Are Bed Bugs Dangerous?

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The alarming increase in bed bug infestations across the country have caused researchers to look more closely at what dangers these blood-eating pests may cause when they get into residential homes. Danger can come in many forms. When bugs get into homes they can eat away at wooden support structures, deface interior paint and wallpaper, eat holes in clothing, stain draperies, and damage furniture. Some pests are known to pick up harmful bacteria from trash and sceptic areas and transmit them to food storage areas and kitchen counters. Some bugs have venom and are considered a serious health threat. Others, are directly linked to the spread of diseases. So, where do bed bugs fit into this picture? Are they a dangerous bug to have in your home? Let's take a look.

bed bug bites on a small childs legs

Bed Bugs And Disease

There are many diseases that are transmitted by bugs--and most specifically, by bugs that are blood eaters. Ticks, mosquitoes, and fleas are all linked to the transmission of dangerous diseases that are of significant medical importance.

Black-legged ticks (deer ticks) are the most noteworthy of the handful of ticks that bite humans. This is because they are known carriers of Lyme disease. When Lyme disease is not caught early, it can develop into a neurological disorder that has symptoms that significantly overlap other diseases, such as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, ALS, depression and Alzheimer's, which makes it hard to properly diagnose. But, Lyme disease is only one of many tick-borne diseases. Ticks are connected to the spread of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Tularemia, ehrlichiosis, Colorado tick fever, babesiosis, STARI, anaplasmosis, Powassan disease and more.

The mosquito is considered by many to be the most dangerous creature on the planet due to its connection to the spread of malaria, which claims over a million lives worldwide every year. These blood eaters are also linked to several other diseases that can lead to death. Here in the United State, West Nile, dengue, and chikungunya virus are the most medically significant. Mosquitoes can also transmit the Zika virus. This virus is directly linked to microcephaly in unborn children, a congenital birth defect that has lifelong implications.

Fleas are most notable for the illness they transmit to dogs and cats, such as tapeworm, flea allergy dermatitis, cat scratch disease, haemobartonellosis, and more. But, they can still transmit plague to humans, and are still linked to human fatalities.

While bed bugs are blood-eating insects that carry disease organisms in their bodies, they are not known to spread infectious diseases to humans. So, they are not considered dangerous in this way.

Bed Bugs And Household Damage

There are many pests that get into homes and damage the structure as they chew through wood: termites, carpenter ants, carpenter bees, powderpost beetles, and more. These pests can also damage interior wallpaper, paint, banisters, furniture, and other keepsakes.

Some bugs stain items in a home when they leave their feces or they are squished. Ladybugs, stink bugs, boxelder bugs, are the most dangerous to draperies, bedspreads, and carpets.

When silverfish get into a home, they can damage important documents, deface photos, and chew on other important items that are made of paper.

The larvae from casemaking clothes moths chew holes in clothing and damage other cloth items inside a home.

Are bed bugs a danger to the belongings inside a home? They can be. Bed bugs leave their feces in areas they infest or on items as they travel around. These spots and streaks of black can be hard to clean, but not permanently damaging, in most cases.

Bed Bugs And Harmful Bacteria

When cockroaches get into a home they can spread disease and harmful bacteria that lead to food poisoning, dysentery, diarrhea, and vomiting. They are also considered disease spreaders and a significant danger to those who suffer from Asthma.

Many invertebrates are considered vectors of bacterial disease. This is because they feed on rotting and decaying organic matter.

Bed bugs do not climb in trash cans or crawl around in pantries or cupboards. Since they are blood eaters, they do not pose a danger in this way.

What Danger Do Bed Bugs Present?

While bed bug bites are not medically important, they can lead to a secondary infection if scratched bites are not kept clean and disinfected. There is also a chance that exposure to a bed bug infestation can cause a psychological issue for some.

If you have an infection due to exposure to bed bugs, contact a physician. For remediation of bed bugs, seek the assistance of a bed bug control expert.


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