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4 Health Dangers from Bed Bug Bites

Bed bugs are one of the few house pests that do little harm at home: They don’t destroy structures, they don’t transfer deadly diseases, and they’re small enough to not be noticed by anyone in the house.

Termites form colony that is established in the soil, and most landed homes are now built in clusters or in a connected row, the risks of getting a termite infestation may be higher. If your neighbour has a history of termite infestation, are you at risk of getting a termite infestation? The answer is a resounding yes!

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But even though they’re not as harmful as other pests, they still pose harm to one’s health, lifestyle and home furnishings. And if left alone, can do considerable damage to a person’s health over time. Here are four health risks that bed bugs bring:

Infection from scratches

Bed bugs feed on hosts

Bed bug bites can be very itchy, leading to the strong urge to scratch it until the itch goes away. And because bed bugs often bite in the middle of the night when we’re asleep, we unconsciously scratch them, leading to flesh wounds in the morning.

Small open wounds from continuous scratching may not be a big deal, but germs and bacteria can enter the wound and cause an infection if left untreated. Expanding redness around the wound, increased swelling, tender bumps that are warm to the touch are just some symptoms of a bacterial skin infection. Some common skin infections include cellulitis, Impetigo, and boils.

Allergic reaction to bites

An allergic reaction to bed bug bites is one of the more serious health risks of having a bed bug infestation. Because bed bugs bite to feed on their host’s blood, some people might experience severe allergic reaction after being bitten, leading to life-threatening situations.

People who are hypersensitive to insect bites and stings could end up in anaphylactic shock, which is an extreme allergic reaction followed by wheezing, tightness in the chest, Swollen or itchy lips or tongue, and tightness in the throat. Anaphylactic shock is often life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention.

Sleep deprivation

If a bed bug infestation within the house becomes too problematic, it can lead to sleep deprivation. The numerous bites, never-ending itch and thought of crawling bugs around is bound to keep anyone up all night, leaving them exhausted physically and mentally the following day.

Sleep deprivation can lead to accidents, impaired thinking, heart diseases, and loss of appetite. In severe cases, this can cause poor work performance and even cause family problems and arguments.

Stress

Living in a bed bug infested household can be very stressful and frustrating because of the quick spread of bed bugs around the home, recurring damage to bedsheets and curtains, and constant biting on the body. Living in a stressful environment for long periods of time can lead to a lot of emotional anxiety, which may then lead to health problems.

Emotional anxiety caused by stress can lead to unhealthy behavior and habits like drinking and smoking, may impact on our immune system and its ability to fight off antigens, making us more prone to all kinds of infections. Stress can also increase heart rate and blood pressure, as well as affect our digestive system. All this combined can increase the risk of catching harmful diseases.

Bed bugs also cause damages to homes and furnishing

Besides posing health risks, bed bugs infestation can also damage the home interior and furnishing whereby bed bugs will stain bedsheets, mattresses, carpets, wall and curtain with their blood and faecal droppings and leave behind shed skins on surfaces. As bed bug spread, it may cost hefty investment to replace home furniture and items particularly for large establishments such as hospitality business. Thus, if your home has experiences with a bed bug invasion, it is critical not to delay treatments and seek professional pest control services to prevent further spead around the home.

Read also: Can you get rid of bed bugs completely?

Protect your family from potential health risks

When compared to mosquitos that bring deadly and life-threatening diseases like Zika and Dengue, or rodents that can spread leptospirosis which can result in liver and kidney damage, bed bugs are the least harmful and only do minor damage. But the little damages they cause accumulate over time, and eventually pose a health risk. So when you start to see clear and obvious signs of a bed bug infestation, you might be facing quite a serious bed bug infestation. Make sure to contact a pest control company in Singapore to help rid of these bug issues and save you from these unnecessary health risks.

Bed Bugs FAQ


  • Are bed bugs bite dangerous?

    For most people, bed bug bites are not dangerous, as they do not spread disease-carrying bacteria. However, others might be suffering from itchy and painful bites, and allergies or infection in some cases. Constant itch may also result in sleep deprivation and severe conditions, require medical attention.


  • What harmful effects are there from a bed bug bite?

    Some harmful effects of bed bug bites include:

    • Hives, rashes, itching, and burning sensations for those who are allergic to them
    • Possibility of bites getting infected if not treated properly
    • Scarring that can persist for a few months

    As such, it is crucial to treat bed bug bites immediately. More importantly, a professional pest control service should be engaged as they offer expert solutions to get rid of bed bugs.


  • How does a bed bug bite look like?

    It will look red and swollen. In addition, multiple bed bug bites might show up as a line or a cluster within a small area in your body. Furthermore, bed bugs usually do not feed every night and might go for several days without feeding. This means that it might take a few weeks to notice that your home has a bed bug infestation or you have been bitten by bed bugs. To prevent that from happening, it is important to regularly clean and change the sheets on your bed to keep bed bug numbers down. In addition, a professional pest control service should be contacted once you spot signs of infestation as they can stop the spread of bed bugs effectively.


  • What is the difference between hives and bed bug bites?

    While hives caused by an allergic reaction and bed bug bites share some similarities (itching, burning sensations), there are a few key differences. They are:

    • The colour - bed bug bites are usually red with the surrounding skin being lighter than normal. Hives can range from pale to very red and the surrounding skin is usually red as well.
    • The size and shape - bed bug bites are mostly uniform in size and shape (typically round) while hives vary a lot (from the size of a pimple to being as big as a 20-cent coin)

    Nevertheless, the best way that you can get a confirmation is to visit a doctor and receive treatment at the same time.


  • Do bed bugs only bite at night?

    Although they are more active at night and tend to feed during that time, bed bugs will bite whenever they are hungry - even during the day time. This will also happen when there is an over-population of bed bugs or food limitation.


  • How do I know if I have a bed bug infestation?

    While the best indication of a pest infestation is seeing the pest in question, it may be a little difficult to spot bed bugs due to their small size (up to 5mm in length). As such, here are a few other signs that clearly indicate that you have a bed bug infestation:

    • Brown or black-ish marks on your mattress - these are stains left by bed bug faeces
    • Small bloodstains on pillowcases or bed sheets
    • A sickly sweet scent that comes from the bed bugs' scent glands

    If you are still unsure, you should contact a professional pest control company as they have experienced specialists who can correctly identify bed bugs and also offer treatments to deal with them accordingly.

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