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Different Types of Bloodsuckers and How to Identify Them?
You might have a slight idea about what is a bloodsucker an insect that sucks blood right? But how they suck blood and what are the harms that are caused by such bloodsucking insects or animals is a question that you may not have full information about. So keep reading to find out what is bloodsucker & how to identify them? Bloodsuckers are basically insects that suck the blood out of the host’s body and create a nuisance for the host. They have sharp proboscis or other body parts that can pierce into the skin of the host making it easy for such bloodsuckers to suck blood. They use their sharp instrument to inject and suck protein-rich blood to have a blood meal dine out. There are many Different Types of Bloodsuckers ranging from birds to insects, predators, and mammals that you can find all around the world. The only difference is about the bloodsucker identification, but all such bloodsuckers serve the same purpose of sucking out blood from their host’s body some silently and other violently.
Bloodsuckers as their name suggest, survive by sucking out blood from their prey’s body. Different types of bloodsuckers have different ways of sucking out blood, and they perform their bloodsucking hack in different ways as well. Have you ever thought of why these bloodsuckers survive on the blood of the host? Blood is a constituent that is rich in proteins and is also a carrier of dissolved food contents which is nutritious and a requirement for your body. If someone drinks up the blood then there is no need for them to go in search of other things, they already have all the essential things in one single carrier, and that is ‘blood.’ Yes, you might be thinking that even we humans can think of drinking blood which can serve as a single source of food rather than eating proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, etc. separately right? Yes, we can do this but the word is humans and not vampires, and thus it will not suit us to become bloodsuckers saying cheers by raising out a whole glass of blood. Bloodsuckers have the ability to take out blood by piercing the host’s body and hence cause problems for the host. There are Different Types of Bloodsuckers in the world, here are few of them:
1. Vampire bats
Vampire bats are one of the most common names that hit our minds when we talk about bloodsuckers. These bats are not only famous but are also considered as the only mammal in the world which feeds solely on blood. You can never find such bats nibbling on something, the only thing that they feed on is blood. These vampire bats are habitual of sleeping during the daytime and go out in search of their prey during the night and hence are nocturnal in nature. These vampire bats love to drink the blood of cattle and livestock, and there is hardly any news of these mammals feeding on the warm blood of humans. These vampire bats are supposed to land down on their prey before they have a gala meal of hot blood of their sleeping victim. These vampire bats are friendly with their fellow mates and can share their food as well. If it happens that a hungry vampire bat begs for some blood to another vampire bat who is already feeding on its prey, then there are chances that these bats follow the sharing is caring rule and share their preys blood with their fellow mates. How nice would it have been if all human beings also learned the sharing is caring rule, right?
The name mosquitoes may itself have given you a fuzzy and irritating feeling. These mosquitoes are someone who may create nuisance in your life all day and all the time. Yes, we are talking about the house mosquitoes which may have driven you crazy trying to clasp them in between your palms. Mosquitoes are one of the most common types of bloodsuckers which you can find easily at your house. Mosquitoes are tiny insects but beware do not go on the word tiny because as tiny they are but double triple strength they have to suck your blood. These mosquitoes are bloodsucking machines and a fly that you can easily sight at your house. But this is not something that you may be fond of because these insects also give rise to various diseases such as dengue and malaria which may prove to be fatal if it is at a serious and high level. Mosquitoes are like annoyance in one’s house and apart from the inconvenience they create they also give rise to diseases mentioned above making it an insect that should be shooed put from your home. Mosquitoes are in possession of a needle-like tube known as proboscis which they use for sucking out blood. You may be surprised to know that there are about six mouthparts of a mosquito which helps them to pierce, grip and suck blood. The saliva of a mosquito contains anticoagulant properties which prevent the blood from clotting before the mosquito drinks the blood. Another surprising thing about mosquitoes is that the blood drinking activity of mosquitoes increases about five hundred times when there is a full moon. During this phase, you can find this mosquito bite activity taking a boom. Female mosquitoes are supposed to suck blood because they need it for fueling the production of their eggs.
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3. Black fly
The black fly can be supposed as the cousins of mosquitoes. These black flies are the only female flies that drinks blood. These black flies have mandibles that are very sharp and are used for cutting the skin of the animals and birds so that it can dine on a blood meal. Lack flies are also known as buffalo gnats because of the hump that these flies have on their back. Their larvae are aquatic in nature, and they usually feed on the blood of wildlife and livestock making these flies as a nuisance for such animals. They are very small in size about 5mm in length but can cause great nuisance to animals by sucking their blood.
4. Vampire finch
Vampire Finch is another bloodsucker that may make the bird watchers to beware of such birds. These vampire finches like vampire bats are birds and are bloodsuckers which may give you a signal of being cautious when you sight such birds. Vampire finches are supposed to be birds that are bloodsucker and depend on the blood of other avian birds out of which blue footed bobbies are their favourite prey. These vampire finches first peck on their prey and then lick the blood that comes out of their prey’s body. This act of pecking may also be considered somewhat similar to the pecking activity of a woodpecker bird. The only difference is that the woodpecker pecks on wood and these vampire finches’ pecks on its prey. These vampire finches are bloodsuckers, but they do not entirely depend on blood and instead also feed on nectar, seeds and eggs. So it is not necessary that every time a vampire finch is in search of blood like other bloodsuckers and may feed on other things as well for their survival.
