Maybe you just came back from a trip and unbeknownst to you, those little critters made their way back in your suitcase.
Or perhaps you work in an overnight respite care center or volunteer at a homeless center and discovered you brought bed bugs back home with you.
Regardless of how they ended up in your house, bed bugs can cause all kinds of health risks if they aren’t dealt with promptly.
While those gross little creatures aren’t said to spread diseases – they can cause a host of other problems.
- Itchy/Scratchy Skin
Bed bugs… bite. And their bites typically come in straight lines or can be random and can lead to itchy raised marks on the skin.
Talk about annoying.
If your bed is infested, the anxiety of bed bugs feasting on you can keep you up at night, and lead to insomnia and other health issues.
But some people are actually allergic to these bugs and can develop painful swelling where they’ve been bitten and anaphylaxis!
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported:
“The bite marks are similar to that of a mosquito or a flea — a slightly swollen and red area that may itch and be irritating. The bite marks may be random or appear in a straight line. Other symptoms of bed bug bites include insomnia, anxiety, and skin problems that arise from profuse scratching of the bites.
Because bed bug bites affect everyone differently, some people may have no reaction and will not develop bite marks or any other visible signs of being bitten. Other people may be allergic to the bed bugs and can react adversely to the bites. These allergic symptoms can include enlarged bite marks, painful swellings at the bite site, and, on rare occasions, anaphylaxis.”
And when you itch and scratch your painful skin, this can lead to other complications such as skin infections or sores.
- High Histamine Levels
For people who have compromised immune systems, research shows the droppings from bed bugs could trigger respiratory problems.
It’s all about the histamine they leave behind.
Health 24 reported:
“Bedbugs leave high levels of histamine in their droppings, the study authors explained. For these pests, histamines serve as a marker to help them congregate in places where they can find sleeping people or food.
‘Histamine levels in bedbug-infested homes were at least 20 times higher than histamine levels in homes without bedbugs,’ said study leader Zachary DeVries, a postdoctoral researcher at North Carolina State.”
Thorough cleaning and proper treatment are needed to remove the remnants these little bugs leave behind.
- Prevention Is Key!
Once your home has been infested with bed bugs, it’s all but impossible (and very expensive) to clear your home.
Many people have to throw away furniture, as they hide deep within the wood and remain dormant until they come out to feast on your skin again.
And while some companies spray toxic chemicals to kill them, this can cause even more health problems if you have weak or sensitive lungs – and even if your lungs are good, sleeping in a room where chemicals have been sprayed is not a good thing.
When traveling, be sure your suitcase remains zipped at all times and preferably stored in a plastic garbage bag (yes seriously) off the floor.
Check your bed around the seam and look for little black dots –and check your sheets for red blood stains.
And after traveling or working in a place that may have bed bugs, take off your clothes immediately upon entering your home and throw them in the dryer on hot.
Don’t wait until you have a full bed bug infestation to deal with these critters! If you suspect you have them in your home, there are actually dogs that are trained to sniff out exactly where they are lurking.
Once you find out, you can treat that area.
I’d recommend throwing away all bedding and furniture if you have a serious infestation.
Have you ever had bed bugs before? If so, what did you do to get rid of them?
Tell us your thoughts in the comments below and be sure to share this article with your friends and family to let them know how to recognize, treat, and prevent bed bugs while being aware of their health risk!