One thing that a lot of people are concerned about is the hazards of bed bugs – in other words can bed bugs transmit disease?
Are There Hazards Of Bed Bugs
There is still some question about whether a bed bug that feeds on one person that has some sort of disease- and then immediately feeds on someone else – whether the second person could become infected.
This is probably not very likely because the bugs tend to feed only on one person as long as they are available.
Another question is whether a person could become infected from the infected blood that is carried by a crushed bug.
Again, not very likely because the second person would need to have a cut or opening where the infected blood could enter the body.
Hazards Of Bed Bugs
For the most part most health officials look at bed bugs as more of a nuisance rather than as a health hazard. But recently more and more officials are realizing that the stress of having these bugs eating on you every night could be a problem.
But there is another, more serious theory that was put forward recently that is more disturbing. It concerns the question on whether the bugs could carry dangerous bacteria with them.
Could Bed Bugs Carry Bacteria
This new theory involves the vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VRE) bacteria which is often the cause of serious hospital infections and Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
These infections can trigger lethal reactions in people that have weakened immune systems. The spread of these problems that are highly resistant to antibiotics are one of the most urgent threats to our health.
According to a recent paper – three patients that were hospitalized in Vancouver, Canada carried bed bugs that were found to carry such strains of drug resistant bacteria.
How You Could Become Infected
The theory is that the bugs wouldn’t nescessarily be infectious themselves but would rather be carriers that took the bacteria to anyone they were going to feed upon.
The US CDC believes that MSRA and VRE are caused by crowding and poor hygiene that results in breaks in the skin which then allow the bacteria to enter and infect the body.
So, there are two ways that you might become infected.
The first way would be if you were bit by one of these bugs. Although it varied from person to person, a common reaction to a bite is that it becomes itchy. If you were bitten and scratched the area around the bite you could irritate the skin enough that there would be openings for the bacteria to infect you.
The other area of concern is that just the bite itself might be large enough to allow an infection.
Who Is Most At Risk
Although the transmission of these bacteria and their associated potential for disease would be most concerning to anyone, people who have compromised immune systems would be most vulnerable. It would likely also be dangerous for young babies who haven’t yet had a chance to develop their immune system.
Hazards Of Bed Bugs – What You Can Do About Them
The one thing that you can do to protect yourself from this potential problem is to make sure that you don’t have any bed bugs infesting your home.
If you do find some or hear that there are infestations in the area of your home you need to be pro-active and try to make sure that they never get into your home.
The sooner you treat an infestation the easier it is to get rid of them. The longer you wait the larger the infestation and the harder it is going to be to get rid of them.
Use An Exterminator
If you have an infestation the first thing that you should do is see if whomever manages your property will pay for an exterminator. If you own your own home or Condo this could make it your responsibility but if you rent your Landlord could be responsible.
Even if you use an exterminator there are a lot of things that you can do to get the most out of the cost.
Kill Them Yourself
The smaller the infestation the better chance that you might be able to exterminate the bugs yourself. Or you might want to avoid the harsh chemicals that exterminators use and use Natural Methods.
Bed bugs, unless it is an unusually large infestation, are going to be located around the place(s) that you sleep. So, one thing that you can do to get immediate relief from bed bugs is to make your bed into a fort that makes it impossible for them to get to you.
Here are the steps that I have used several times to get rid of the bugs without hiring an exterminator.
Conclusion To Hazards Of Bed Bugs
It should be emphasized that there is no conclusive proof right now that bed bugs can carry or cause disease.
But the bottom line is that they are an extreme hassle and discomfort to have and just the thought that you are being bitten each night can be psychologically a problem.
So the best thing that you can do is to avoid getting an infestation in the first place. Make sure that when you travel you take steps to avoid bringing any home with you. Here are some important tips when traveling.
But if you do get an infestation make sure that you take steps as soon as you can. The problem is only going to get worse if you try to avoid it.
This site contains tips and ideas that you can use whether you hire an exterminator or choose to exterminate the bugs yourself. It also has numerous links to the types of materials and products that will help you make sure to keep bed bugs out of your home, or if you have them get them back out.