Health Risks

As Nashville’s bed bug exterminators, we know that bed bugs cause a variety of negative physical health, mental health and economic consequences. Call us now, and we can help you avoid some of these situations.

Many people have mild to severe allergic reactions to bed bug bites with effects ranging from no reaction to a small bite mark to, in rare cases, anaphylaxis (severe, whole-body reaction). These bites can also lead to secondary infections of the skin such as impetigo, ecthyma, and lymphangitis. Bed bugs may also affect the mental health of people living in infested homes.

“Reported effects include anxiety, insomnia and systemic reactions” – CDC-EPA Joint Statement On Bedbugs

The Center for Disease Control, in a joint statement with Environmental Protection Agency this year said that bed bugs were, “a significant public health concern.” Many attorneys for plaintiffs have quoted the CDC/EPA statement as proof that hotels and apartments are financially liable for tenant’s health bills and psychological maladies associated with bed bugs.

 

Do bed bugs transmit disease?

According to some sources, bed bugs are suspected of transmitting 41 human diseases. While not scientifically proven to transmit diseases, studies have shown bed bugs can be carriers. HIV has been found to survive up to 8 days inside a bed bug after it fed on an HIV positive victim. Hepatitis B can survive 7 ½ weeks inside a bed bug, which has fed on a host carrying Hepatitis B.

Whether or not bed bugs can, in fact, transmit human disease agents remains a point of contention. Attorneys representing plaintiffs bitten by the bugs in hotels and apartments often firmly state that the risk is real and warrants compensation.

 

What is the most serious health concern with bed bugs?

One of the most serious health concerns presently with bed bug bites, is MRSA. Methicillin Resistant Staph Infection is potentially deadly. Today, it is also commonly called Medically Resistant Staph Infection. The scratching associated with repeated bug bites breaks the skin. In the age of MRSA there are significant health risks with repeated skin breaks.

Because bed bugs can hatch in 10 days and reach maturity in as little as 21 days, they reproduce at an astonishing rate. Bed bugs feed every night, biting their victims repeatedly. They are voracious, and are adept at feeding without the host feeling the bites until morning.

Left untreated, victims may discover large itching welts on their skin. (grab image from current site)

The victim to the left received these bed bug bites in a single night, staying in an infested room.

Again, any break in skin causes increased risk for MRSA. Repeated bed bug bites and scratching causes health risks that are potentially dangerous.

“The Staphylococcus aureus bacterium (MRSA) is a growing global public health menace because of its rapid spread from hospital settings into communities of healthy people,” says NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. “This is an evolving pathogen that in recent decades has developed resistance to common medical treatments and now is finding new mechanisms to spread and cause severe illness.” Bedbugs, A Growing Health Menace

“Over 90,000 people per year are developing life threatening infections caused by the  drug resistant staph germ MRSA.” MRSA- Deadly Threat

While the jury is still out as to the ultimate effect of bed bug bites on society as a whole, a bed bug infestation should be treated seriously and quickly to prevent possible health risks for you and your family.

For more information about the dangers of bed bugs and bed bug bites, check out these links:

Parasites and Health

Center for Disease Control – Bed Bugs

Bed Bug Infestations in an Urban Environment

Woman Receives $71,000 From Bed Bug Bites from San Francisco Hotel