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Can Bed Bugs Spread Disease?

close up of a bed bug

Just the thought of bed bugs crawling around in your bed is enough to cause you restless sleep. Add onto this the disturbing fact that our blood is a bed bug’s sole source of food and you may not be able to sleep at all. Finally, considering the newly discovered evidence that bed bugs can carry and transmit dangerous diseases through their bites, you might just start considering any option you have that can get you away from your bed. 

Can You Get Sick From Bed Bugs?

A recent study from Penn Medicine in the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics suggests that bed bugs may be as dangerous as their closely related cousin, the triatomine, otherwise known as the “kissing” bug, which is most commonly found in South America. In this study, researchers found that bed bugs, just like the kissing bug can carry and transmit Trypanosoma cruzi, a parasite that causes Chagas disease, known for being one of the most common and deadly diseases in the Americas. To date, this has affected close to 8 million individuals.

It is a long-established fact that insects can infect people not just through their bites but through their fecal matter as well. Bed bugs have been known for a long time as disease-free pests. That is until this study, which provided conclusive evidence that bed bugs can pick up, carry, and transmit certain diseases. Although it is still not fully known how many, or which diseases bed bugs can spread, there is no doubt that bed bugs are to be taken more seriously. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) has reviewed many reports like this and feels that there are several unanswered questions. This is a prime example of why bed bugs should be studied further.

Can Bed Bugs Transmit Blood-Borne Diseases?  

Many studies have been conducted to determine if bed bugs are capable of transmitting blood-borne diseases. If you are unfamiliar with what a blood-borne disease is, it is a disease that can be spread through the contamination of the blood. In the case of bed bugs, however, current research suggests that they are incapable of carrying or transmitting blood-borne diseases. In summary, you can get sick from bed bug fecal matter, but not from their bites directly.

How Do You Know If Bites Are From Bed Bugs?

Unfortunately, bed bugs are not the only pests that bite us at night. Bed bug bites can be easily distinguished from the bites of other pests such as spiders and mosquitoes. What you want to look for are red itchy bumps with a clear center in a zigzagged or lined pattern, one after the other. Look for these bites on your neck, face, hands, shoulders, arms, and legs.

One good thing to note is that everyone reacts differently to bed bug bites. Some people have more severe reactions, while others may not find any signs of being fed on while they sleep.

What To Do If You Suspect Your Home Has Bed Bugs

Now knowing what bed bugs are capable of, if you know or suspect they are in your home, quick action is necessary. Speaking of action, here at Action Pest Control, we take bed bug control seriously. If you are at risk, we are here to help. Call us today to schedule an inspection for your home. We will send one of our professionals your way ASAP to ensure you are not at risk of bed bug-borne diseases.