Surprisingly, Bed Bugs Are As Old As Dinosaurs

A true pest persists in any era.

Bedbug
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Bed bugs have been annoying—for a very long time. A published in Current Biology shows that bedbugs are nearly 100 million years old—nearly twice as old as bats which were previously thought to be the first carriers of bedbugs.

In fact, bedbugs were around during the same time as the T. rex though it's unlikely that the blood-sucking critters fed on dino DNA. This is due to the fact that bedbugs glom on to animals that live in stationary homes (nests, burrows), which was a habit that dinosaurs—who were roamers—never adopted.

The team of researchers who worked on this report are currently unsure who their hosts were millions of years ago but did discover that bedbugs "did not co-speciate [organically evolve] with ancient humans."

"To think that the pests that live in our beds today evolved more than 100 million years ago...shows that the evolutionary history of bed bugs is far more complex than we previously thought," said study author and professor at the University of Sheffield, Mike Siva-Jothy, who called the findings a "revelation" in a .

The study also noted that various hosts of the bat and bird variety evolved from the "unknown ancestral hosts" that bedbugs plagued many millennia ago. Additionally, the study revealed that while some bedbugs are specialized to specific hosts–i.e.: Cimex adjunctus, bat bugs, who can survive on mammal blood but need bat blood to reproduce—there are some that remain unspecialized and have the ability to go back and forth between hosts.

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