What Disease Can Bed Bugs Transmit?

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Bedbugs are little reddish-brown parasite insects that feed on the blood of sleeping humans and animals by biting. So, what disease can bed bugs transmit? Bed bugs can transmit human illnesses. Their bites are irritating, causing you to scratch and develop sores that can become infected with bed bug feces and make you sick. 

Furthermore, their excrement has been shown to boost histamine levels in the house up to 20 times higher than usual, which is a major concern for allergy sufferers and can lead to infections. Even though bedbugs are not known to transmit serious illnesses, they pose various public health and economic problems. 

Continue reading to find more about what disease vectors which bed bugs can transmit. 

Can Bed Bugs Carry Disease?

A close up of a Common Bed Bug found in Connecticut

Bed bugs are known to contain infections on their bodies, although they do not spread serious illnesses through their bites. Bed bug bodies have been shown to contain more than 45 bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and other diseases. These bacteria, thankfully, do not replicate or proliferate in or on bed bugs. 

What Disease Can Bed Bugs Transmit?

what disease can bed bugs transmit

Although everyone’s reaction may differ, it’s critical to be aware of the health issues and hazards that a bed bug infestation may bring to you and your family.

Keep an eye out for the following health problems caused by bed insect bites:


The most frequent symptom of bed bug bites is itching. Because of the bites, you may have intense irritation. Bed bugs bite in groups, causing severe itching for many days.

Allergic reactions

Every person’s reaction to bed bug bites is different. While you may not have any symptoms, other people may experience moderate to severe allergic responses.

Secondary infections

caucasian female hand, wrist with inflamed bed bug stings,

While bed bugs aren’t known to transmit illnesses through bites, excessive itching can result in open sores. If not treated appropriately, these wounds might get infections. Impetigo, lymphangitis, and ecthyma are also possible secondary consequences.


The fear of bites is a major issue. Bed bugs can make you feel nervous and prevent you from sleeping. It will not only boost efficiency but will also likely increase worry and stress levels.

Red spots and blisters

Male leg, itching and red rash caused by insect bites and bites. Health and medical surveillance and concept development. High quality photo

Bed bug bites can leave you with red patches or blisters. The blisters go away after a few days, but the itching and anxiety might last a long time.

When you’ve been bitten, you’ll have a hole where the bite happened and an itchy red lump. Through these wounds, bed bug diseases and ulcers generated by the scratching of bites enter.

Anaphylactic shock

People with weakened immune systems or pre-existing diseases such as allergies or asthma are more vulnerable. Bed bug bites in certain persons can trigger anaphylactic shock. It is quite harmful, and bed bug treatment should start once to reduce the risk.

Hepatitis B

According to scientists, bed bugs carry hepatitis B, and the virus is found in the excrement of infected insects. However, experts are unsure if they can transmit the sickness to humans or animals. They’re still experimenting in the lab to figure it out.

Chagas disease

It is a parasitic illness that affects humans. Researchers have just found new facts on bed bugs and illnesses. This parasite then causes Chagas disease, one of the worst diseases in the United States, Central, and South America.

Chagas disease affects about 6 million individuals worldwide and kills about 50,000 people yearly. On the other hand, bed bugs do not transmit the virus through their bite. The parasite is instead transported in their excrement.

Q Fever

Bed bugs are the carriers of Q fever, which affects both humans and animals. The bacterium that causes Q fever is found in the excrement of infected insects. When excrement gets inside an insect bite, it infects people and animals.

Most persons with Q fever experience flu-like symptoms for a few days before recovering. However, it will appear to vanish for other people to reap reappearance years later. This type of Q fever is serious and necessitates immediate medical attention.

How To Prevent Diseases from Bed Bugs?

Mosquito bite on a Caucasian female in Thailand.

Take the following precautions for bed bug bites:

  • Cover up: Wear pajamas that cover as much flesh as possible. Bedbugs don’t like to burrow under clothing, so wearing pajamas that cover as much skin as possible may help you prevent bites.
  • Bug spray: Bug repellents meant to keep mosquitoes and ticks at bay aren’t very efficient against bedbugs.
  • Mosquito netting: Bed nets coated with the insecticide permethrin can help prevent people from getting bedbug bites while they sleep. This approach, however, may be aiding bedbug resistance to the insecticide.

Take the following precautions for bed bug infestations:

  • Hotel safety tips: Check mattress seams for bedbug feces and store baggage on tables or dressers rather than on the floor.
  • Secondhand Items: Used bedding and upholstered furniture should be thoroughly inspected before being brought into your house.
  • Birds and bats: Remove any nearby bird and bat habitats that might serve as bedbug havens.

Who are the High-Risk Groups for Bed Bugs Diseases? 

A dangerous tick crawls on the child's hand. The girl is afraid of insects.

Depending on your age and current health state, you may be at a higher risk of acquiring an illness or having a bad reaction to a bed bug bite. The following groups are known to be at higher risk than others:

  • Children: Bed bug bites can cause severe allergic responses in children. If you have little children at home, the finest insect pest control is necessary.
  • Bedridden patients: They are at the greatest risk due to their increased exposure. In such persons, itching can quickly develop into skin irritation.
  • Above 60+: As people become older, their immune systems weaken, putting them in danger. Anxiety and sleep issues are already a concern for them. Apart from causing allergies and itching, bed bugs can worsen these issues.

Where bed bugs like to hide?

Bed bug infestations

Bed bugs are classified as nocturnal insects. It implies that they migrate and feed on blood meals at night. They seek little creases and folds to hide in throughout the day since they hate light.

That is why they go unnoticed for the most part, and why they may be so difficult to get rid of. Infestations of bedbugs are more common around where people sleep. They hide in

  • Mattress
  • Box springs
  • Bedframe
  • Headboards
  • Objects or clutter near beds
  • Under peeling paint and loose wallpaper
  • Under carpeting near the baseboards
  • In upholstered furniture seams
  • Under light switch plates or electrical outlets

 Are Bed Bugs Bites a Health Risk?

Bedbug bites, moosquito bites or skin disease on human body

Even though bed bugs do not transmit illnesses, having a bed bug infestation or being bitten by bed bugs has several concerns. Bite responses vary from one person to another. That implies that although some people have minor symptoms, others may have extremely dangerous symptoms!

Wounds can occur when bites are inflamed or rubbed. It might expose wounds to subsequent skin infections in the most acute situations. An allergic response is another uncommon but probable symptom.

In any event, your doctor should always consult if you have major health concerns about bed bugs. The risk factor of having bed bugs are insemination, maculopapular, and arthropods.

How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs Presence?

Bed bug infestations

The most difficult aspect of eliminating bed bugs is their tolerance to most insecticides. As a result, several home bed bug assassins employ severe temperatures such as cold or heat. While acidic chemicals such as vinegar can be beneficial, freezing or heating the bugs is the most effective.

Bed bugs get killed at temperatures ranging from 117 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, and they can freeze at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or below.

The main issue with attempting to kill bed bugs at home is that even if just one pregnant bed bug survives your treatment, you’ll still have an infestation that will quickly resurface.

If you try to cure them yourself, we highly advise avoiding using any heating components, heaters, flammables, or similar items, as this practice is known to cause home fires every year.


Since bed bugs enter our mattresses while we are sleeping and feed on our blood, bed bug infestations can cause victims to feel extremely anxious. These parasite agents with their flat bodies are the candidate pathogens of a bed bug bite, bite marks, and another risk factor of disease vectors.

Upon inspection of bed bugs or bite marks, immediately call the pest control company. I hope this article helped you tackle bed bug bites or know about bed bugs diseases. 

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.