Can Bed Bugs Make You Sick or Cause Illness?

Can Bed Bugs Make You Sick Or Cause Illness?

Everybody knows that bed bugs are a big nuisance that can be tricky and expensive to get rid of once they infest your house, but what some people are most concerned about is whether bed bugs can make you sick.

With so many disease-spreading insects out there, like ticks and mosquitoes, it’s only natural to wonder if bed bugs carry the same threat. This article will let you know the ways in which bed bugs can impact your physical and mental health.

Do Bed Bugs Carry Disease?

Organisms can often carry harmful diseases with them, but it only becomes a problem when they can actually transmit those diseases to people and other organisms. Bed bugs are no exception – they are believed to be carriers of infectious agents, just like many other insects.

CC Image courtesy of AFPMB

But unlike mosquitoes and ticks, there is no reason to believe that bed bugs transmit any diseases to humans. The matter has been studied by researchers and there is no evidence to suggest that you should be worried about picking up a disease along with your bites.

Up to 45 pathogens have been found in bed bugs, in their saliva, feces, and stomachs. But there’s no evidence any of those pathogens can be transmitted to humans. That should be enough to make you feel better, even when you’re in the middle of dealing with a stress-inducing infestation in your home.

Secondary Infections

Bed bug bites don’t hurt, and do not transfer diseases, but that doesn’t mean they can’t affect your health. In some cases, the bites can get infected. That can happen when you scratch them, break open the skin some, and allow bacteria to get into the wound.

Bed Bug Bites

If the infection is only minor, you should be able to treat it at home. You can clean the bite area carefully at home and apply an antibiotic ointment several times a day. You can get that kind of ointment without a prescription.

But if it starts to get any worse, you should seek medical attention. Go to a doctor right away if you notice any red streaks coming away from the wound or if you notice you have a fever. That likely means the infection is starting to become widespread instead of just a local reaction.

Widespread infections can be extremely dangerous and will likely require antibiotics to treat.

Anemia

Another risk of having a severe bed bug infestation is the possibility of developing anemia from the blood loss you might suffer from repeated bites.

If you’ve noticed bed bugs bites on yourself and you’ve been really tired lately, the two situations could be connected. People who have severe bed bug infestations in their houses have been known to have anemia.

Children or smaller adults are more likely to suffer this ill effect. If you have a lot of bed bug bites or you’ve seen them at your house and you’re feeling tired, you might want to ask your doctor to run some tests to see if anemia is a possibility.

Symptoms of anemia include fatigue, abnormally fast heartbeat, headache, shortness of breath, dizziness, paleness, leg cramps, and sleeplessness.

Sick With Worry

Having bed bugs can cause a tremendous amount of worry. Your bed should be a place that offers you sanctuary – a place where you can peacefully rest and dream. It isn’t pleasant to imagine every time you close your eyes little critters are sneaking out to crawl all over you and drain your blood. You might lose a lot of sleep, which can affect your overall health.

CC Image courtesy of AFPMB

Plus, you can feel overwhelmed by how much getting rid of bed bugs can cost. You may feel like you’ll never be able to fully get rid of them since they can be difficult to kill off. It doesn’t help that you might have heard your exterminator talk about how difficult bed bugs are to eliminate.

It’s not unusual to feel extremely emotional while fighting a bed bug infestation. You might find yourself not wanting to tell anyone what you’re dealing with. As with lice, there is a stigma attached to bed bugs. You may feel like people will think you are dirty if you have bed bugs or you might feel ashamed of having an infestation.

As with lice, having bed bugs doesn’t mean your house isn’t clean and is no reflection on your lifestyle either. Realizing that may help your mental health when dealing with bed bugs.

It’s not unusual for all that worry to weigh on you after a while. So if you’re feeling stressed, tired, and overwhelmed, you can be reassured that those emotions are normal.

Bed Bug Allergy

Bed bugs bites are a strange thing – some people don’t notice them at all, while others have red, itchy bite marks after those little vampires feast on them. While that can be bad enough, another small subset of people has a bigger problem regarding the bites. They can develop an allergic reaction to the bites.

