuth, MD, allergist on staff at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. “Finding bed bugs, bed bug eggs or tell-tale dark spots or stains on the mattress also indicate you need to take action against bed bugs.”
Bed bugs, which all but disappeared from the United States after World War II, are back. These small (adults are one-quarter inch long), flat, wingless insects survive by feeding on blood. They’re usually nocturnal and will hide in bedrooms on the mattress and box springs, in cracks and crevices and on curtains during daylight.
When people think of bed bugs they think of lower class or seediness," said Craig Levy, an epidemiologist with the state Department of Health Services. "But really the opposite is true. They often come from hotels. Nice hotels with a lot of international travelers."
"They get real upset," Nicoson said. "They think something is wrong with them. But there isn't. It doesn't mean a person is dirty. They probably just brought them home from (travel)."
Bed bugs arrive as hitchhikers, traveling in suitcases, clothing or mattresses. A bug that enters a hotel room on one visitor may go home with the next occupant.
Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite. How many times have you heard that expression? Chances are, too many to remember. But if you're fortunate, you've never actually been bitten by a bed bug. The tiny blood-sucking parasites' bites produce painful sores.
As I grew up, I eventually learned that bedbugs were once the scourge of the very rich and very poor. These evil little bugs didn’t discriminate. They made everyone’s life miserable; every night was a bite fest. They infested homes and particularly liked living in people’s beds. Who wouldn’t? For centuries these little creatures made everyone’s sleep a nightmare.
Saliva is a clear liquid that’s made in your mouth 24 hours a day, every day.
Saliva is made up mostly of water, with a few other chemicals
Saliva is produced by the salivary glands. These glands are found on the inside of each cheek, on the bottom of the mouth, and under the jaw at the very front of the mouth.
Salivary glands secrete about 2 to 5 pints (or about 1 to 2 liters) of spit into your mouth every day!
Saliva wets food and makes it easier to swallow. Without saliva, a grilled cheese sandwich would be dry and difficult to gulp down.
It also helps the tongue by allowing you to taste. A dry tongue can’t tell how things taste—it needs saliva to keep it wet.
Spit helps begin the process of digestion. Before food hits your stomach, saliva starts to break it down while the food is still in your mouth. It does this with the help of enzymes, chemicals found in the saliva. The combination of chewing food and coating it with saliva makes the tongue’s job a bit easier—it can push wet, chewed food toward the throat more easily.
Saliva cleans the inside of your mouth and rinses your teeth to help keep them clean.
The enzymes in saliva help to fight off infections in the mouth.
When vomiting occurs, saliva acts to minimize the acidity and thus prevent destruction of tooth structure, it’s like a protective blanket.
Did you know that saliva is 98% water?
Spitting into a cup or licking a diagnostic test strip could someday be an attractive alternative to having your blood drawn at the doctor’s office.
“There is a growing interest in saliva as a diagnostic fluid, due to its relatively simple and minimally invasive collection,” says study leader Phillip A. Wilmarth, Ph.D., of Oregon Health & Science University School of Dentistry in Portland, OR. “The same proteins present in blood are also present in saliva from fluid leakage at the gum line. It is considerably easier, safer and more economical to collect saliva than to draw blood, especially for children and elderly patients.”
“Saliva collection may be the only practical way to screen large numbers of patients in developing nations,” the researcher adds.
A maggot is the larval stage of the fly life cycle, famous for eating decomposing flesh.
The fly life cycle is composed of four stages: egg, larva (commonly known as maggots), pupa, adult.
The eggs are laid in decaying flesh, animal dung, manure, or pools of stagnant water—whatever has ample food for the larva, generally in moist areas.
A fly egg hatches in 8-20 hours and the fly enters the maggot stage.
Maggots begin life by feeding on whatever the egg was laid on, usually decomposing flesh.
A maggot gorges itself with food until it is ready to enter the pupal stage, at which point the maggot travels away from the food source to a moist spot.
The use of maggots as a form of field improvised healing has been documented since at least the American Civil War and it currently taught to US Army Special Forces medics.
Maggot therapy is the intentional introduction of live, disinfected maggots or fly larvae into non-healing skin or soft tissue wounds of a human or other animal in controlled and sterile settings.
This practice serves to clean the dead tissue within a wound in order to promote healing, like an antibiotic.
After suffering with wounds that wouldn’t heal, Pam Mitchell found a dermatologist willing to perform a procedure that would introduce maggots into her wound, and soon she had 600 live maggots wriggling inside a wound on her left food, where they were sealed in gauze and left for two days.
Maggots didn’t just save my feet, they saved my life,” Mitchell told Live Science. “They’re better than anything man can come up with because I’ve tried everything.”
Maggots are useful because they help remove dead tissue and expose healthy tissue, a process called debridement.
Maggot debridement therapy was popular in the early part of the last century but went out of vogue when antibiotic use became widespread.
Maggots and leeches are so effective that the FDA last year classified them as the first life medical devices. The treatments can be relatively inexpensive, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Did you know that a container of 500-1,000 disinfected maggots costs $70.
When you think of mucus, you might think of snot, which is that sticky stuff inside your nose. But that’s only part of the story. You’ll also find mucus in your mouth, lungs, stomach, and intestines. Whenever you find mucus, it protects and lubricates mucous membranes in your body.
In their book Allergies to Milk, Drs. Sami L. Bahna and Douglas C. Heiner report that children who are allergic to milk, “may have breathing difficulty, particularly during sleep, or an irritating cough associated with a postnasal drip….The cough is frequently assocailted with noisy breathing and excessive mucus in the throat, and sometimes parents worry that their child is ‘gagging,’…. Such affected children are frequently diagnosed as having upper respiratory infection, viral illness, bronchitis, . . . or pneumonia. Accordingly, they may be given unnecessary medications, including cough syrups, decongestants, or antibiotics. Relief, however, is not satisfactory until cow’s milk is eliminated from the diet.”
