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August 19, 2016
Q. Why are there far fewer “bugs” this summer than you might think?
A. Not just this summer but every summer, since “many critters blamed for bug bites are not technically bugs at all,” including mosquitoes, ticks, flies, fleas, lice, chiggers, mites, says Gemma Tarlach in Discover magazine. For all you nitpicky types, bedbugs are “true” bugs of the order “Hemiptera,” and researchers have recently discovered that these “little guys have evolved the largest array of special proteins in their saliva that block their host's pain sensations, allowing for repeated, swat-free feeding.” Though many people find bedbugs more repulsive than mosquitoes and ticks, cases of bedbug-human pathogen transmission are rare.
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