What Harm Can Bed Bugs Cause?

Bedbugs are tiny insects that feed on blood and live in walls, beds and other furniture.

Bite Reaction

The adult bedbug is flat and red in color. They infest homes by traveling in people's luggage and clothing. The bugs themselves are often hard to see because they are tiny and hide in small, enclosed spaces. However, you can still tell if your home is infested even if you do not see the bugs. Small bloodstains on furniture, as well as dark spots, which are their droppings, indicate their presence. Although bedbugs do not spread diseases, they still cause a number of problems.

Even if they don't transmit disease, bedbug bites are bad enough. They result in itchy red welts, and a single bedbug may bite more than once. The bite itself is not painful and often goes unnoticed at first. The itch reaction sets in later. Bedbugs tend to produce clusters or lines of welts as a single bug moves around and feeds multiple times.

Allergic Reaction

The harm caused by the bites increases if you are allergic to the insects. Allergic people who are bitten develop itchy welts up to 8 inches across. Their skin blisters and develops groups of swollen pus sacs. A rash that looks like hives develops on other areas of the skin.

Labor and Costs

Bedbugs will in the end demand one of two things from you. You will either have to go through the effort of checking every piece of furniture, every wall, every floor and every item of clothing for them, and then cleaning them all, or you will have to call in pest control professionals. Choosing the latter can prove expensive, because the exterminators will have to make multiple visits to ensure the problem is under control. It can also involve the use of harmful chemical pesticides. However, it is the recommended approach.

Apartment and Condominium Problems

Bedbugs create an additional layer of problems for owners and residents of apartment buildings and condominiums. The bugs can enter the walls and floors of an infected apartment and travel into other nearby apartments, creating secondary infestations even if the residents practice good preventative measures. Controlling an infestation in an apartment building or condominium requires a coordinated effort involving all the units and residents.

About the Author

Jason Thompson has been self-employed as a freelance writer since 2007. He has written advertisements, book and video game reviews, technical articles and thesis papers. He started working with Mechanical Turk and then started contracting with individuals and companies directly via the Web.