Are Bed Bugs Dangerous? Facts To Note About Bed Bug Bites

The first question is, are bed bugs dangerous? Can their bites kill you? Bed bug bites can cause serious health complications, which can lead to death, or can they? Let us find out below!

In this article, we have mentioned a few facts about bed bugs, the effects of their bites on human health, and how best to relieve the irritation they cause.

Read on to discover the answer to the question: Are bed bugs dangerous?

Are Bed Bugs Dangerous?

Are Bed Bugs Dangerous
Picture of a Bed Bug

Bed bug bites are ordinarily not harmful to humans, but their effects can cause health complications like insomnia (lack of sleep) and anaemia (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 to call in the professionals at a bed bug 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 responding to their warmth.

They feed by piercing through their hosts’ skin and injecting a salivary fluid that contains anticoagulants, which help them collect blood.

Bed bugs can feed for as little as three minutes (3 minutes) or as long as ten to fifteen minutes (10 to 15 minutes), 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 on 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 is related to mental health.

The fear of being bitten keeps a lot of people awake, and this can sometimes lead to depression, loss of appetite, trouble focusing, and irritability.

Heavy feeding on an individual can lead to anaemia 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 lead 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.

Ecthyma, on the other hand, is quite deep in the skin. It is also a bacterial skin infection that causes coarse sores.

Read also: Can bed bugs live in the carpet?

What are the Signs of a Bed Bug Bite?

  • Chills
  • Swelling
  • Pain in the area bitten
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness


How To Treat Bed Bug Bite

Do not undermine any allergic reaction. It can lead to anaphylaxis (a life-threatening allergic reaction).

The scary thing is that allergic reactions can get more severe over time until an anaphylaxis reaction occurs. Some over-the-counter products you can use for bed bug bite relief 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 anaesthetic that contains pramoxine can be used for pain relief and diphenhydramine for itch control
  • Pain relievers that contain 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 are crawling across their skin.

Bed bugs can cause physical, mental, and emotional health issues.


How To Control Bed Bugs

Do Bed Bugs Smell When Smashed?

It is fairly simple to crush a bed bug once you see one. It is quite difficult to kill bed bugs when they haven’t eaten in a while. But it is easy to kill well-fed bed bugs because they are soft.

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 odour.

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 they will say it has a regular odour. These pheromones can contain other chemicals. It can just be said to have a similar smell to coriander or mouldy 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.


Read also: How Do You Get Bed Bugs?


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 economist 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, as well as the possibility of them feeding after being exposed to a subtle lethal temperature.

The researchers discovered that for you to achieve 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 are suitable for monitoring 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 short-term exposures to temperatures as low as minus 25 degrees Celsius.

That said, they recommended that homeowners 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 reach its highest temperature; it is advised to tumble dry wash clothes in that hot setting for about thirty minutes. This is quite efficient.


Read also: Bed Bugs in Car? Best Proven Ways to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Car



In conclusion, we have given a comprehensive article on how much effect bed bug bites have on humans.

We talked about the physical harm it can cause and also the emotional harm, bearing in mind that it has more emotional effects than physical ones.

We also 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 warmth, we spoke about freezing as a method of killing bed bugs.

It is good to note that 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.

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