With all of the media coverage about bed bugs, there are still outstanding questions about the inherent dangers. And the typical homeowner remains confused about whether bed bug bites are dangerous or if bed bugs actually spread disease. The truth is, bed bugs are not a medical hazard in the home, and an infestation is not considered a public health danger. Yes – bed bugs are annoying and bothersome and frustrating – but they do not spread disease.
Whether bed bugs occur at home or in a hotel room, their very presence is problematic. And when bitten, every person is affected in a different way. A bed bug bite might not even show up on the skin. On the other hand, it may show up as a small bite mark, and in some cases, there could be a physical allergic reaction. But from a medical standpoint bed bugs themselves are not dangerous, although an allergic reaction may require medical attention.
In many situations, it’s hard to know if you’ve even been bitten. The fact is, bed bugs will bite, and then inject an anesthetic-like substance into the skin that “masquerades” the bite. Most of us don’t even realize that we’ve been bitten until we notice the bite marks days later. And those bite marks look very much like mosquito bites – reddish and slightly puffy. Because the bites are itchy and irritating, they cause us to scratch (sometimes excessively).
For some people, it’s the incessant itching and scratching cycle that can cause a skin infection. For others, an allergic response might cause an adverse reaction, in which case some medical attention is required. But overall, research into bed bug bites has shown that there is little evidence that the bed bugs carry disease. At the same time, there is no specific treatment plan for bed bug bites – again, it’s just an aggravating and challenging progression.
When a bed bug bite does aggravate the skin and cause a reaction, its most commonly treated with a simple antihistamine or some type of anti-itching medication. But only in serious cases, where an infection sets in, would antibiotics be required. Statistically, these occurrences are not common and not frequent. More importantly, any evidence of bed bug bites, or signs of an infestation, should be identified by a professional, and effectively remedied.
Interestingly, it’s the “idea” of a bed bug infestation that is far more frightening than the bite itself. Bed bug bites aren’t contagious, and don’t spread disease like other insects. But it’s the paranoia of an infestation that elicits a negative reaction from family and friends. At the end of the day, the foremost priority is to eradicate the bugs, and to have professionals handle the process. They have the expertise to identify, and effectively eliminate the bugs.
Today, there are excellent remediation techniques that are superior and more effective than the insecticides and bed bugs chemical treatments of the past. And with a reputable company on board, the work is guaranteed, and the infestation handled with great care.