Is the Chemical from Bed Bug Feces Harmful to Humans?

Bed bugs continue to be a problem for many people long after they have been removed.

Bed Bug Fecal Staining on the Bottom of a Sofa

Bed Bug Fecal Staining on the Bottom of the Sofa

Many homeowners believe that their bed bug woes – including uncomfortably itchy rashes and stained sheets – will be eliminated once they have exterminated the bed bugs.

Unfortunately, bed bugs continue to be a problem for many people long after they have been removed. New studies suggest that the chemicals that bed bugs release can cause allergic reactions even when the bugs themselves aren’t present.

What Chemicals Do Bed Bugs Release?

Bed bugs leave behind waste that contains histamine. This can cause allergic reactions in most people, including rashes and even breathing problems. 

In the past, bed bugs were viewed as a pest of little health concern because they do not transmit disease. However, it is now believed that bed bugs can cause more severe reactions even after they have been killed.

How Do We Know That Bed Bugs Are Dangerous?

A study conducted by Zachary DeVries, a researcher in entomology at North Carolina State University, revealed that bed bugs leave behind large amounts of dangerous chemicals after they have been removed. 

In this study, DeVries collected dust from 140 apartments in Raleigh, North Carolina, in which an active bed bug infestation was ongoing. DeVries and his team measured the levels of dust before and after heat treatment and insecticide applications by a professional pest control company.

When the dust was tested, it was revealed that a variety of substances were found in it, such as pollen, human skin cells, and bacteria. However, when compared to apartments not previously infested with bed bugs, there was a higher level of histamine found in the apartments that were known to be dealing with an active or past infestation. In fact, homes with bed bug infestations tested about twenty times higher in histamine than in homes with no bed bug history.

 

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“Bed bugs leave behind waste that contains histamine. This can cause allergic reactions in most people, including rashes and even breathing problems.”

The Bed Bug Inspectors

Why Are Bed Bugs a Problem?

Bed bugs have become a huge health and economic problem since they made a comeback in the early 2000s. Bed bug infestations are common and dangerous in elderly residences as well as among disadvantaged communities, where it is often infeasible due to financial restrictions to remove them. 

Bed bugs spread quickly in close quarters and can be practically impossible to control in places like apartment buildings or nursing homes.

Bed bug bites are annoying and uncomfortable as it is, but can also lead to secondary infections. They may induce dangerous allergic reactions and can affect the health of homeowners and residents due to their exposure to exogenous histamine.

What’s even scarier is that while treatments with heat or insecticide will get rid of bed bug populations, it does not reduce histamine levels in homes. This suggests that they have a high resistance to thermal and chemical treatments. 

It could prove to be extremely difficult to get rid of these nuisance pests. Even worse, the histamine from their infestations tends to linger for up to three months.

If you are exposed to these high levels of histamine and prove to be a particularly allergic person, you could find yourself faced with asthma attacks. There is also research to suggest that bed bugs might be vectors for disease and parasites.

 

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“It could prove to be extremely difficult to get rid of these nuisance pests. Even worse, the histamine from their infestations tends to linger for up to three months.”

The Bed Bug Inspectors

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What Should I Do About Bed Bugs?

Unfortunately, there is not much that you can do about bed bugs once they’ve already invaded your home. If you have a bed bug infestation or dealt with one in the past, there is a high likelihood that your home’s histamine levels are extraordinarily high and that you will need to wait it out.

If you have not yet had to deal with bed bugs, the good news is that they can be prevented. When you travel, avoid leaving your suitcase on the floor or sleeping in places that are at particular risk for a bed bug infestation. 

Watch out for signs like stains on the sheets or even sightings of the little bugs themselves scuttling across the bed. Don’t purchase used mattresses, box springs, or linens without knowing for sure that they came from a bed-bug-free home.

If you do happen to develop an infestation, don’t panic. The Bed Bug Inspectors can help get rid of the infestation immediately. We know how to conduct the most thorough investigations and will follow up with a personally tailored treatment to make sure every last trace of these pests is removed from your home. 

We are an award-winning service in New York City and want to work with you to set your mind at ease when it comes to these unpleasant home invaders.***

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