According to the Entomology Department at Purdue University, bed bugs are not only annoying and hard to eradicate, but they can pose a significant health hazard to people who have been victimized by them. Bed bugs live by attaching themselves to one’s skin and sucking blood. The irritation that the insects cause can make people thus infested lose sleep and become irritable. In some cases, bed bugs can cause enough blood loss to result in anemia.
Bed bugs can also carry agents of human disease, including bacteria, viruses, and parasites. However, no evidence exists of the pest itself transmitting any disease to a human host. Sometimes bed bugs can cause an allergic reaction.
Soap and water or an over-the-counter remedy such as anti-itching cream should help alleviate the itching caused by bed bug bites. In extreme cases, your primary care physician may be able to prescribe a topical corticosteroid ointment. However, you should only need to see the doctor if the bites start raising blisters or you get an allergic reaction.
The best way to control a bed bug infestation is to avoid one entirely. When staying at a hotel, for example, it is a good policy to check the room for an infestation, especially the mattress and headboard. Secure your luggage and clothing by placing them on dressers and luggage racks. Before you leave the room, check everything for an infestation. If you discover bed bugs in your room, alert the hotel management immediately.
If you find that your home has become infested, it is a good idea to call in a professional to deal with the problem.
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