Are You Sleeping With Bed Bugs?
Posted by Catherine Morgan on April 20, 2009
Are you sleeping with Bed Bugs?
If you’re eating, you may want to pass on reading this post until a little later. If you’re easily sicked-out by bugs, you may want to pass on this one altogether.
It seems that infestations of bed bugs are on the rise, so much so that the EPA held a Bed Bug Summit this week. The purpose of the summit was to address the problem and work towards finding a solution.
Do bed bugs pose a health risk to you and your family? Probably not. But it’s gross to think that these things could be in our beds feeding off of our blood before we get up in the morning. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Bed bugs are not a huge threat to your health, but bites can be irritating and some people may develop allergic reactions to them.
When you go to bed, are the bed bugs biting? If so, it might look like this…
Bed bugs aren’t very big, if you were to see them, they would appear to be very small brown or black specks. But if you could see them close up, they would look like this…
I know I’ve seen this bug somewhere before – thankfully not recently. Does it look familiar to you?
I don’t think I could ever sleep tight (or at all) again if I found one of these buggers in my bed. What about you? I’ve been getting increasingly itchy just writing this post.
From ClaireNeelyMD’s Blog – Bed Bugs…
It seems that these little critters have hitch-hiked here from overseas in travelers suitcases.
The good news, is that bedbugs are not known to transmit any diseases. But the bites are very itchy. ( I know from experience-a hotel in Nepal-but years ago, so I am not to blame for transmission to the US).
From Red, White and Green – Sleep Tight! Bed Bugs Back With A Vengeance…
Sleep tight…don’t let the bed bugs bite! In recent history, this has been all but a cute bedtime refrain of my grandparents on the occasion they tucked me into bed; most of us don’t really think about the true origin of the phrase, from the time when mattresses were made out of organic materials like straw and rope that tended to attract actual bugs. That has changed, however, much to the chagrin of the American public, who are discovering the miniscule blood-sucking critters everywhere from cellphones to five-star hotel bathtubs.
One possible explanation for the resurgence of bed bugs after 20 years of virtual extinction is the ban of powerful but environmentally detrimental chemicals that were effective at keeping the bed bug population in check.
Bed bugs live in mattresses, sofas and sheets. They’re not known to transmit any diseases, but people can have an allergic reaction to their bites.
Dana from Advanced News Writing…
Most people associate bed bugs to impoverished dwellings, but that is not the case. Bed bugs can “pop up” anywhere. The small reddish brown bugs feed on blood so they are hiding anywhere a bed is located. Their bites resemble a mosquito bite. Although the little pests do not carry diseases, they are very costly and time consuming to get rid of.
From Harvard School of Public Health – What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are increasingly becoming a problem within residences of all kinds, including homes, apartments, hotels, cruise ships, dormitories and shelters. We have drafted this document to provide basic information about the biology and health significance of these pests, and to offer guidance on how to safely and effectively manage an infested residence.
Check out this article from the University of Kentucky that has many pictures of what to look for if you suspect bedbugs…
Most householders of this generation have never seen a bed bug. Until recently, they also were a rarity among pest control professionals. Bed bug infestations were common in the United States before World War II. But with improvements in hygiene, and especially the widespread use of DDT during the 1940s and ‘50s, the bugs all but vanished. The pests remained fairly prevalent, however, in other regions of the world including Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe. In recent years, bed bugs have also made a comeback in the U.S. They are increasingly being encountered in homes, apartments, hotels, motels, health care facilities, dormitories, shelters, schools, and modes of transport. Other places where bed bugs sometimes appear include movie theaters, laundries/dry cleaners, furniture rental outlets and office buildings.
From Kathleen at ExamHealth wrote…
Treatments used include antihistamines for itching, steroid creams, and adrenalin injections if severe allergic reaction occurs. Fortunately, most bed bug lesions resolve within one week. The bite of a bed bug causes an itchy, red, raised bump on the surface of the skin. Allergic reactions to bed bug bites include hives, whelps or wheals on the skin, small swollen areas that contain pus, and blistering.
The authors write, “Bed bugs are likely to be more problematic in the future due to travel, immigration, and insecticide resistance.” Cats and dogs can also carry bedbugs into the home.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Bedbugs inject an anticoagulant to keep your blood flowing as they suck, along with a numbing agent to keep you from feeling them when they’re at work”. In other words, bed bugs are tiny little red bloodsuckers, and they thrive in all climates.
The EPA called the two-day meeting because the United States is experiencing its biggest bed bug outbreak since World War II.