Do Bed Bugs Spread Disease?
While bed bugs are a pain, in the past they have done little more than cause small, itchy bumps on your body while you sleep at night. But do they carry diseases?
It wasn’t believed that they carried disease or caused any long-term problems. However, scientists now suggest that bed bug bites may do more harm than we previously thought.
What Diseases Do Bed Bugs Carry?
Common bed bugs are believed to carry over forty different disease-causing pathogens – all of which can affect humans. While bed bugs don’t transmit the disease to humans as easily as other pests that feed upon blood – such as mosquitoes – their feces provides an easy channel for disease transmission.
Most notably, researchers have found that bed bugs can carry Trypanosoma cruzi, which is the type of parasite that causes Chagas disease. This disease, most commonly found in tropical areas, can cause fever, swelling, and heart problems. The disease is usually found in Mexico, Central America, and South America, and symptoms can range from mild to life-threatening.
Do Bed Bugs Cause Allergies?
What’s even more threatening is the fact that bed bugs can induce allergies in many people. Individuals who have asthma or other sensitivities may experience severe – and in some cases life-threatening – reactions, such as trouble breathing, swelling, and excessive itching. This is because bed bugs release histamine in their feces.
This feces, which can linger long after a bed bug infestation has been eradicated, can cause reactions for years on end.
In fact, histamine levels in homes with bed bug infestations were roughly twenty times higher than those in homes without bed bugs.
What Sort of Reaction Might I Have to a Bed Bug Bite?
Most people won’t experience such a severe reaction to a bed bug bite. That being said, bed bugs can be blamed for the cause of ailments including:
They can also cause a secondary infection, which is common with the bites aren’t kept clean and disinfection. This is particularly common in children, the immunosuppressed, and the elderly.
Normally, bed bug bites cause itching, swelling, and blister-like lesions.
You may become extremely psychologically stressed when you have a bed bug infestation as well, resulting in loss of sleep and a lowering of your quality of life.
How Do I Prevent a Bed Bug Infestation?
It can be tough to prevent a bed bug infestation, as these pests can linger in just about any climate, anywhere throughout the world. You may pick up an infestation while staying in a hotel while traveling, on an airplane seat, or even in a movie theater. If you’re concerned about bed bugs here are a few tips to help prevent bringing them into your home:
- Wash your clothes in the hottest possible setting.
- Dry your clothes in the hottest setting as well.
- Seal your clothes in an airtight plastic bag when traveling, and wash your clothes immediately upon your return.
- Do not leave suitcases or clothing on the floor, where the bugs can hitch a ride without you realizing it.
You might realize you have an infestation when you notice spots of blood on your sheets – leftovers from where the pests were feeding – or begin to spot the itchy bumps popping up on your legs, arms, and other extremities.
Contact an exterminator right away if you notice these signs.
What Should I Do About a Bed Bug Infestation?
If you have any signs of bed bug bites, make sure you immediately contact your physician. Because bed bug bites are easily mistaken with bites from other insect species – such as ticks – it is exceptionally important that you know exactly what organism you are dealing with so that you can treat the bites, and any resulting diseases, most effectively.
Dealing with a bed bug infestation, or worried about a potential one? Don’t try to deal with bed bugs with expensive, ineffective DIY methods.
Instead, hire a professional pest control service to get rid of your pest problem for you. Rest Easy Pest Control is the name for all things pest-elimination.
We can get rid your bed bug infestation, and prevent future ones, through a combination of natural and chemical methods.
Also, we don’t just look at a one-time solution to your problem. We focus on how the pests arrived in your home, and develop a plan to keep them from coming back.
More about bed bugs:
- Bed Bug Lifespan
- Do Bed Bugs Carry Disease?
- Bat Bug vs. Bed Bug: What Is the Difference?
- Bed Bugs on Mattress and Box Spring
- Don’t Let Bed Bugs Bite You While You’re Dreaming
- Bed Bug Exterminator: Know Bed Bugs Habits and Their Characteristics
- Bed Bug Treatment
- Bed Bug Facts: Five Things You Should Know About Bed Bugs
- Bed Bug Prevention: How to Avoid Bed Bugs While Traveling
- NYC Bed Bugs: Subways Are Infested!