Bed bugs are small oval-shaped insects that feed on human blood, with their favorite feeding time being at night while you’re sleeping. Luckily, though, bed bug bites don’t hurt. However, the bite marks cause itchiness later, which can be pretty uncomfortable. But the biggest concern here is that most pests carry diseases. That’s why many people ask: are bed bugs contagious? Read on to find out!
The Short Answer
The answer to this question depends on what you mean. If you mean contagious as in bed bugs can spread disease from one person to another, then no, they aren’t. So don’t worry, you won’t get Malaria because of a bed bug.
On the other hand, if you mean contagious, as they can spread from one place to another, the answer is yes. For example, when you visit someone’s infested home, you may leave with some bed bugs hiding around in your purse or wallet. Accordingly, those bed bugs will enjoy moving to a whole new world that consists of your drawers and cupboards.
What Causes a Bed Bug Infestation?
Since bed bugs are small insects, they can easily hide in cracks found in walls and furniture. Moreover, they like to stay in personal belongings like clothes, luggage, and books. So when people move from place to place carrying their infested items, bed bugs spread. That’s how a bed bug enters your home unnoticed.
Active children and school dorms are the perfect ingredients for a bed bug infestation. Since students usually store their possessions in close contact, they’ll spread to the other belongings if someone’s items have bed bugs in them.
Like a domino effect, the bed bugs will spread throughout the school, and when students go home for the weekend, they’ll take the bugs along with them. As a result, a new bed bug population will arise at home and school.
Signs of Bed Bugs
If you want to sleep comfortably at night without worrying about small vampire creatures that love themselves a blood meal, you can keep an eye out for some signs:
First of all, after you wake up, take a look at your sheets and pillows. Reddish-brown stains caused by crushed bed bugs may appear on your bed. You should also check for any colored blood spots around. If you have sensitive skin, a bed bug bite may cause some blood to draw, which will definitely appear on your bed.
In addition, use a magnifying glass to look for tiny yellow skins and eggs that bed bugs may have shed during the night and whether there’s a musty odor around your bed. Finally, of course, you should also look for any small pests moving around.
Second of all, check for bite marks on your skin that you may have missed. Bed bug bite marks are small, red, and somehow swollen. They may get itchy later on, especially if you have sensitive skin. Kindly note that you should see a doctor if you have blisters, a skin infection, or an allergic reaction.
How to Deal With Bed Bugs
How to Prevent Bed Bugs Spread
Dealing with bed bug infestations is a bane, especially if you’re extra sensitive about pests. Furthermore, they have many hiding places, which makes it challenging to find them, and once you do, you have to get professional help to get rid of them. However, lucky for you, you can avoid the whole process if you do as we say.
Firstly, if you’re staying in any new place like a friend’s house or hotel room, for example, inspect the bedding thoroughly for bed bugs before you fall asleep. That’ll help you avoid a night of itching and scratching.
Secondly, when you buy second-hand furniture, make sure to check it for any sign of a bed bug infestation. This is vital because infested furniture can transmit bedbugs throughout your couches, chairs, beds, and other household items. Consequently, you’ll be left with new infestations to deal with.
Thirdly, since sneaky places like box springs and mattresses are places where bed bugs hide, use protective covers to eliminate their presence. Moreover, use the vacuum more often, especially in cracks and crevices in your wall.
Finally, if you use shared laundry facilities, take care to bring plastic bags along to put your clean clothes in when you’re finished. It would be best to put all of your clothes in the dryer on a high heat cycle because this will successfully kill any bedbugs there.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
If you find bed bugs in your house or any signs of bed bugs infestation, there are a few steps that you should take to get rid of them. First, you should wash all of your beddings, clothing, pillowcases, and linens that have been in contact with them. Then, to kill the bedbugs efficiently, wash them in hot water and dry them in high heat.
Second, you should scrub your mattress thoroughly to get rid of the bugs and their eggs. After making sure the mattress is clean, you can carefully vacuum the bed and the infected area surrounding it. This will ensure that no residue bugs remain behind. It’d be best to immediately place the cleaner bag in a plastic bag then throw it in the garbage outdoors.
Third, you can kill bed bugs by encasing your box spring in a tight cover. They’ll eventually die of hunger as they won’t be able to escape or feed.
Finally, it’d be best if you repair any cracks and cervices you can find in your wall. Bedbugs love those and will hide inside them for months without you noticing. Also, before repairing them, you can use a vacuum to clean them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Get Bed Bugs From Hugging Someone?
Bugs aren’t like bacteria; they can’t be transmitted through shaking hands and hugging other people. Accordingly, you don’t have to worry unless you’ve used someone’s infested belongings like luggage and clothing.
How Are Bed Bug Bites Treated?
Bed bug bites don’t have a specific treatment. However, you can reduce the itching caused by them if you wash your skin with water and soap. Kindly note that if you have an allergic reaction to the bites, whether mild or severe, you should contact your doctor so they can provide you with medical advice. The same goes if you have existing skin problems.
Do Bed Bugs Travel On People’s Clothes?
Luckily, it’s highly unlikely for a bed bug to travel on your clothes. You move way too much for their liking, and they like their hiding place calm and still. However, they can travel on used furniture, luggage, bedding, and mattresses.
Can You Be Around Someone With Bed Bugs?
You can be around them in a clean, non-infected place. However, you should avoid keeping your belongings in close contact with theirs. Moreover, don’t visit their house because the infestation will be harder to control there.
Do Bed Bug Bites Transmit Diseases?
Some insects act as a humans disease vector, but bed bugs aren’t one of them. They can’t transmit disease between human hosts. Instead, you’ll have to deal with scratchy bite marks and slightly swollen red welts.
How Easily Do Bed Bugs Spread?
Since they don’t fly, bed bugs spread pretty slowly. They crawl from one place to another and move through personal belongings. As a result, a bed bugs infestation won’t just appear out of nowhere suddenly.
To Wrap Up
Bed bugs infestation can be found in any place where people sleep. They meticulously hide in mattresses, box springs, and even bed frames. Afterward, they come out when it’s time to feed. Luckily, bed bugs aren’t contagious in terms of disease. However, they can spread from place to place through personal belongings. Now that you have enough information about the topic, you can healthily deal with bed bugs!