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Can Bed Bugs Spread Disease?

June 2, 2011

the bed bug

Just the thought of bed bugs crawling around on our beds is enough to make us cringe. However, the thought of these tiny pests transmitting disease takes the “ick factor” to a whole new level. A recent study published by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention suggests bed bugs may be involved in disease transmission.

A small sampling (5) of bed bugs collected from several patients in an impoverished area of Vancouver, British Columbia tested positive for the bacteria Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VRE). Marc Romney, one of the study’s authors, noted “even though this is a small study, it suggests that bed bugs may be playing a role in the transmission of MRSA in inner city populations where bed bug infestations are a problem.”

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) has reviewed the report and feels that there are many unanswered questions. However, because it is such a serious issue which could potentially place many at risk, the study is one of many examples why scientific research on bed bugs must be conducted.

According to a recent study conducted by NPMA, one in five Americans has now come into contact with bed bugs directly or indirectly through friends or family members. Scientific research on the pest will better equip pest management professionals to control bed bugs efficiently and effectively.


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