Do Bed Bugs Carry and Spread Diseases?
Many people out there today struggle to get some good night sleep thanks to some pesky pests known as bed bugs. Believe it or not, bed bugs can be some of the most irritating pests you can encounter in your lifetime, especially if you love your sleep. Bed bugs, as their name suggest commonly reside in the beds of their victims where they terrorize the during the night by sucking blood from their skin (just like vampires in movies do). As you already know, beds are found everywhere in our world today. You can find beds in homes, hotels, lodgings, boarding institutions and many other places. This is no surprise as people have to sleep at one point or the other in their day to day life.
Although bed bugs choose beds as their preferred home, they can also be found in other types of furniture like chair, sofa sets, dining sets, tables and others. They simply go where their food is and this can even be your wardrobe or closet if need be. Not to be confused with dust mites, bed bugs are parasitic pests whose source of nutrition is blood. They prefer human blood over the blood of other animals for some mysterious reason. They normally feed at night when a person is dead asleep. They can feed off from any part of your body and in many cases they leave marks in place where they fed. The most common parts of the body that they target include legs, arms, hands, necks, back and areas close to blood vessels where they can really suck the life out of you. Sounds terrifying, right?
Bed Bug Infestations
Unlike other pests infestations, bed bug infestations are really hard to identify. You can spot these infestations using various means. Sometimes, all you need to do is identify their foul and unpleasant smell to know that they are hiding somewhere in the cracks of your bed. Other signs or clues of bed bug infestations include trails of bed bug excretion, dead bed bugs, and the occasional live bed bugs that can be seen at night. A magnifying glass can come in really handy to identify these blood sucking pests as they can sometimes be really tiny. But, you shouldn’t be fooled by their size. The tiniest of bed bugs can be the most nasty and unforgiving. Bed bugs are know to come out only at night to feed and then rush back into hiding before dawn to avoid detection.
When feeding, bed bugs use 2 sharp and needle-like proboscises to penetrate your skin. One of these is for sucking blood while the other is for injecting saliva that is composed of vasodilatory substances (for widening blood vessels, an anesthetic (to minimize pain) and an anticoagulant (to prevent blood clotting during sucking). After feeding, the excrete reddish black fecal matter that is definitely a by product of digestion of human blood.
Now to the main question of the day…
Do Bed Bugs Carry and/or Spread Diseases?
There have been numerous discussion in the past on whether bed bugs carry and/or spread diseases and infections. The commonly accepted theory is that bed bugs themselves do carry diseases, but their bite cannot contribute to the spread of these diseases. It’s good to note that many other pests such as rodents and cockroaches have been found to carry disease causing organisms in their bodies. In the case of bed bugs, they have been known to facilitate the spread of hepatitis B virus, but not through biting people, but rather through spreading the fecal matter which is usually infected.
Again, bed bug feces are responsible for the spread of Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis). This is one of the most widespread and common illnesses in the Americas. Although there are no published studies that have confirmed that bed bug bites can spread any disease, it is widely known that bed bugs can be dirty pests that can many different types of pathogens on their bodies. These pathogens can find their way into a victim’s body leading to disease or illness.
Other Health Problems Caused By Bed Bugs
Bed bug are responsible for other medical problems that may not necessarily be termed as diseases. Bed bug bites, for instance, are known to cause a wide range of health problems ranging from causing anaphylactic shock to insomnia, swelling, itching and allergies. Because these pests bite you when you are dead asleep, you are usually unable to defend yourself. Severe bed bug infestations can result in you being bitten up to 500 times in one night. Bed bug bites are painless at first because of the anesthetic substance they pump into your skin when feeding. However, the wounds they leave can cause very severe skin irritations, allergies, inflammation, itching and permanent mars on the skin.
Allergies caused by bed bug bites vary from individual to individual. While some people are not affected by bed bug bites in any way, other people may begin showing symptoms of allergic reactions like severe swelling and burning sensations in affected areas.
Itching is probably the most common side effect of bed bug bites. The itch comes from the foreign agents that the bed bugs inject into your skin. These agents can take several days to be eliminated thus causing severe itching which can sometimes be unbearable.
Although bed bugs are not known to spread diseases through their bites, some of their consequences like itching can lead to open wounds that can get infected if not treated properly. Secondary infections like ecthyma, lymphangitis, and impetigo are therefore common.
Red Spots and Blisters
These are another physical side effect of being bitten by bed bugs. Bed bug bites can leave nasty red spots and blisters on your skin especially if you have sensitive skin.
People who don’t sleep so heavily at night can sometimes feel it when they are being bitten by bed bugs. This awareness can lead to fear or anxiety at night that then causes insomnia.
To avoid suffering from the above mentioned health complications, look for a high-quality bed bug removal solution today!