Bed Bug Vitamin B

Bed Bug

Underside of Immature Bed Bug

Insects that feed on a single source of food can have an imbalance in dietary nutrients. Bed Bugs feed only on blood which is deficient for the B vitamin complex. The evolutionary line leading to insects lost the genes needed to produce B vitamins long ago. However, insects retain genes necessary for uptake and conversion of B vitamins from their diet or from symbionts.

Like many insects, bed bugs harbor a bacterial symbiont, Wolbachia. Wolbachia receives protection, access to nutrients and distribution in the environment from Bed Bugs. Wolbachia uses some of the nutrients to synthesize excess vitamins including Vitamin B which allows the Bed Bugs to thrive. What is good for the Bed Bugs is good for Wolbachia.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in Bed Bugs, Biomaterials, Environment. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Bed Bug Vitamin B

  1. Pingback: Bed Bug Vitamin B – Entomo Planet

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