The first question many people have when they get bed bugs is, how much will this affect me?
Unfortunately, for many people, bed bugs are a big deal. These insects can cause a lot of anxiety as well as health problems, such as allergic reactions, rashes, skin infections, and, in some cases, anemia. However, bed bugs are not exactly dangerous insects.
Will a Bed Bug Hurt Me?
Technically, yes, a bed bug can hurt you.
For most people, though, the worst you will have to deal with is the stress and irritation of bites.
Yet, these insects can cause more severe reactions in some people.
So, let’s take a look at some of the physical and psychological troubles you could experience when combating a bed bug infestation.
Physical and Mental Maladies Caused by Bed Bugs
Some of the most common yet often overlooked symptoms of a bed bug infestation involve the psychological effects.
Many people who have bed bugs report issues such as nightmares, hypervigilance, insomnia, and paranoia.
Bed bugs are some of the most irritating pests out there because they literally feed off you when you are at your most vulnerable and can do little to stop them.
Thus, lots of people with bed bugs develop insomnia because they fear an insect will bite them when they’re sleeping.
Also, it is pretty typical for those suffering an infestation to become paranoid and hypervigilant in an attempt to keep the insects from climbing on them.
All this stress can lead to nightmares, which can worsen the other symptoms because bad dreams disrupt sleep and keep you from fully relaxing.
Itching is another frequent problem for those with a bed bug infestation.
Like mosquitos, bed bug bites can make you itch.
The level of itchiness differs depending on the person, though.
And how much the bites bother you mostly has to do with your body’s reaction and your mental state.
For instance, those with bed bug allergies or sensitive skin could have to deal with bites that are extremely itchy.
Additionally, people who are very stressed about their bed bug infestation may feel itchier or have a more challenging time dealing with itchiness.
Bad allergic reactions to bed bugs are rare, but many people have milder symptoms that can cause them a lot of irritation.
Typically, if you are allergic to bed bugs and one bites you, you will feel very itchy, more so than other people.
You could also develop swelling on or around the bite.
Furthermore, you could end up with fluid-filled bumps on your skin called bullous.
In more severe cases, bed bug bites can trigger asthma, which could lead to anaphylaxis.
However, as I said, acute allergic reaction symptoms to bed bugs aren’t common.
Usually, a rash caused by bed bug bites is a sign of an allergic reaction, but not always.
You may just have sensitive skin.
Either way, these rashes can come in different forms but normally appear as blisters or hives.
Bed bug rashes could also manifest as papular eruptions, which are raised areas on the skin that have distinct borders.
You can get a skin infection from bed bug bites if you scratch them too much.
Basically, when you scratch your skin, you cause tears.
Bacteria can then get into these tears, which can lead to an infection.
Common signs of a skin infection include:
- Sores that contain pus
- Red skin around the tear
- A sore that has what appears to be a yellow and crusty scab
- Blister-like sores
- Pain or swelling that doesn’t get better after a few days
If you think you or your child may have a skin infection, you should see a doctor for treatment.
If you have a severe bed bug infestation, you could get anemia.
Anemia occurs when you lack enough red blood cells to keep your body functioning correctly.
And since bed bugs eat your blood, you could potentially get enough bites to cause anemia.
Some of the most common signs of anemia include:
- Chest pain
- Excessive tiredness
- Cold hands and feet
- Irregular heartbeat
- Brittle nails
- Pale skin
- Shortness of breath
If you think you or a family member may have anemia, you should visit your doctor as soon as possible.
Can Bed Bugs Spread Disease?
Mosquitos can give you malaria, and ticks can cause Lyme disease, so it makes sense to think that bed bugs can spread maladies like these other blood-sucking insects.
However, there is no clear proof that bed bugs spread disease.
How to Make Bed Bug Bites Stop Itching
If your itchy bed bug bites are driving you crazy, there are a few methods you can try to give yourself some relief.
First off, you should wash the bite with soap and water.
Doing so will help prevent infection as well as reduce itchiness and swelling.
Then afterward, you can apply some corticosteroid cream if the problem persists.
You can find some of this lotion at just about any drug store.
But, if you need a more potent product, you will have to get a prescription from your doctor.
And finally, remember not to scratch at the bites as this can lead to more skin irritation or infection.
Can My Landlord Evict Me for Having Bed Bugs?
Unfortunately, your landlord can evict you for having bed bugs in some cases.
Generally, your landlord must prove that you violated the terms of your lease in some way and that this violation allowed the bed bugs to infest the place you’re renting.
But, if you have had repeated bed bug infestations, a landlord has the right to evict you.
Overall, how your landlord will react to bed bugs depends on their personality, among other factors.
Some will be very understanding of your situation, while others will not.
How Common Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are becoming increasingly common in the United States and other parts of the world.
Thus, your chances of having to deal with these pests are also rising.
In conclusion, bed bugs aren’t too big of a deal, but they can cause you a lot of stress and even give you certain physical ailments.