The first question is, are bed bugs dangerous? Can their bites kill you? However, bed bugs bite can only cause serious health complications which can lead to death.
In this article, we summarized all about bed bugs and the effects of its bites on human’s health and also how best to relieve the irritation it causes.
Are Bed Bugs Dangerous?
Bed bug bites ordinarily are not harmful to humans, but their effects can cause health complications like insomnia(lack of sleep) and anemia(loss of blood) from excessive feeding. Though bed bug bites are not naturally harmful, they can be itchy and often require careful treatment to lessen the itchiness.
That said, we advise you call in the professionals in a bed bugs control company to help tackle your infestation problem as soon as possible to prevent the health challenges they pose and the physical disturbances they can cause.
Bed bugs are known to attach themselves to a human or any other warm-blooded host to survive and procreate. They get attached to their host by detecting the carbon dioxide emitted from their human or animal host and respond to their warmth.
They feed by piercing through their hosts’ skin and injecting a salivary fluid that comprises anticoagulants which help them collect blood.
Bed bugs can feed for as little as three minutes (3mins) or as long as ten to fifteen minutes(10-15minutes) depending on the level of the bed bugs. Bed bugs are preferably nocturnal creatures as they prefer to feed at night on the exposed parts of their host’s body.
It could be the legs, hands, neck, arms, face, etc. People react to bed bug bites differently depending won’t the person and the severity of the feeding. These bites in the long run produce itchy red bumps and welts on the skin surface. The skin is exposed to bacterial skin infections because of skin breakage from excessive scratching.
A lot of people react to bed bug bites with insomnia, fear, stress, anxiety, and even paranoia which mental related. The fear of being bitten keeps a lot of people awake and this sometimes can lead to depression, loss of appetite, trouble focusing, and irritability.
Heavy feeding on an individual can lead to anemia and other complications. Children are more vulnerable to these.
Bed bug symptoms are usually not that serious; bed bug bites lead to emotional distress more than physical distress. In some cases, bed bug bites can steer to severe symptoms, which can result in serious health ailments.
Bed bugs can cause some health problems mostly on the skin. They include Impetigo or Ecthyma. Impetigo is an infectious bacterial skin infection that inflicts sores on the face. It typically affects infants and children.
While ecthyma, on the other hand, is quite deeper in the skin. It is also a bacterial skin infection that causes coarse sores.
One very serious bed bug bite symptom is sepsis;
Sepsis is a blood infection. Without immediate treatment, sepsis can lead to septic shock; which can be deadly.
Though this isn’t common, sepsis can come as a result of an untreated or badly treated infected bed bugs bites. So, bed bug bites should be treated to avoid or keep bacteria away.
Sepsis can be Properly treated by using: IV antibiotics and fluids given at the hospital. Oxygen is sometimes given.
Be sure to clean the bites and look out for infection. Itching is one common reaction to bed bug bites, but then, it does not stop there.
Some people can be allergic to bed bug bites. And some of these allergic reactions can be mild or severe making you physically sick.
Some of the signs include:
- Pain in the area bitten
- Difficulty in breathing
Read also: How Do You Get Bed Bugs?
NOTE: Do not undermine any allergic reaction. It can lead to Anaphylaxis(a life-threatening allergic reaction). The scary thing is allergic reactions can get more severe over time until an anaphylaxis reaction occurs. Some over-the-counter products you can use for bed bug bites relief, and Include:
- Use a steroidal anti-itch cream that contains hydrocortisone or cortisone.
- Apply calamine lotion to dry out the rash
- Oral antihistamine allergy tablets can be taken to control the swelling and rash caused by the bites
- The topical anesthetic that contains pramoxine can be used for pain relief and diphenhydramine for itch control
- Pain relievers that have ibuprofen or naproxen can also be helpful.
Some victims of bed bug bites have reported mental health issues. These mental issues include insomnia and anxiety. Bed bugs can cause long-lasting psychological problems in some cases.
Insomnia is commonly experienced because bed bugs normally feed at night. The fear of being victims keeps some victims awake feeling like these creatures crawling across their skin. Bed bugs can cause physical, mental, and emotional health issues.
Read also: Can bed bugs live in the carpet?
Do Bed Bugs Smell when you Smash them?
It is fairly simple to crush a bed bug once you see one. It is quite difficult or hard to kill bed bugs when they haven’t eaten in a while. But easy to kill well-fed bed bugs because they are soft.
But it is however not advisable to kill these creatures because they leave behind difficult stains. Furthermore, not just living bed bugs have a certain smell, dead bed bugs also emit a distinct odor too.
Bed bugs are fascinating creatures because they possess alarm pheromones. They excrete these chemicals to warn the other bed bugs of the lurking danger. One can not say what these pheromones smell like but will say it has a regular odor. These pheromones can contain other chemicals. It can just be said to have a similar smell to coriander or moldy clothes.
Just in case you smash them when they must have had enough to eat, be prepared to smell blood; it will bring to mind sugar and iron.
Can Bed Bugs Die by Freezing?
Letting bed bug-infested clothing or other small items get exposed to freezing temperatures may be a possible control option for people at risk of bed bug infestations.
However, this may not be a 100% method as a new study has shown that bed bugs may be less vulnerable to freezing temperatures than previously acclaimed.
A study by an Economic Entomology called “Cold Tolerance of Bed Bugs and Practical Recommendations for Control,” shows how exposing bed bugs to freezing temperatures affects them, they also made available logical recommendations for the management of potentially infested items.
Just like every other insect, bed bugs use a “freeze-intolerant” technique against the cold, which means they try to protect themselves from freeze injury by lowering the freezing point of their body fluids.
In this study, the researchers analyzed the supercooling point (SCP) and the lower lethal temperature (LLT) for all life stages of bed bugs, and also the possibility of them feeding after been exposed to a subtle lethal temperature.
The researchers discovered that for you to achieve a 100% mortality, a minimum exposure time of eighty (80) hours at minus 16 degrees Celsius is expected for all life stages.
Also, temperatures below minus 15 degrees Celsius is suitable to monitor all life stages of bed bugs after 3.5 days, while temperatures below minus 20 degrees Celsius need only 48 hours. They also observed that bed bug eggs survive in short-term exposures to temperatures as low as minus 25 degrees Celsius.
That said, they recommended that homeowners can put bed bug-infested items in a freezer to destroy them, but items must be put into plastic bags and remain in the freezer for two to four days(2-4) depending on the freezer temperature.
Can a Dryer Kill Bed Bugs?
One question that comes to mind when treating bed bug-infested clothing is, “Do bed bugs die in dryers?” Bed bugs can die at a temperature over 45°C. But there is a possibility of their eggs surviving. That means they need to expose your clothes to a higher temperature for a longer time.
With conventional drying, the hot temperature is enough to kill bed bugs and their eggs. But this is dependent on your machine and its temperature. It can take a longer or shorter time to kill bed bugs in your clothes.
It takes approximately 15 minutes for a dryer to get to its highest temperature, it is advised to tumble dry washed clothes in that hot setting for about thirty minutes. This is quite efficient.
In conclusion, we have given you a comprehensive article on how much effect bed bug bites have on you. If they can kill you. We talked about the physical harm it can cause and also the emotional harm too; bearing in mind that it has more emotional effects than physical.
So, we gave a list of over the counter products you can use to relieve yourself of the itching from these bites.
Knowing that most insects creep into our home for the warmth, we talked about freezing as a method of killing bed bugs.
However, these creatures still do not survive in a hot atmosphere regardless of their need for warmth. We also learned of the use of heat to eliminate these tiny creatures.