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Important Information Residents Need To Know About Bed Bug Bite Symptoms, And Other Medical Consequences Of Living Within Bed Bug-Infested Conditions

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?

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Bed Bugs Or Fleas?

Some people find joy in locating and handling certain insects, but nobody finds joy in handling insects that suck blood in order to survive. There exists a plethora of insect and arachnid species that suck blood. These arthropods include ticks, mosquitoes, fleas and bed bugs. Surprisingly, bed bugs are unique among blood-sucking insects in that they do not transmit any diseases to humans, but they do leave visible welts that itch like crazy. Generally, people have no problem discerning a mosquito bite from a flea or bed bug bite, but it can be hard to tell the difference between flea bites and bed bug bites. Both fleas and bed bugs inflict numerous bites on humans, but they are rarely caught in the act of sucking blood due to their tiny body size and nocturnal feeding habits. Fleas and bed bugs both inflict welts that look identical, and the bites that each insect leaves result in similar degrees of itchiness. Waking up with bug bites all over one’s body is unpleasant enough without having to stress over not knowing which type of bug caused the itchy welts. Bed bug bites are commonly mistaken for flea bites and vice verse, but there does exist notable differences between the types of injuries that each insect inflicts.

Bed bugs and fleas are similar in that they both survive solely by feeding on the blood of mammals. Bed bugs prefer to feed on human blood while fleas prefer the blood of furry mammals. However, fleas find human blood perfectly acceptable and they will not pass up an easy source of blood just because it comes from a human. Fleas and bed bugs are nocturnal, which means that both prefer to bite humans while they sleep. This makes it very difficult for a person to determine which insect is responsible for bite injuries. However, a sharp observer can spot differences between fleas and bed bugs easily by watching how the insects infesting their home move about. Fleas can jump long distances while bed bugs slowly crawl. Bed bugs are also larger than fleas. Flea bites also tend to be clustered together in one area of the body while bed bug bites are more scattered across the body. Of course, the most important difference between fleas and bed bugs is that only fleas can transmit disease to humans. These diseases include the plague, typhus, and cat scratch disease.

Have you ever discovered several bug bites that you had no memory of receiving?