Bed Bugs and Disease

When considering bed bugs and disease, the prevalent medical position is they do carry disease organisms, but they are not known to transmit disease. While some sources claim that bed bugs are to blame for the spread of leprosy, Q-fever, oriental sores and brucellosis, these cases are poorly documented.

However, secondary infection may result if someone fails to keep the bites clean and disinfected, leading to swelling and bleeding of the bites. Infections are more likely to develop in children, those with suppressed immune systems and the elderly, especially those who are bedridden and unable to walk. Also, some people bitten by bed bugs have experienced allergic reactions that require medical attention, especially when exposed to numerous bites.

Bed Bug Infestation on Box Spring
Bed Bug Infestation on Box Spring

The greatest risk posed by bed bugs is the irritation of bites or the psychological concerns resulting in lack of sleep and stress. Bed bug bites do not typically become visible until a day or more after the insect’s feeding, if at all, since some people never react to being bitten. In extreme reactions, large wheals can appear. These wheals gradually reduce in size, becoming small, red marks.

Bed bug bites can cause itching and may also result in swelling or blister-like skin inflammations. It is important to note that other non-bed-bug sources can result in skin irritations as well.

If you are experiencing bites or other skin reactions, contact a physician. If bed bugs are present in the home, a pest control professional should be contacted to eliminate them.