An Austrian doctor said people who pick their noses with their fingers were healthy, and probably happier than those who don’t. He thinks eating the dry remains of what you pull out is a great way of strengthening the body’s immune system. That doctor said there are lots of bacteria in bogies and when it all ends up in your tummy, it acts just like medicine.
I think my mom is the smartest though. She told me eating bogies would make me sick and I was sitting next to a boy in class and he stuck his finger way up his nose and pulled out such a gloopy slimy booger that it did make me feel sick. So Mom was right!
What is snot?
Did you know…that boogers and snot are like a gate—they stop germs, dirt and pollen before they can get to your lungs. And if you have allergies, your nose runs when you’re around what you’re allergic to because your body treats those things like germs.
It’s been awhile since I’ve had an snotty experiences, but I’ve had two in the past two days. Yesterday when I was walking the kids who live on our street to the bus stop I noticed the youngest member of the group hanging back. When I walked back to find out why she was walking so slowly, I noticed that her face was covered in snot. She said she needed a tissue and of course there wasn’t one for miles.
I grabbed the end of her shirt, wiped off her face and told her no on would have to know. Then I noticed that she had big, snotty boogers all over her hands. That’s when the gag factor kicked in for me. You know, the kind of gagging that sounds like a cat trying to barf up a hairball. Anyway, I told her to wipe her hands on the grass and then I doused us both in the hand sanitizer that happened to be dangling from her backpack.
When that was yesterday, lucky me, I got to be involved in another snot fest today. I was volunteering in my daughter’s first grade class and the teacher asked me to take one of the reading groups out to the library where we would read a story together. When we sat down at the table I notice that the kid sitting directly across from me has a snot screen on one of his nostrils. You know the kind that covers the whole nostril and moves in and out with the child’s breath. My eyes narrowed and I tried to keep my eyes off that nostril. It was of no use; my eyes were drawn back to that nostril over and over again.
Finally, when I couldn’t take it anymore I said to the kid, “Hey bud, why don’t you run up to the librarian and ask her for a Kleenex?”
He looked at me and said, “I don’t need a Kleenex.”
“Oh, yes you do!” I replied. He jumped up and thankfully the snot was diverted.
It’s official: antibiotics do more harm than good for people with common colds.
That’s true, even if you have what doctors call purulent rhinitis—what kid’s call ‘green snot.’
A big nose in the exhibit drops an occasional snot ball while it explains how much of the gooey stuff you swallow in a single day. (A whole quart). If you want to pick up some good booger facts, they’re available, too. Did you know that the real reason you shouldn’t eat boogers isn’t because it grosses people out (which it does!) but because boogers are full of dirt and dust and mucus?
Where does the slimy snot in your nose come out?
Snot is part of your daily diet. Humans swallow about one quart of nose mucus every day.
Arroll and Kenealy note that antibiotics can help some people with purulent rhinitis/green snot. But the odds are against it. The chance antibiotics might help is somewhere between 4 to 1 and 8 to 1. “Patients will get a quicker fix if they take decongestants such as Sudafed,” Arroll says in a news release.
And you can bet that water is the main ingredient in perspiration, also called sweat.
When sweat evaporates from the surface of your skin, it removes excess heat and cools you. This is actually due to a neat principle in physics, which goes like this. To convert water from a liquid to a vapor, it takes a certain amount of heat called the heat of vaporization.
Heat of vaporization: this heat energy increases the speed of the water molecules so that they can escape into the air. If you can produce one liter of sweat, which is equal to 1000 grams, in one hour, then 540,000 calories of heat can be removed from your body.
Typically, all of the sweat does not evaporate, but rather runs off your skin. In addition, not all heat energy produced by the body is lost through sweat. Some is directly radiated from the skin to the air and some is lost through respiratory surfaces of the lungs.
Finally, when the water in sweat evaporates, it leaves the salts (sodium, chloride and potassium) behind on your skin, which is why your skin tastes salty.
As we mentioned earlier, seating responds to your emotional state. So when you are nervous, anxious or afraid, there is an increase in sympathetic nerve activity in your body as well as an increase in epinephrine secretion from your adrenal gland.
You are about to do something really big—maybe a job interview, a presentation, a first date or your wedding—and you notice that your palms and underarms are sweating. Perhaps, you’ve just completed an aerobic workout and your whole body is drenched in sweat.
What is sweat and why do we make it?
Perspiration, or sweat, is your body’s way of cooling itself, whether that extra heat comes from hardworking muscles or from overstimulated nerves.
The average person has 2.6 million sweat glands in their skin.
Dr. Smith says, “Amazingly, if you move to a hot climate such as the American desert southwest or the tropics, your ability to produce sweat will increase to about two to three liters per hour within about six weeks!”
Your body works best when its temperature is about 98.6 degrees. When your body gets hotter than that your brain doesn’t like it—it wants your body to stay cool and comfortable. So the part of your brain that controls temperature, called the hypothalamus sends a message to your body, telling it to sweat.
Sweat isn’t just wet—it can be kinda stinky, too. But the next time you get a whiff of yourself after running around outside and want to blame your sweat glands, hold on! Sweat by itself doesn’t smell at all. It’s the bacteria that live on your skin that mix with the sweat and give it a stinky smell. And when you reach puberty, special hormones affect the glands in your armpits—these glands make sweat that can really smell.
Everybody needs to sweat to stay healthy, but when does normal sweating become excessive?
Well, if you’re out in the heat or you’re taking part in a strenuous activity, it’s normal for you to sweat. If you’re just sitting around with your pals watching TV, but they are still seating profusely, that’s probably an indication that there’s something wrong.