Bed Bug Bites

It’s very rare that this would happen, but it is possible. It can be difficult to prove that bed bugs are the reason for allergic reactions, because the causes of those reactions can be notoriously hard to pinpoint.

And although some people have had hives following suspected bed bug bites, it can be impossible to guarantee that bed bugs caused those hives. Still, researchers believe that bed bugs can cause hives or even anaphylactic shock on extremely rare occasions.

Summary

Bed bugs have earned their reputation as one of the more annoying and stress-inducing insects you can come across in your home. They’re sneaky, hard to spot, great hiders, and they can reproduce at an alarming rate, so you can have a full-blown infestation before you even know there is a problem.

To make matters even worse, you may wonder if bed bugs can make you sick. Although you shouldn’t have any serious, long-lasting health problems from them, they can cause some temporary issues – both physical and emotional.


My Favorite Bed Bug Treatment Products

While getting rid of bed bugs without buying any additional products can be done with very small infestations, I believe that by purchasing just a few additional products, you’ll be so much better equipped, and will be able to stamp out an infestation before it gets worse. Below is my list of essential products.


Bed Bug Patrol Bed Bug Killer Spray Treatment, 24oz Kills Bed Bugs on Contact with Residual Protection, Natural & Non-Toxic, Child & Pet Safe. Recommended for Home, Mattresses & Furniture.

Bed Bug Patrol Bed Bug Killer Spray Treatment, 24oz Kills Bed Bugs on Contact with Residual Protection, Natural & Non-Toxic, Child & Pet Safe. Recommended for Home, Mattresses & Furniture.

Bed Bug Patrol Bed Bug Killer – One of the best bed bug sprays that I’ve yet to personally use. Not only does it have a reported 100% kill rate against live bed bugs in controlled tests, but it’s also child and pet friendly. This product can be used against both light and heavy infestations, and most importantly, it’s laboratory tested and completely chemical-free.

Studies conducted using the treatment showed an impressive kill rate of 83% within just 30 minutes after application, and 98% within the first four hours, leading on to an eventual mortality rate of 100% over time.


Queen (13-16 in. Deep) SureGuard Mattress Encasement - 100% Waterproof, Bed Bug Proof, Hypoallergenic - Premium Zippered Six-Sided Cover

Queen (13-16 in. Deep) SureGuard Mattress Encasement - 100% Waterproof, Bed Bug Proof, Hypoallergenic - Premium Zippered Six-Sided Cover

SureGuard Mattress Encasement – It’s thick, durable, and is certain to help stop bed bugs of all sizes from getting to, or from, your mattress.

The protector prevents bed bug transportation by using SureSeal technology, and by using an extremely fine zipper that not even bed bug nymphs can impregnate.


ECOPEST Bed Bug Interceptors - 8 Pack | Bed Bug Blocker (Pro) Interceptor Traps (Black) | Insect Trap, Monitor, and Detector for Bed Legs

ECOPEST Bed Bug Interceptors - 8 Pack | Bed Bug Blocker (Pro) Interceptor Traps (Black) | Insect Trap, Monitor, and Detector for Bed Legs

In my experience, the best and most effective bed bug traps are usually the ones that are designed to work in the simplest of ways. I’ve used the Bed Bug Blocker Interceptor Traps extensively and I find they do the job better than any other trap I’ve tried. You also get a very generous 8 interceptors per pack.

Simply place them directly underneath the bed/table/chair legs you’re trying to protect, and watch the bed bugs fall into the traps time and time again with no chance of escape.


The ZappBug Oven 2 is a portable bed bug killer

The ZappBug Oven 2 is a portable bed bug killer

ZapBugg Bed Bug Heater – Specially designed to kill all stages in the bed bug life cycle, including eggs, without the need to purchase expensive pest control heat treatment solutions.

Simply place infested items into the ZappBug heater and it will automatically reach the all-important bed bug killing temperature, so you can be sure the items will come out free from all life stages of bed bug once the process is complete.

Large and small versions are also available.