Can Bed Bugs Make You Sick? All You Want to Know
The effects of bed bug bites vary from person to person, but some may experience negative effects. Find out how to recognize the symptoms of allergic reactions to bed bug bites.
Bed bug bites affect every person differently and are usually not a major health concern. However, some people might experience an allergic reaction to bed bugs and need medical care.
Table of Contents
Can Bed Bugs Make You Sick?
Unfortunately, bed bugs are very prevalent in the US. In addition to infesting homes, they can be transported from one location to another on clothing and bedding. This makes them very difficult to get rid of and allows them to spread widely throughout communities. Many people are curious about the potential health effects of bed bugs because they are so widespread and only eat blood as a meal.
Fortunately, bed bugs rarely transmit any illnesses to people. They are generally unlikely to cause physical illness in people. Even so, it’s improbable that someone would experience a more severe allergic reaction to a bed bug bite.
When bed bugs bite, they inject anticoagulant saliva into your blood, which prevents clotting. This causes an inflammatory reaction in most people similar to what we experience when bitten by mosquitoes. Hives, a rash, and breathing difficulties may result from a more severe reaction to this anticoagulant known as anaphylaxis. You need to get medical help if you experience these symptoms.
The psychological effects of a bed bug infestation may be the most harmful. It can be incredibly upsetting to learn that bed bugs are living in your house and feeding on your blood. Following the discovery of a bed bug infestation, there have been cases of people experiencing mental breakdowns.
Bed bug-infested areas frequently have residents who complain that the pests’ anxieties or disturbances keep them up at night or keep them from falling asleep. Instability, uncertainty, and depression may result from this. This is why it’s so important that you seek help from a professional as soon as you notice a bed bug problem in your home.
One of the most severe side effects of a bed bug infestation is unrelated to the bugs themselves and is secondary in nature. The itching that results from a bed bug bite can be much worse than the itching from a mosquito bite, although some people may not experience any allergic reactions. Excessive scratching could result from this, which could cause an infection.
An anti-itch cream, antihistamine, or over-the-counter calamine lotion can help if you have itchy bed bug bites. You must always refrain from scratching your bites and allow them to fully heal. This will help prevent skin infection and provide some relief from the bites, which will only get worse if you scratch them.
Signs and Symptoms of a Bed Bug Bite
A line or cluster of bites from bed bugs is common. It is impossible to differentiate between a bed bug bite and a flea or mosquito bite. Bites from bed bugs result in rosy, swollen areas with deep red centers. The saliva that the bug used to numb the area while feeding is what caused these marks. The most common result of over-scratching an allergic reaction to bed bug bites is increased swelling or hives close to the bite site.
Bites from bed bugs don’t always cause a reaction. Some bites don’t result in any sort of red bumps appearing on the skin. This does not necessarily imply that you are bed bug-free. Another sign of bed bugs is the presence of white, oval-shaped eggs or remnants of feces close to the edge of a mattress or suitcase. However, the strongest indicator of bed bugs in the home is discovery of the actual insect.
Signs of An Allergic Reaction to Bed Bug Bites
An allergic reaction to bed bugs can show up as painful swelling and enlarged bug bites. High stress levels may make your body more likely to react to a bite.
When to See a Doctor
When you are worried about your health, it is always best to consult a doctor. Bed bugs feed about every five to 10 days, but infestations can break out quickly. An indication that your home has been infested could be a noticeable increase in bites over time.
Detecting the presence of bed bugs in a home can be a challenging task. A bed bug infestation should be treated as soon as possible. Working with pest control experts can shorten the time you spend trying to find a solution and stop bed bugs from spreading to other areas of your house.
Where Do Bed Bugs Like to Live When in Your House?
Cities typically have higher rates of bed bugs because more people live there, which means more opportunities for blood meals.
One in five households annually experience bed bug infestations, according to studies.
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 typically located in isolated areas, such as inside of furniture and holes in walls.
In other words, getting rid of them is essential. Additionally, by getting rid of bed bugs, you’ll be able to reduce the discomfort you’re currently experiencing and avert future serious health problems.
Are Bed Bug Bites Associated With Disease Transmission?
Bed bugs can also transmit diseases through their blood, which is similar to the risks posed by mosquitoes, which carry infectious diseases when sucking blood from their victims.
Researchers from Purdue University discovered that they were home to over 30 diseases, including bacteria, viruses, parasites, and parasitic worms.
There is no evidence that bed bugs spread disease to people, despite the fact that at least 40 different bacteria that can cause disease have been found on bed bugs, according to a 2012 study by the American Society of Microbiology.
For the majority of us, finding out we have a disease can be quite frightening. We don’t want such bugs around our loved ones or homes.
Bed bugs are a danger in addition to being an annoyance. Let’s see some of the dangers that they pose to human health:
What Are the Possible Health Risks Associated With Bed Bugs?
Many bites could result in significant blood loss over time, which could cause anemia.
An allergic reaction, including itching, rash, swelling, or a burning sensation, may be brought on by the saliva in bed bug bites.
Whenever the feces or remains of these creatures are disturbed, asthmatic attacks are likely to occur in those who are prone to attack.
Long-lasting scarring is possible; it can develop gradually over several months or even years.
Following a bite, there is a chance of infection, which could cause new problems.
Patient side effects can occasionally be severe and include anaphylactic reactions, bacterial infections, or breathing problems.
Tips on How to Get Rid of the Bed Bugs from Your Home
Bedbug infestations can be contained and eliminated by:
Make sure to steam clean your carpets, floors, bedding, furnishings, and other household items.
Heat items safe to heat up to 46°C.
Make certain to wash your clothes, bedding, and curtains with the dryer and washing machine both on the highest setting.
Put all non-launderable goods in plastic bags. For several days, leave them at -17 degrees Celsius, or leave them at a higher temperature for longer.
Fill in gaps around baseboards and furniture cracks with caulk.
Summary: Can Bed Bugs Make You Sick?
There is no evidence that bed bugs pose a threat to public or medical health. While it’s true that people with poor hygiene practices are more likely to have bed bugs, anyone can develop a bed bug infestation. Due to the higher concentration of human blood meals in densely populated areas, bed bugs are particularly attracted to big cities. But can bed bugs make you ill? Not directly.
Scientists have demonstrated that bed bugs can transport human pathogens, but there is no proof that they can transmit those pathogens through bites.