Bed bugs are probably in your worst nightmares, with their tiny bodies and undetectable presence, they can leave you feeling like a foreigner in your own home. And just when you think the reality of having bed bugs biting your face, arms, and legs is bad enough. Bed bugs might transmit the deadly Chagas Disease.
Researches from Penn Medicine in the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics have accurately demonstrated that bed bugs can transmit Trypanosoma cruzi, the same parasite responsible for Chagas disease. Considered one of the deadliest and most prevalent diseases in Central and South America.
Normally transmitted by the bed bug’s closely related cousin, the kissing bug or triatomine, as it’s known by researchers. The Chagas disease is known to kill over 50,000 people, affecting over 6 million people worldwide, mostly in Central and South America.
The infectious disease, Chagas, is transmitted to the host via the kissing bug’s feces. Which are most commonly deposited near the bite, leaving the host itchy and susceptible to spreading the feces onto an open wound.
Although Bed Bugs are usually considered a very annoying insect, it was commonly known as a disease free annoyance many American are experiencing today.
Bed Bugs can Carry Chagas
Yes, bed bugs have transmitted the Chagas disease in laboratory mice. But bed bugs cannot simply have Chagas, as it needs to be contracted from another human that already carrier Chagas.
The research has indeed found that bed bugs can have chagas, transmit it to their host, and spread the disease to other people. But let’s keep these important facts in mind before worrying too much:
- Bed bugs are usually not as active as the Kissing Bug.
- Bed bug can only carry the disease, not be the cause of it.
- Bed bugs tend to stay close to their host.
What about Public Places?
This is where it gets tricky, with T. cruzi cases increasing in Texas and Luisiana, as high as 300,000 people may carry the deadly disease according to the CDC. Bed bugs are also on the rise, with more cases than ever in Florida, bed bugs have a real chance of coming through your front door hidden inside luggage or clothes.
How can you treat bed bugs?
The only effective treatment for bed bugs is heat. Their bodies can easily overheat, causing their demise after only 7 minutes when exposed to at least 115 degrees. Using massive propane heaters, Bug Free Services can effectively guarantee the complete eradication of bed bugs in your home, because they’ll find themselves surrounded by 150 degrees of pure heat for several hours.
Unlike the kissing bug in South America, bed bugs are harder to see and kill. Bed bugs require a large scale treatment, not suitable for people looking to “DIY” or “Do-It-Yourself.”