Are Bed Bugs Harmful to You?

October 28, 2015 by Doug Moore

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One of the last things you want to think about are parasites that invade your bed at night and feast upon your blood. Unfortunately, these creatures do exist, and dealing with bed bugs can be one of the most annoying, time-consuming tasks you’ll ever tackle. But is a bed bug harmful to your body?

Bloodsucking fiends
The very nature of bed bugs is pretty skivvy. In order to pass from one of their several life cycles to the next, bed bugs must feast on blood. They hide in any cracks and crevices within your home they can find. Once you’re asleep, they come out of the woodwork — sometimes literally — and begin ingesting your blood. If this sounds gross and invasive, that’s because it is.

Transmission of disease
A similar pest, the pesky mosquito, not only sucks our blood, but can also carry life-threatening diseases. Because of this, many people believe that any insect that feeds on our blood is just as dangerous, which makes dealing with bed bugs an even more important endeavor. Fortunately for us, however, this just isn’t true.

Bed bugs have been blamed for the transmission of a number of diseases, but to date, there hasn’t been any evidence proving this fact, unlike with every other disease carrier in the insect world. So although there are risks to a bed bug infestation, contracting a life-threatening disease isn’t one of them.

Annoying itch
Typically, the biggest problem you’ll have when dealing with bed bugs is the itching and redness they cause. No one wants to wake up in the morning and discover they’ve been an insect’s buffet, and that reminder will stay with you until the itching sensation goes away. Unfortunately, many people find the itching hard to resist and constant scratching can cause the bite to stick around for a while. For people who have sensitive skin, a bed bug bite can be severely irritating.

The risk of infection
There’s another danger to receiving a bed bug bite that many people don’t consider, which is the risk of infection. Any penetration of our skin causes an area that is more susceptible to infection. Most of the time, a simple break in the skin needs to be cleaned with peroxide or something similar, or simply be covered by a bandage.

Bed bugs can be a bit riskier. There’s no way to know what they’ve picked up on their way to your bed. So when they penetrate your skin, contamination is possible. Normally, this doesn’t lead to any real harm because the contamination is minimal, but if the site of the bite doesn’t get better after a week, you might need some antibiotics to fight off an infection.

For more information about bed bugs, heat treatment, and canine bed bug scent detection, click here.

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