Leech is another common type of bloodsucker that you may have heard of or even sighted them as well. These leeches belong to the worm family and are a kind of crawly bloodsucker which may give you a giddy feeling. Leeches are so famous as a bloodsucker that their name is even used as a common term for a person who is a pain in your neck and sucks you up. People treat the word ‘leech’ as a synonym for a bloodsucker. Leeches are hermaphrodites which possess dual sex organs of male and female both and has the capability of fertilization. Leeches latch themselves on their host’s body and then proceeds with their blood sucking activity. Leeches also evolve a substance in their saliva which has anesthetic properties and does not lets the host know when they are stung by a leech. Many times it happens that the host is totally unaware of the fact that they are actually stung by a bloodsucker leech until and unless they see them sticking to their body. The anesthetic property in the saliva ensures that they are not plotted out soon and so that the blood keeps out oozing from the host’s body with a proper flow. Once the stomach of a leech is full, then the leech drops itself and leaves the host’s body and proceeds for food digestion. Leeches are mostly found in freshwater sources such as lakes, rivers, ponds, oceans, etc. But as we know there are always exceptions; there are few species of leeches that do not drink blood and instead survive by gulping down small insects. Apart from the freshwater leeches that are common bloodsuckers, there are terrestrial leeches as well which lives on land and not in water but needs a humid environment to maintain the moisture in the mucus covering of their body. Leeches have two suckers at both the ends of their bodies, and they use the thin part to suck out blood. A leech bite may not cause death but may take some time for the wound to heal. One can sprinkle salt on the leech when you find one such bloodsucker attached to your body. The salt will cause inconvenience for the leech and will make it drop down from your body.
6. Vampire squid
Vampire squids are ancient creatures and are supposed to live about half a mile below the sea level. These vampire squids are mysterious and appear to be spooky. These squids are not predators and are supposed to be as scavengers. These vampire squids have blue eyes and an intimidating look which makes it look mysterious. They live deep below the oceans and seas, and they possess a mysterious self-defense mechanism which enables them to turn themselves in an inside-outside fashion by wrapping down their limbs over their bodies.
Lamprey is like a nightmare that may never want to see. Lampreys are basically blood hoses that you can find underwater. Lampreys are a whole set of teeth and cartilage that ranges about 5 to 40 inches in length. Lamprey fishes are jawless, but they have a set of sharp teeth in their mouth which is used for their blood sucking activity. The lamprey fishes use these teeth set for sticking and latching on their prey for getting their meal. Yes, these fishes do attack on humans, but such cases are very rare and happen once in a blue moon. But we are sure that you will surely not like to sight these terrifying lamprey bloodsucker. Lampreys are also considered to be as ancient species and are supposed to feed on other fishes for their food and meal needs.
Lice are another bloodsucker that one can find on their head if they happen to be infested by these insects. Head lice are the ones that feed on the human blood and find a place for themselves on the heads of humans. There are three types of lice namely head lice, body lice, and crab lice out of which head lice and body lice have the same elongated shape whereas the crab lice have a resemblance to the crustacean. These insects are wingless and tiny but have the capability of sucking blood. People get to have head lice due to direct contact with a person who is already infected by head lice or by sharing combs, hats and similar such things with a person who has head lice. The female head lice lay eggs which stay attached to the strands of the hair and hatches up to form the young ones of head lice. These head lice can stay on the heads of humans forever until and unless the person who is infested by the head lice population does not take any measure or steps to get rid of these tiny bloodsuckers.
Bedbugs are another common bloodsucker that you can sight at your home, and you do not have to go far off places in search of one. But these bedbugs can be a real nuisance if you happen to find them somewhere near your bed. People say that bedbugs are even more terrifying and horrifying than the lampreys. These bugs are also silent bloodsucking insects that will suck your blood and relish it as well. Bedbugs are city dwellers and feed on human blood and have a place in the vampire club. These bedbugs also come out during the night time to suck the blood of the innocent people who ate sleeping and utterly unaware of such insects being beside them. The bedbug bites can cause swelling on the affected area and can also cause psychological stress and rashes. You are sure to get an itchy feeling on the affected area and can get a sense of inconvenience. These bedbugs make mattresses and wood as their hideout places and are a real nuisance which will not go ways with ease. People believe that keeping such mattresses that have a whole population of bedbugs should be kept in the sun to make these bloodsuckers vacate the place. Many a time the bedbug population increases to such a level that people are forced to burn such things that are infested by the bedbugs. One can also use insecticides and other such sprays to keep off such bedbugs away from your home.
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Many of us must be aware of this type of bloodsucker, and we think this to be a pest that is problematic for cats and dogs. But this is not the actual fact that these bloodsuckers are only limited to dogs and cats but can also change their hosts depending on their wish. These fleas have the capability of switching on from one host to another and can also jump from one area to another area. These fleas not only suck blood but can also be the reason for cause if serious diseases such as plague, etc.
11. Assassin bug
Assassin bug is also a bloodsucker and belongs to the predatory insect family. Apart from sucking blood, these bugs are also known for spreading diseases like Chaga disease. These assassin bugs like leeches also possess anesthetic properties in its saliva which doesn’t let the host now that it is being stung by an assassin bug. These bugs do their blood sucking activity with such an expertise that the host does not even feel the pinch and does not recognize that their blood is being sucked out by such a pest. Assassin bugs are also termed as kissing bugs because they usually sting nearby the lips. But please the name may sound romantic, but these bugs are not romantic at all, so it is better that you stay away from such bugs.
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- Leech-The Lesser Known Leech Facts and How to Identify Them?
- Bloodsucker – Different Types of Bloodsuckers and How to Identify Them?
- Leeches – How to Prevent Leeches From Biting You? (2018)