These tiny brown insects feed on humans and animals alike. However, they are much more than annoying little bugs. Much like mosquitoes, there is plenty of concern that bed bugs can transmit diseases as they bite by transferring blood from person to person. These bugs can transmit deadly parasites and can lead to a number of issues if not promptly addressed. Here are some examples of diseases/conditions that can possibly be spread by these pests.
Chagas disease causes a number of different conditions, and depending on the severity, the disease can be fatal. It can also damage the heart causing fatal heart disease later in life. Fever and inflammation are common as are enlargement of the liver and spleen. The infected area will also swell. If left untreated, the condition can become chronic and impossible to get rid of. This happens as the bed bug introduced Trypanosoma cruzi, a parasite, through their feces. There is evidence that bed bugs can effectively transmit Chagas disease to live mice which leads to the question: Can bed bugs transmit Chagas to humans? Thankfully, there are no documented cases of bed bug related transmission of Chagas to humans as of yet, but experts have projected that it is still too early to completely rule out the possibility of transmission.
Allergic reactions are common when it comes to bed bug bites. While this isn’t a disease, severe allergic reactions can be just as deadly. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include rashes, itching and swelling in the bitten area. Severe allergic reactions can lead to fatal anaphylaxis. It is important to speak with your doctor about treatment for any allergic reactions brought on by bed bug bites, and it’s even more important to remove the bed bugs from your home to prevent future problems.
Not yet thankfully. Because bed bugs may bite multiple people or animals over the course of their lifespan, there is always the concern that they will transmit HIV. Bed bugs have tested positive for diseases like hepatitis B, but information is inconclusive about whether or not they can spread the disease to humans. In controlled laboratory settings, there has been no evidence of HIV or Hepatitis B transmission between infected bed bugs. Bed bugs are also known for carrying diseases like MRSA that are unlikely to spread to humans.
The Risk of Disease from Bed Bugs
Whenever bed bugs are found in the home, it is important that they are treated right away. As the colony grows, the potential risk for disease transmission also grows. Diseases can be spread through the saliva that comes in contact with the skin when the bug bites, or through the feces that is left behind. Dealing with the outbreak in a swift manner can reduce your personal risk. Contact a local pest control company today to help you eliminate the bed bug problem in your home and learn preventative techniques you can use in the home.
At any rate, it’s safe to say bed bugs have no place in our homes. If you suspect bed bug infestation anywhere in your home, contact a qualified bed bug removal company that uses a combination of heat, vacuuming, and light pesticide to kill bed bug harborages. Heat treatment is the single best method for eradicating bed bugs and number one EPA recommended approach to successfully ending bed bug infestations.