What Are The Health Effects Of Bed Bug Bites?

Health Effects Of Bed Bug Bites
Image: Insects in the City

Bed bugs are one of the common insects in Nigeria. They are small, brownish, and wingless insects that feed on the blood of animals or humans, mostly at night. They are known as Kokoro ibusun in Yoruba, Chinchi in Igbo, and Buge-buge in Hausa.

One of the amazing facts about beg bugs is the rapid change in their sizes. Normally, adult bed bugs have flat bodies. However, after feeding, their size increases, and they become reddish.

Bed bugs feed on blood by piercing through the skin with tiny, saw-like mouthparts. They also release anesthetic and anti-clotting chemicals to numb the area while feeding.

Bed bugs can majorly be found in homes. They hide during the day on beds, cracks, and furniture. Their bites can result in several outcomes, and in this article will discuss the health effects of beg bug bites.

Causes Of Bed Bugs Infestation 

There is a commonly accepted fact that bed bug infestation is caused by filths or decay, which is not true. They are adaptable and can survive in any environment, as long as there is a source of feeding (blood). 

Bed bugs can move between rooms in apartments, hotels, and complexes through holes in the walls and through tubes in which wires and pipes run. They may get into a new home when luggage, furniture, and bedding are moved in. 

Prevention Of Bed Bugs Infestation 

Infestation of bed bugs can be avoided by taking note of the following tips on how to prevent bed bugs from invading your building.

Be careful when purchasing furniture and beds:

Caution should be taken when purchasing second-hand furniture. It is advisable not to purchase a used bed because there is a high possibility of getting a bed bug-infested one. 

Avoid storing items under your mattress:

There is a high possibility of bed bug infestation when you store items under your mattress because you may unintentionally store an infested item alongside other items.

Clean your room regularly:

Cleaning your room regularly can help prevent bed bug infestation. It is advisable to wash your bed sheets and clean every corner of your room regularly. You can also remove bed bugs or their nests when cleaning. 

Check your lodging area:

Inspect lodging areas such as hotels or dorms for any signs of bed bug infestation. Check every corner, bed sheet, carpet, wall, and surrounding area.

Health Effects Of Bed Bug Bites

Below are some of the health effects that may result from beg bites:

Causes psychological disturbance

Bed bug bites have physiological effects such as anxiety and insomnia. Anxiety is the excessive worry or fear about situations, and insomnia is the state of sleeplessness, especially at night. 

2012 study suggested that individuals exposed to bed bug infestations may likely experience sleep disturbance and develop symptoms of anxiety.

May cause anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis is a severe and life-threatening allergic reaction. It can occur minutes after a bed bug bite.

This reaction causes the release of chemicals by the immune system, and these chemicals can cause a person to go into shock. 

It causes low blood pressure, airway blockage, and difficulty breathing. A 2011 study suggested that bed bug bites can cause anaphylaxis which should be treated immediately as it is a life-threatening reaction.

Can cause anemia

Anemia occurs when there are not enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the tissues in the body. This reduces the level of hemoglobin in the body resulting in tiredness and weakness.

When bed bugs suck blood from the body, there is a reduction in the level of red blood cells. Therefore, many bed bug bites can result in anemia.

2012 study suggested that bed bugs are associated with anemia. This is because patients with bed bugs had lower hemoglobin and red blood cells than those without bed bug bites.

Can cause impetigo

Bed bug bites can cause impetigo, which is a highly contagious skin infection that causes red sores, mainly in infants and children. The sores will then ooze for a few days and form a yellow-brown crust.

2021 study by Bwari Area Council in Nigeria suggested that bed bug bites can cause impetigo due to deep scratching of the affected area.

How to get rid of bed bugs in Nigeria?

Here are some effective ways to get rid of beg bugs:

  • Use a beg bug insecticide spray
  • Vacuum the area
  • Sprinkle vinegar all around the area
  • Use a beg bug killer powder
  • Sprinkle baking soda on the area.

Bed bug infestation can happen in any environment. This article shed more light on the causes of bed bugs, prevention of bed bugs, and health effects of bed bug bites.



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