May 19, 2021

How harmful are bed bugs

Bed bugs are very small insects that like to live in beds, box springs, and bed coverings. They are most active at night, and usually, bite people while the people are asleep.  An adult bed bug can get to the size of an apple seed. There is a lot of range as far as how harmful are bed bugs to us. They are harmful enough that the EPA and the CDC put them on a list of “pests of significant public health importance.”

Bed bugs all but disappeared in the 20th century. They have come back and caused the CDC and EPA to release a joint statement on the widespread increase. The agencies note their population had become so small they were all but forgotten, and what harm do bed bugs do to us. They believe there are four possible causes for the increase.

  • Increased resistance to pesticides
  • More international travel, and travel in general in the United States.
  • Lack of knowledge of how to handle them.
  • Elimination of pest control measures at the local level.

What are bed bugs

Bed bugs live off the blood of the people they bite. Since they are so small, they don't need a lot of blood to survive.  Bed bugs are not a symptom of a dirty house. In many cases, they can be brought into a house by a pet, or by people who have been out. You could get one on you at a hotel, and not realize it until your own bed at home was infested.

Bed bugs like to hide in box springs, or in headboards and mattresses. They may also hide in sheets and blankets. Once they are in one of those it is hard to get rid of them. You may have to replace the box spring and mattress. A professional exterminator is the best bet to get rid of and prevent more bed bugs. They know what harm do bed bugs do to us.

Bed bugs may feed only once per week, which makes it harder to determine if you have an infestation.

What bed bug bites do

It is not the bite itself that is dangerous. What happens after the bite is what matters.  Some people may never notice they have been bitten by a bed bug. If there are enough bites, eventually you will notice itchy red bumps and welts on your skin. This is where more than one bed bug has bitten.

Some people have an allergic reaction, and this can be a big reaction or a small one.  Skin infections can occur if the bitten area is exposed to other bacteria. They are also known to cause insomnia, fear, and paranoia. It is hard to go to sleep if you are worried about being bitten by bed bugs.

In rare cases, bed bug bites can cause a systemic reaction, which is an allergic reaction that affects the entire body. It is like when people are allergic to bee stings. What is a small pain to most is a very bad situation for those with extreme reactions. This would be the extreme of what harm do bed bugs do to us. 


Preventing bed bugs

It is impossible to keep all bugs out of your house, but there are some things you can do to make it harder for them. Professional exterminators can treat your home to offer a lot of protection.

There are some things you can to in your house to reduce the possibility of bed bugs.

Check any used furniture you buy closely for any signs of bed bug infestation. Look for rusty or red stains on sheets or mattresses and dark spots that are very small. Do this before you bring it into your house, and treat it if needed.

Use a protective cover over box springs and mattresses. This removed places for bedbugs to hide, and they cannot get into your mattress if it is covered well. There are covers that have pesticides in them.

Reduce clutter to remove hiding places. Vacuum often to remove those sneaking into your house.

If you use a public laundry, take clothing there in a plastic bag and bring it back in another plastic bag. Take clothing out of the dryer and put it in the bag immediately. Fold later at home.

If you live in an apartment building you can install sweepers on the bottoms of your doors to prevent bed bugs from crawling in. Seal cracks around baseboards, light sockets, and any other cracks where a tiny bug could crawl through.

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