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Bed Bugs (Grade 6)

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Bed Bugs

Now, here is a bug we all loathe. It is round and flat, and reddish brown in color, and it has a disgusting odor.

But though we hate this bug, it is very fond of us. It has a short, sharp tube folded down under its head, and this tube it likes to raise up and stick into the skin of people, and suck out their blood.

It has no wings, only a pair of little scales where its wings should be. Yes, May, these scales are rudimentary wings, and they are good for nothing. It once had wings, but it preferred to go slipping about in cracks and hiding in beds, until in course of time no wings grew, which served it right.

It has antennæ and eyes and spiracles; indeed, it has everything a bug should have but wings and good manners.

We call it the bed bug because its favorite home is in beds, so that it can sally forth at night and feast upon its sleeping victims.

It lays its eggs in cracks and crevices, and each egg is like a little jar with a rim and a lid at the top. When the young one hatches it pushes off the lid. The young are in shape like their parents, only they are very light colored, and almost transparent. They look like ghosts of bugs, but they are very voracious ghosts indeed, and they eat and moult and grow and become darker colored until they reach maturity.

One strange thing about them is that they can live a very long time with nothing to eat, so that houses long vacated may still contain these nuisances, that sally forth, eager to round out their emaciated forms at the expense of the new occupants of the house.

The barn swallow is sadly afflicted by a species of these unwelcome visitors to its nest, and the poor bats are also victimized by a species of bed bug.

The bad odor comes from a liquid poured out of the back of young bugs, and from the under side of old ones.

These insects are very undesirable acquaintances, and they breed so fast that even one, brought into a house, may cause it to become generally infested in a few weeks.

Eternal vigilance and great cleanliness are the housekeeper's only safeguards.

There are some species of bugs that closely resemble the bed bugs, only they have wings, and live on flowers or in the cracks of the bark of trees.
1. 
According to the passage, why doesn't the bed bug have wings?
  1. It never used them.
  2. It gets eaten when it flies.
  3. It crawls around on the ground.
  4. It travels by riding on people.
2. 
What happens to young bed bugs as they get older?
  1. They get darker.
  2. They get hungrier.
  3. They get bigger.
  4. They get poisonous.
3. 
What does the phrase SALLY FORTH mean in the passage?
  1. head out bravely
  2. stop and eat
  3. sneak away quietly
  4. hide out in crevices
4. 
What does the word emaciated mean in paragraph 7?
  1. thin from not eating
  2. healthy and strong
  3. round and flat
  4. heavy with fatigue
5. 
What is the main idea of the passage?
  1. Bed bugs are creatures that live outdoors and don't bother humans.
  2. Bed bugs are creatures that feed on the blood of humans, but are easy to spot.
  3. Bed bugs are creatures that are hard to see, but can cause big problems in homes.
  4. Bed bugs are creatures that are harmless, although a bit annoying.
6. 
Which feature is not used to describe a bed bug in the passage?
  1. long-lasting
  2. reddish brown
  3. smelly
  4. scarce
7. 
According to the passage, what can a homeowner do to prevent bed bugs?
  1. Remove all beds from the house.
  2. Spray the house with chemicals.
  3. Keep the house clean and stay on top of them.
  4. There is nothing that can be done to prevent bed bugs.
8. 
How does the author feel about bed bugs?
  1. The author thinks they are disgusting, annoying creatures.
  2. The author thinks they are very interesting creatures to study.
  3. The author thinks they are harmless and get a bad rap.
  4. They author thinks they need to be removed from Earth.

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