As of this writing, there is no proof that bed bugs carry pathogens that are transmittable to humans but studies have shown that they are able to acquire from mice and transmit to mice the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, which causes Chagas disease. You can see a detailed article about it here. But no conclusive evidence has been found to link bed bugs in any outbreak of Chagas disease in the United States. This may cause you to wonder, "What's the big deal, then?" Well, pathogens and parasites aren't the only way an insect can torment a family. Here are a few reasons bed bugs are a pest that should never be welcome in a home or business.
Bed Bug Bites
Bed bugs are a blood-feeding insect. For this reason, they bite. And they don't just bite one time, the way mosquitoes bite. They bite multiple times. Most often, an individual bed bug will feed three times a night. Entomologists jokingly refer to these bites as breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But being bitten by bed bugs is no joke. While initial bites may be small and unnoticeable, bites grow worse over time. Initial bites are made by immature nymphs, which are smaller. Since they are smaller than adult bed bugs, they don't inject as much anticoagulant into the bite wounds, and the irritation is less. But, with each bite event, the allergic reaction to this anticoagulant increases, and it isn't long before bites become itchy, painful welts. Those bites will also increase in number as the population of bed bugs grows within the home or business.
While getting painful welts is enough reason for some people to not want bed bugs around, the problem goes beyond this. For some, the presence of bed bugs causes mental trauma and leads to sleepless nights. The longer sleep deprivation lasts, the worse the trauma. And bed bugs are extremely difficult to get rid of, so bed bug battles can last weeks or months.
Bed Bug Stigma
Though it isn't true that bed bugs live in filthy homes, this is a stigma that has been around for a very long time. It is likely connected to the fact that bed bugs leave black stains caused by feces, brown and tan stains caused by blood stains, and shed skins, in areas of infestation. When a bed bug infestation is uncovered, it is usually a nasty thing to look at. But these bugs create this filthiness in locations that are hidden, such as between mattresses and box springs. This can happen in the cleanest of homes. Yet the stigma remains. And no family or business owner wants to be known for having bed bugs.
Bed Bugs Don't Stay In One Place
When an infestation appears in a home or business, it doesn't stay there. These bugs crawl into the items we carry or lay their eggs in these items, and we end up spreading bed bugs to another location. If family, friends, or customers find out you have bed bugs, it is going to have a negative effect. No one wants to get these bugs. That means you'll have fewer people coming over, and rejections when you want to go somewhere. This is frustrating for a family and crippling for a business.
Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring
As we said in the opening paragraph, at the time of this writing, bed bugs are not known to carry human pathogens, but we don't know what tomorrow will bring. There was a time when there was no such thing as Lyme disease. Now it is one of the most feared tick-borne diseases with health implications that last a lifetime. We simply don't know when, or if, bed bugs will ever threaten us in this way. But it is better to be safe than sorry.
If you ever see signs of bed bugs inside your home or business, contact a trusted professional and have those bugs dealt with quickly. When searching for pest control services look for a company like American Pest Solutions:
One that uses K-9 Inspectors to quickly locate areas of infestation before treatments, and to make sure no bugs remain after treatments.
One who understands that there is no one-treatment-fits-all approach. While heat treatments can arrest a bed bug infestation, heat is not always the best (or most cost-effective) way to stop bed bugs.
A company that uses both chemical and non-chemical control methods to arrest bed bug infestations effectively and discreetly, with the least amount of insecticides.
For homeowners and business owners in Massachusetts and Connecticut, industry-leading bed bug control is as simple as reaching out to the bed bug experts here at American Pest Solutions. Reach out to us today for a free evaluation.