Bed bugs are biting insects that feed on the blood of people while they sleep.
Bed bugs can bite only one person in a group of people sharing a bedroom. They rarely bite pets.
If they are not exterminated, they reproduce and spread rapidly. When their numbers grow, bed bugs become a nuisance. This constitutes an infestation. The effects of a bed bug infestation can have very significant consequences on the health and quality of people’s lives.
Source : James Heilman, MD - Wikimedia Commons
Bed bug bites are often numerous on the skin. Bites are found mostly on parts of the body not covered when sleeping, such as arms, shoulders, back, stomach and legs.
Symptoms caused by bed bug bites can vary from one person to another. Some people have no reactions at all to the bites. Others may have more severe reactions, such as hives or a more intense allergic reaction.
The main symptoms are the following:
Bed bugs do not transmit any illnesses to persons bitten.
You can seek medical help if the itching is extremely uncomfortable or if you develop significant skin reactions such as:
To relieve itching, follow these tips:
Should your skin not be bitten again, traces left by the bed bug bites disappear after a few hours or within a few days without treatment.
Persistent scratching due to itching can sometimes result in skin infections.
A bed bug infestation must be dealt with immediately. Failure to do so can have significant consequences on quality of life. For instance, people that are victims of an infestation may experience the following:
See Recognising Bed Bugs and Preventing Infestation for tips to follow in order to avoid bed bug infestations.
If you suspect that there are bed bugs in your house, see Exterminating Bed Bugs to learn about steps to take.
Everyone is at risk of bringing bed bugs home. Some situations are particularly conducive to the spread of bed bugs:
Last update: December 8, 2017 11:50 AM
The information on this website by no means replaces the advice of a health professional. If you have questions regarding your health, contact Info-Santé 811 or see a health professional.