There’s been a lot of talk lately about the spread of bed bugs. What was once a pest that was rarely seen in developed countries like Canada is becoming an increasingly common problem. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that an infestation couldn’t happen to you.
You may be wondering if bed bugs carry diseases. The answer is, yes! As bad as it is to deal with painful bug bites, the diseases they could be carrying are much worse.
What Diseases Can You Get From Bed Bugs?
If a bed bug infestation is big enough, you can get anemia from having so many bites that you lose too much iron from your blood. It’s possible to develop an allergy to the chemicals that these creatures inject when they bite you. If you become allergic to these bites, you could have a severe reaction to the next bite you get.
Bed bugs can also get parasites, bacteria, and viruses when they drink the blood of a person or animal. Then they can pass that disease along the next time they bite you or your pet.
Bed bugs spread Chagas disease, which is caused by a parasite. When the bug is infected, the parasite is found in its feces and often in its saliva. After the insects eat blood, they defecate on the skin of the person or animal that they bit. If the parasite is in the bed bug’s saliva, it may infect you as soon as you are bitten. If the parasite is only in the feces, it can get into the bite when you move in your sleep or scratch at the bite, and the parasite makes itself at home in your body.
The biggest problem with Chagas disease is that there aren’t a lot of early symptoms. It attacks the heart and digestive system, and a person may not even know that there is anything wrong before they have heart failure or serious digestive problems. Chagas disease kills 50,000 people every year, mostly in South America. But as infected pests spread, the disease is also likely to spread.
Bed bugs are responsible for carrying a disease called Q fever, which affects people and animals. Infected insects have the bacteria that causes Q fever in their feces. People and animals are infected when the feces get into a bug bite.
It is not as scary as Chagas disease, but some people do die from it. Most people who get Q fever have flu-like symptoms for a few days and then get better. But for some people it will seem to go away only to come back years later. This chronic form of Q fever is deadly and requires immediate medical treatment.
Scientists know that bed bugs carry hepatitis B and that the virus is in the feces of infected insects. But they aren’t sure yet if they can spread this disease to people or animals. They are still doing lab experiments to figure that out.
How Do You Protect Yourself?
The surest way of protecting yourself and your pets from these diseases is to call Truly Nolen at the first sign of bed bugs. These pests are resistant to pesticides, so do-it-yourself fumigation techniques are not enough. Our technicians perform thorough inspections of all their favourite hiding spots during treatment to be sure that the insects are gone. Do you think you may have bed bugs? Don’t wait! Call us for help today.