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  • Writer's pictureJon Stoddard

Can Bed Bugs Make You Sick?

Bed Bug Image Closeup

Even imagining bedbugs probably makes you uncomfortable. Bed bugs are a nightmare. One of the leading concerns among homeowners and renters alike is bed bug infestations, but sadly, it seems more people are exposed to this problem each year.

It's no surprise that bedbugs are among the most problematic household pests, as they can find their way into your wardrobe and furnishings and spread from house to house quite quickly.

So what can you do to keep your family safe when it comes to such pests?

Considering the sensitivity of bed bug infestations, many people wonder and often ask, "Do bed bugs make people sick?". We hope that once you finish this article, you will be equipped with a thorough understanding of the health hazards associated with bed bug infestations and be able to take the necessary precautionary steps to keep bed bug invasions at bay.

With that said, let's answer the question - can bed bugs make us sick?

Can Bed Bugs Make You Sick?

Despite their existence, bed bugs do not pose a health risk to humans. It is unlikely that bed bugs can cause human disease. Even though bed bug bites don't necessarily cause sickness for the person who receives them, there are still some negative health consequences you may experience.

Moreover, the bites from bed bugs are different for everyone and usually don't pose any significant health risks. However, in some cases, bed bugs can cause allergic reactions, and the need for medical treatment may arise.

The common misconception is that unhygienic habits are directly responsible for bed bugs, yet the reality is that anyone can experience bed bug infestations.

In a recent study, researchers at Penn Medicine's Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics reported that bed bugs, in the same way as triatomines, can spread "Trypanosoma cruzi" - the parasite responsible for Chagas disease, a prevalent and fatal disease throughout the Americas.

In a second study, researchers discovered that bed bugs could cause many side effects and accompanying illnesses. The scientific community has demonstrated that bed bugs can carry human pathogens, but there is no indication that their bites can transmit these pathogens to humans.

Aside from that, you are more susceptible to developing psychological sicknesses. Wondering how's that possible. Let me explain it to you.

Psychological Sickness from Bed Bugs

Infestations of bed bugs cause psychological damage more than any other form of harm. Being aware that bedbugs are living inside your house and will consume your blood to survive can be highly stressful.

Some people have reported psychological breakdowns as soon as they experience bed bug infestations.

In areas with an infestation of bed bugs, residents report the following symptoms:

  1. Sleep deprivation

  2. Anxiety about sleeping

There are many reasons for this, but anxiety or disruption prompted by pests primarily causes it. Here are some possible outcomes:

  1. Depression

  2. Acute irritability

  3. Confusion

For this reason, it's imperative to seek professional assistance the moment your home develops a bed bug invasion.

Where do bed bugs like to live when in your house?

Bed bugs tend to be more prevalent in cities because of the proliferation of human populations, which leads to more blood meals.

In studies, it has been found that one out of five households encounters bed bug infestations each year.

Even though bed bugs are able to live in the wild, they are more likely to survive by invading a home, building, or any other residence where they can establish a colony. Their nests are usually found in remote locations, such as furniture interiors and cracked walls.

In other words, it's crucial to get rid of them. Plus, if you eliminate bed bugs, you'll be able to alleviate the discomfort you're experiencing right now and prevent serious health issues later on.

How to recognize bed bug bites?

Bed Bug Bite Images on legs

Recognizing bed bugs bites are easy as the bites usually appear in clumps or lines. Moreover, the bites from bed bugs are difficult to differentiate from those of fleas or mosquitoes. For a more detailed list of bed bug infestations, read our post listed 10 signs indicating you have a bed bug infestation.

The affected bed bug bite areas will be swollen and red with a dark red center whenever a bed bug bites. The marks result from the saliva secreted by the bugs as a numbing agent during the feeding process.

An allergic response to bed bug bites may induce swelling and irritation in the vicinity of the bite, usually resulting from scratching excessively.

The bites of bed bugs are not the same for everyone. Bite victims sometimes do not develop any visible signs of bites on the skin. However, this does not indicate that your house is free of bed bug infestations.

One of the most severe symptoms of bed bugs is "Sepsis" (a blood infection).

The remnants of feces along a bed or suitcase edge or traces of oval, white eggs may prove that bed bugs have been present. Nevertheless, finding actual bed bugs is the most apparent sign that the house is infested with bed bugs.

Are bed bug bites associated with disease transmission?

Bed Bug Image

Similar to the dangers posed by mosquitoes that carry infectious diseases when sucking blood from their victims, bed bugs can also transmit diseases through their blood.

