Without a doubt, bed bugs are one of the nastiest pests to have in your home. They are the very definition of creepy, crawly critters. Resilient to standard extermination and a major nuisance, it is completely understandable to be a little freaked out about their presence. Despite what many people believe, however, bed bugs are not in fact known to spread diseases directly to humans.
While far from sanitary, it is not documented that anyone has ever died or become seriously ill as a result of bed bug contact. In most cases, the psychological and emotional effects are much worse than the physical ones. The fear that the bugs will never go away or that a future outbreak is inevitable causes many people to lose sleep and become uncomfortable when sitting and laying on furniture. These feelings are not unjustified; there are only a select few ways to completely eradicate them and keep them from coming back.
The real health risks of bed bugs: what you need to know
Some individuals have been known to have allergic reactions to these animals. For whatever reason, their body reacts negatively to contact with the bugs, and common symptoms are skin irritation and rashes (these can sometimes be difficult to distinguish from bed bug bites). Itching and redness at the bite site is to be expected; bed bugs feed on their host’s blood and will continue to do so as long as they are around.
By far the worst health risk is prolonged exposure to beg bug urine and feces, which is why getting rid of them as quickly as possible is very important. Though they may not carry Lyme disease or West Nile Virus like some species of ticks and mosquitoes, bed bugs are by no means harmless creatures.
If you suspect you have a bed bug problem, no matter how small, applying a heat treatment is highly recommended. Many pest control companies offer this service, and it is the only one with a 100% success rate when implemented properly. Bed bugs can survive in extreme environments, but they like all animals they can only handle so much heat before dying. By allowing a professional to heat your home at temperature bed bugs cannot survive, every last bug including unhatched eggs will be destroyed. As far as bed bug elimination goes, this is the method of choice. After this is complete, a chemical treatment will ensure your home never has another bed bug problem.