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4 Common Health Risks of Bed Bugs

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.

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:

1. Infection from scratches

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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

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 your local pest-control professional to help rid of these bug issues and save yourself from these unnecessary health risks.

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