Can Bed Bugs Make You Sick?

Nothing can disturb a good night’s sleep worse than an invasion of tiny, biting pests in your bed. Bed bugs are found in cities across the country, including towns throughout Missouri. While bed bugs are often mistakenly associated with poor hygiene and a lack of proper cleaning practices, the fact is even the tidiest home can be subject to a bed bug infestation. At Amco Ranger Termite and Pest Solutions, we work to quickly and effectively eliminate this problem, relying on products that are proven to work yet still environmentally friendly and safe for your pets. 

If you suspect bed bugs or have confirmed an infestation, you may be worried about the risks these pests carry in terms of spreading disease. While scientists thus far claim it is unlikely for bed bugs to transmit any type of virus, they can have a major impact on both your physical and mental health. 

The Problem With Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are flat, tiny creatures that are reddish-brown in color and feed on the blood of humans and animals. They often infest bedding and furniture and can be found on mattresses, sheets, curtains, or other fabrics throughout your home. 

Bed bugs are hitchhikers by nature and spread easily from one location to another. You can pick them up from traveling and staying in hotels to visiting other people’s homes. Even the fanciest places have them and outward cleanliness does not mean you are safe. Bed bugs often lurk in hiding and may attach themselves to your handbag, clothing, luggage, or other items. You can even pick them up from clothing purchased in thrift shops and through other items you bring into your home. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), bed bugs do not pose a public health risk nor are they known to transmit any serious diseases, such as those carried by other pests such as cockroaches, flies, or mosquitoes. However, they do bite and can leave victims with lines of rash-like bumps spreading over their face, neck, back, or other parts of the body. These bites tend to itch and scratching could result in an infection. They can also result in serious allergic reactions. You should see your doctor if you suffer any of the following symptoms:  

  • Redness, pain, or oozing at the site of the bed bug bites;
  • Swelling at the site or in surrounding areas;
  • Bed bug bites that do not heal after several weeks;
  • Fever, dizziness, headaches, or other signs of possible infection. 

Bed Bugs and Known Health Risks

While bed bugs may not be classified as a public health risk, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) claims they are a public health pest. This is due to how fast they spread, the number of places infested with bed bugs, and how difficult they can be to eliminate. The EPA also warns that while the risk of transmitted disease is low with bed bugs, there are some major health impacts they can have beyond bite infections. These include: 

  • Secondary infections, such as impetigo, ecthyma, and lymphangitis, which are all bacterial infections that are difficult to treat and can wreak havoc with your health. 
  • Mental health issues, due to anxiety and lack of sleep caused by bed bug bites and worry over the problem. 
  • Anemia, in situations involving infants, pets, and cases where considerable blood loss occurs due to large scale and long term bed bug infestations.  

Addressing Your Bed Bug Problem

Aside from the telltale bite marks and itching, signs of a bed bug infestation include black or brown marks along the seams of bedding and mattresses. Both the EPA and CDC advise calling in professionals if you have any doubts or suspect an infestation. 

Bed bugs are nearly impossible to eliminate on your own. Let our Missouri bed bug control experts determine whether you have a problem and the steps needed to address it. Once you have received treatment, actions you can take to help keep bed bugs from returning include the following: 

  • Wash towels, bedding, curtains, and other fabrics in hot water;
  • Vacuum your bed, furniture, and carpets regularly;
  • Inspect all second-hand clothing or furniture before bringing it into your home;
  • When traveling, check the bedding and curtains in your room before settling in.  

We Can Help You Today

If you are struggling with a bed bug problem, Amco Ranger Termite and Pest Solutions is here to help. To schedule a free, no-obligation inspection, call or contact our Missouri bed bug control experts online today.