Can Bed Bug Bites Cause Sickness?
Bed bugs have been making a comeback in recent years, which has led a number of homeowners to become overly paranoid of what this means. We are all aware that bed bugs love to crawl into our beds at night and suck on our blood. The more important question for many people, however, is a simple one ... can bed bug bites cause sickness?
Understanding the bed bug...
Bed bugs don't bite humans because they're irritated or threatened. They do so out of necessity for their own survival. Without ingesting on our blood, a bed bug is unable to grow. Although they can sometimes go up to a year without having a meal, they will eventually succumb to starvation if they don't get what their bodies need. Of course, none of this is reassuring to the receivers of bed bug bites.
The good news...
When it comes to any insect, especially ones that bite, there is the fear of disease. A number of insects have been known to pass along diseases to humans, some of which can quickly lead to sickness or, in some cases, death. The good news is despite the fact that bed bug bites have been rumored to transmit diseases, research has shown that there is no scientific evidence to back up this claim. Bed bugs cause a lot of problems for humans, but disease is not one of them.
Now, the bad news...
Just because bed bugs don't knowingly transmit disease, that doesn't mean there isn't cause for concern. The big danger comes from the itching accompanying the bed bug bites. The itching can be quite severe, making it hard to resist. For those with sensitive skin, it can be even more intense. Plus, bed bugs crawl through dirt and grime found in the cracks and crevices of our home, not to mention outside, so there's no way to know what they might be carrying along with them.
If you scratch a bed bug bite, this could quickly lead to an infection, and that is where the real danger lies. If you are afraid of scratching, it is recommended that you employ the use of a topical anti-itch cream. In most cases, that will do the trick. If that doesn't work, however, and the redness or itching sensation doesn't go away after a week, consult a medical expert who can recommend a treatment, which might include antibiotics.
Photo Credit: epSos.de via Flickr
About The Author
has worked in the pest control industry for the past 17 years. The last 8 years was spent as a Vice President of one of the most well respected regional Pest Control Companies in New York. He is part of a NESDCA Certified Dog Team