Can Bed Bugs Make You Sick?
While bed bug bites affect everyone differently, some people may have a negative reaction. Learn how to spot signs of allergic reactions to bed bug bites.
Bed bug bites affect every person differently and are usually not a major health concern. However, a few people may have an allergic reaction to bed bugs and may require medical attention.
Can bed bugs make you sick?
Bed bugs are not considered a medical or public health hazard. While bed bugs are commonly associated with poor hygiene habits, the truth is, everyone is susceptible to a bed bug infestation. Bed bugs are particularly drawn to large cities due to the increased number of human blood meals in close proximity to one another. But can you get sick from bed bugs? Not directly.
While scientists have shown that bed bugs are capable of carrying human pathogens, no evidence has revealed that they have the ability to pass those pathogens on through bites.
Signs and symptoms of a bed bug bite
Bed bugs often bite in lines or clusters. Telling a bed bug bite apart from a flea or mosquito is impossible. Bed bug bites form red, swollen areas with dark red centers. These marks are a reaction to the saliva used by the bug to numb the area while feeding. An allergic reaction to bed bug bites could increase swelling or cause hives near the surrounding area, mostly from excessive scratching.
Not all people react to bed bug bites. Some people are bitten without ever forming any sort of red bumps on their skin. This does not mean you do not have a bed bug infestation. Traces of fecal matter near the edge of a mattress or suitcase or the remnants of white, oval-shaped eggs are also evidence of bed bugs. However, the strongest indicator of bed bugs in the home is discovery of the actual insect.
Signs of an allergic reaction to bed bug bites
Signs of an allergic reaction to bed bugs include enlarged bug bites and painful swelling around the area. High stress levels may make your body more likely to react to a bite.
When to see a doctor
It is always best to seek the advice of a doctor when you have concerns about your health. Bed bugs feed about every five to 10 days, but infestations can break out quickly. A significant increase in bites over a period of time could be an indicating factor that your home has been infested.
Detecting the presence of bed bugs in a home can be a challenging task. The sooner you treat a bed bug infestation, the better. Working with pest prevention specialists can reduce the amount of time you spend looking for a solution and prevent bed bugs from infesting other parts of your home.