bed bug crawling on bedBed bugs are a growing problem. It won't be long before everyone has experienced them--or knows someone who has had them. That makes now the perfect time to understand all you can about these dirty bugs. Why do we say dirty bugs? While bed bugs aren't drawn to dirty people, they are, themselves, dirty insects. They don't just leave their feces everywhere they go; they sleep in it. That's dirty. Does this make them a health threat when they get into a home? Let's take a look at the connection between bugs and disease.

The Many Ways Bugs Can Spread Disease

The most common way is by spreading harmful bacteria. Have you heard of Salmonella? Who hasn't? It has gotten a lot of attention from news outlets. That's because this bacteria causes food to be poisoned, which leads to diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fever, and many other unpleasant symptoms. It can also lead to sickle cell disease for individuals with a compromised immune system. This is only one of many bacteria that can be spread by bugs. Cockroaches have been found to spread more than 33 of them!

Whether you call them viruses, human pathogens, or something else, this is another way bugs make us sick. Ticks give us Lyme disease. Mosquitoes give us Zika, West Nile, and more. These lead to illnesses that can have catastrophic consequences. Lyme disease, when it is not caught early, can turn into an incurable disease that lasts a lifetime.

Some bugs have other bugs inside them and those bugs make us sick when they get inside us. Have you heard of giardia? When you get this microscopic parasite inside your intestines you can expect gas, cramps, diarrhea, a loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue.

At the time of this writing, bed bugs have been found to carry diseases in their bodies but they are not known to spread diseases to humans. That doesn't mean that they don't. It just means that no study has conclusively proven that bed bugs transmit diseases. But, there was a time when there was no such thing as Lyme disease. It was discovered in the 1970s in the town of Lyme Connecticut. Before that, it wasn't known.

Right now, we don't know if bed bugs transmit diseases to us. But we do know that bugs, in general, are a significant health threat to humans. So, while you're protecting your family from cockroaches, ticks, mosquitoes, fleas, flies, and other bugs that are known to spread illness, have a plan in place to keep bed bugs out. Not only will you be proactive to protect yourself from illness, you'll reap the benefits of not having to deal with all of the other drawbacks of having bed bugs in your home. Even if they don't spread illness, they feed on us while we sleep and leave red, itchy welts on our skin--even on the neck and face. That's just not okay.

What Is A Good Bed Bug Plan?

It is vital to know what bed bugs and their eggs look like. Before you have a full-blown infestation, you may be fortunate to see these bugs, even though they are quite tiny. You may also see the signs they leave behind, such as bite wounds, black feces, shed skins, blood stains, and pheromone scent.

Learn about the many ways these bugs can come into your home. If you get some used furniture, you could get some used bugs with it. If you go on vacation, bugs may come back with you to vacation in your home. If you go to work, you may bring bugs home to your family. If your kids have a sleepover, bed bugs may decide to have a sleepover at your house, and never go home. You get the point. These bugs can come into your home from a wide range of places you probably wouldn't expect. Stay vigilant.

When bed bugs appear in your home, act quickly. Contact a trusted pest control company that uses modern heat remediation and K9 bed bug inspectors to ensure complete elimination of these tormenting pests.

If you live in D.C or somewhere else in our Maryland and Virginia service area, reach out to American Pest. We are a leader in pest control. We'll make sure those bugs are dealt with...the first time.