Are you tossing and turning at night, wondering if those tiny bites on your skin are from bed bugs? Bed bugs are notorious for their irritating bites, but can they also make you sick? In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the potential health risks associated with bed bug infestations and how to prevent and treat them.
What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are small, reddish-brown insects that are about the size of an apple seed. They are typically found in cracks and crevices, such as the seams of mattresses, headboards, and bed frames. Bed bugs are nocturnal and feed on human or animal blood, typically at night.
Bed bugs are annoying creatures. Bed bugs multiply rapidly bite you all night and it’s hard to find them. Most people are curious about the results of bed bug bites. Do bed bugs make people sick?
If no action is taken in the early stages of bed bug invasion, you can be a visitor at your home, and bed bugs can become the new host of your home.
This is because a female bed bug lay 3 to 5 eggs per day and an adult bed bug can live for several months without feeding.
Read Related article on home remedies to kill bed bugs
WHAT A BED BUG LOOKS LIKE?
An adult bed bug is about an apple seed and so, it’s difficult to see them with the human eye. Even so, it’s not impossible to find them. Bed bugs can be seen in the human eye. You just need to be careful while looking for them.
Bed bugs are commonly mistaken for cockroaches, ticks, or carpet beetles. But they are different from those insects.
They can’t fly or jump, but they can crawl like a spider. If a bed bug needs to sit on your body for feeding, it must crawl to your bed or chair which means you can see them while they are moving.
HOW DO BED BUGS FEED?
Their only food source is mammalians. Bats, dogs, cats, and human are their food sources and they are blood-fed. They don’t eat anything, but they drink blood.
An adult bed bug feeds for about 10 to 15 minutes and turns back to its hole. However, bed bugs prefer to bite a human only once and keep sucking until they are satiated, after a bed bug attack, there become tens of bites usually.
Because while we are sleeping, we usually move around and bed bugs relocate with every move of us. So, they start feeding again and again during their meal time. And after the feeding, we have a lot of bites instead of one.
EFFECTS OF BED BUG BITES
If a person is bitten by a bed bug for the first time, there will be some local erythema at the point of bite.
If the person is bitten repeatedly before, there will be edema with bleeding in the middle of it.
Reactions after a bite usually occur within ten days after the bite. So, it’s important to know the exact time of the bite.
After a bed bug bite, you don’t feel any pain, because they secrete a liquid while biting you which prevents clotting and doesn’t let you know being bitten.
CAN BED BUGS GIVE YOU A DISEASE
As you know, it’s always dangerous to get exact answers to such questions as Bed Bugs give you a disease. But a lot of research shows that bed bugs can carry many diseases to human.
As a Penn Study shows(https://www.pennmedicine.org/news/news-releases/2014/november/penn-study-shows-bed-bugs-can), bed bugs can carry Trypanosoma cruzi which is a parasite that causes Chagas disease, one of the deadliest diseases in the US.
Other research shows that bed bugs are vectors for more than 40 diseases including:
- Yellow fever
But you must know that recent studies show that HIV or Hepatitis B can not be directly transmitted by bed bugs; but after experimental injection of HIV viruses to a bed bug’s body, it was observed that HIV viruses could live in bed bug’s blood for 8 days.
PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF BED BUG BITES
Rather than a physical disease, bed bug bites are more about psychological discomforts. Living in a house that is invaded by bed bugs means having sleepless nights and a lot of stress.
After several months of fighting with them, searching the bed bugs in every corner will become your lifestyle. A person living in such a house will be thinking of them while eating, taking a shower, or sleeping.
This makes the daily routine unacceptable and such a person will probably need to take medical support for that.
LIST OF POSSIBLE PROBLEMS CAUSED BY BED BUGS
Those are the common problems/ Causes reported after bed bug bites:
- Red spots
- Secondary Infections
- Anaphylactic Shock
- Chagas disease
- Allergic Reactions
Itching and blisters are the most common results of bed bugs. Blisters will probably bleed after you start itching them.
Allergic reactions will differ from person to person. If a person bitten by bed bugs has any allergy to something like that, then a reaction will occur.
Anaphylactic Shock is a serious kind of reaction which can happen just after an allergic event. This is the hard response of the body to the allergy which occurs as swelling, dizziness, fainting, or pulse rate and can become deadly.
Insomnia is a result of psychological effects as I told above. Bites will make the person anxious and sleepless which will result in insomnia.
Chagas is an important disease that can cause death. Some studies proved that Chagas disease can be spread by bed bugs. However, we got that information, there has not been any documented case about Chagas disease.
HIGH-RISK GROUPS AFTER A BED BUG BITE
As you see up to the present, however, some diseases are approved to be transmitted by bed bugs; any HIV, Hepatitis B, or other diseases like those have been documented.
But some groups are always high-risked because of their special status. These are:
- Kids and babies
- Bedridden patients
They are high-risked because their immune system is are weaker than adults or other healthy people.
Rather than worried about the possible effects of a bed bug bite, you must get some medical support.
The best way in such cases is to get some professional help. Because maybe you have any allergic reactions to bed bug bites or the bed bug bit you may carry any diseases.
Sure you will make some “Google” for understanding the results of bed bugs, but please stop doing more and visit a doctor immediately.
Can bed bugs live on your body?
A: No, bed bugs cannot live on your body. They prefer to live in cracks and crevices near where people rest or sleep.
Are bed bugs attracted to dirty homes?
A: No, bed bugs are attracted to warmth, carbon dioxide, and blood, not dirt or clutter.
“Bed bugs are the ultimate hitchhikers, and their resilience makes them incredibly difficult to eradicate. Prevention and early intervention are key in controlling an infestation.”