Important Information Residents Need To Know About Bed Bug Bite Symptoms, And Other Medical Consequences Of Living Within Bed Bug-Infested Conditions
Bed bugs are one of the very few insect pest species that dwell solely indoors, and luckily, they are also one of the few bloodsucking insect pests that are not known to transmit diseases to humans. According to the Bugs Without Borders research project conducted by the National Pest Management Association, 91 percent of surveyed pest control professionals claim that they address bed bug infestations within single-family homes more often than in any other type of structure. Apartment buildings and condominiums were the second most frequently treated structures, followed by hotels and motels, nursing homes, schools and day care centers, office buildings, college dormitories, hospitals and public transportation.
Adult bed bugs are ¼ of an inch in length, oval in shape, reddish-brown in color, and they are usually flat unless they have just consumed a blood-meal. Bed bugs quickly establish dark hiding spots, or “harborages,” near or on beds, or wherever their human hosts remain stationary for long periods of time. The above mentioned study also found that in most cases bed bug bites serve as the first sign that an infestation has been established. However, bed bug bites do not produce irritating skin reactions in all people, as a recent survey found that only 30 percent of people who had lived within bed bug-infested conditions reported having a skin reaction to bites.
Most people do not notice bed bug bites when they occur because bed bug saliva contains anesthetic compounds that numb the skin. The itchy red bumps that result from bed bugs bites is an allergic reaction to salivary compounds injected into the skin, and these reactions can be delayed for several days. A 2009 study that saw laboratory scientists volunteer to be bitten by bed bugs showed that allergic reactions were delayed for 11 days following the initial bites. A small number of case studies show that highly sensitive individuals may experience a pronounced allergic response to bed bug bites, including asthma attacks and anaphylactic shock. Other case studies have documented secondary infections caused by the excessive itching of bed bug bite wounds. While researchers have found pathogens in and on bed bugs, there is no evidence that bed bugs transmit diseases to humans.
Do you know how you react to bed bug bites?