Purdue University researchers found that they contained more than 30 diseases, ranging from bacteria to viruses to parasites and parasitic worms.

Based on another study conducted in 2012 by the American Society of Microbiology, at least 40 different bacteria are capable of causing disease can be found on bed bugs; however, there is no proof that bed bugs transmit disease to humans.

Even the discovery of a disease can be pretty frightening to most of us. We don't want such bugs around our loved ones or homes.

Bed bugs are not just an annoyance; they are also a hazard. Let's see some of the dangers that they pose to human health:

What are the possible health risks associated with bed bugs?

  1. It is possible to lose a lot of blood over time from many bites and end up anemic.

  2. The saliva in bed bug bites can cause an allergic reaction such as itching, rash, swelling, or a burning sensation.

  3. Whenever the feces or remains of these creatures are disturbed, asthmatic attacks are likely to occur in those who are prone to attack.

  4. There can be scarring that develops over time and can last for months or even longer.

  5. There is a possibility of infection after a bite, resulting in further complications.

  6. Occasionally, patients experience severe side effects, such as breathing difficulties, bacterial infections, or anaphylactic reactions.

Bed bugs bite: What can you do on your own to treat them?

In most cases, bites from bed bugs usually do not cause much harm. Without a doubt, you will experience some distress, but there are some measures you can pursue to at least mitigate your suffering.

Clean the bite site thoroughly

First and foremost, make sure that the bite site is thoroughly cleaned. It would be best to use mild soap to clean the bite site, followed by running water. You want to remember that soap should not be immediately rinsed off.

Leave it on for a few minutes, and it should help relieve any itching you may feel.

Apply home remedies

As long as soap doesn't relieve the itch, try using some home remedies. Mix water with some baking soda and make a paste. Put a layer of paste on the bite, and allow it to stand for at least one hour before cleaning.

Then rinse it off, and you should see a substantial reduction in itching.

Use cream that combats the itch

You can use creams that combat the itching caused by bed bug bites. These creams can be applied directly to the bites to relieve the itching.

To get benefits immediately, make sure you follow the directions precisely.

If the bed bug bites are causing you any amount of reasonable pain, then it may be best to take aspirin or other pain medication if your doctor recommends. These pain and irritation treatments are for mild conditions from bed bug bites that occurred.

If your skin condition appears to be more severe than it should be, it is recommended to consult with a medical professional.

Bed bugs bite: How can a doctor help treat a bed bug bite?

As long as you are experiencing extreme discomfort from the bites, visit your doctor for further assistance. Doctors can determine whether you have bedbug bites only after conclusively demonstrating that bedbugs are responsible.

Your doctor may prescribe a stronger topical corticosteroid cream to relieve the itch. Ointments prescribed by your doctor will be more potent compared to over-the-counter versions. It may be comforting to some to have a doctor's assurance; however, this is not always necessary.

Moreover, you must see your doctor if you find a skin infection or are experiencing an allergy attack.

Tips on how to get rid of the bed bugs from your home

Bedbug infestations can be contained and eliminated by:

  1. Make sure you steam-clean your carpets, floor, bedding, household items, and furniture.

  2. Heat items safe to heat up to 46°C.

  3. Be sure to wash your bedding, curtains, and clothing while the machine and dryer are set to the highest setting.

  4. Put all non-launderable goods in plastic bags. Leave them at -17 degrees Celsius for several days or at a hotter temperature for a more extended period.

  5. Caulk cracks in furniture and gaps around baseboards.

Pest Control For Bed Bugs

Suspect bed bugs living in your home? Or any other insect problem? You should seek out a professional pest control company. Bed bug treatments can be difficult for a homeowner to handle. Sometimes, a trained technician specializing in bed bugs knows where to look, can perform a bed bug inspection, and how to treat them and can make the process that much more effective. If you live in Florida and reside in the following towns, Imperial Pest Prevention can help.

  • Palm Coast

  • Flagler Beach

  • Bunnell

  • Ormond Beach

  • Ormond By The Sea

  • Holly Hill

  • Daytona Beach

  • Daytona Beach Shores

  • Wilbur by The Sea

  • Ponce Inlet

  • South Daytona

  • Port Orange

  • Allandale

  • New Smyrna Beach

  • Beverly Beach

  • Edgewater

  • Oak Hill

  • Deland

  • Orange City

  • De Leon Springs

  • Cassadaga

  • Lake Helen

  • Debary

  • Deltona

  • Glenwood

  • Enterprise

  • Sanford



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