According to the Hawaii Pest Control Association, bed bugs are typically unable to spread diseases. Although they have the potential to harbor up to 48 various pathogens by feeding on an infected host, the transmission of blood-borne pathogens is not likely and has never been proven in laboratory settings.
Furthermore, bed bugs are also slow in terms of reproduction, when compared to other insects. The bed bug lifecycle consists of egg, several younger instars and adults - each stage must obtain a blood meal to successfully advance and females must obtain a blood meal to produce viable eggs. Because of this dependency on blood meals, the development from egg to adult is a slow process.
Despite popular belief, having bed bugs in your home does not mean it is unsanitary. Bed bugs are not scavengers, since they only consume blood from a suitable host. They do not feed on standing water and other food items and can be found anywhere from high rise apartments to low income housing. As long as there is a suitable host (human) present, a bed bug can survive.
• Only 20% of human population actively respond to bed bug bites
• Peak hours of bed bug feeding occur between 3-5 AM
• Bed bugs will feed any time during the day depending on the level of starvation
As instructed by the Hawaii Pest Control Association, it is not recommended to control an infestation of bed bugs without the help of professional expertise, for they have effective pesticide products that are not available to the general public.
Do bed bugs spread disease?
Research has shown that bed bugs have the potential to harbor up to 48 pathogens by feeding on an infected host. However, due to the morphology of their mouthparts, transmission of blood-borne pathogens is unlikely and has never been shown to be positive in laboratory tests.
Do bed bugs jump and/or fly onto their victims to consume a blood meal?
Bed bugs are crawling insects and do not possess wings or legs modified for jumping, like a flea does.
Bed bug bites are painful and can itch for several days. Only about 20 percent of the human population actively responds to bed bug bites. Numbing agents in the saliva often prevent the victim from ever knowing that they have even been bitten. This explains why populations of bed bugs can develop and go undetected for long periods of time without being discovered.
Do bed bugs only feed at night?
Although their peak hours of activity are typically between 3-5 a.m., bed bugs will feed any time of the day, depending on their level of starvation.
How fast do bed bugs reproduce?
The bed bug lifecycle consists of egg, several younger instars and adults. Each stage must obtain a blood meal to successfully molt into the next stage, and females mostly obtain a blood meal to produce viable eggs. Therefore, development from egg to adult is a relatively slow process compared to other insects and pests.
Are bed bugs associated with more sanitation?
Bed bugs only consume blood from a suitable host; they are not scavengers. They do not feed on standing water or spilled food items. Bed bugs have been found anywhere from high-rise apartments to low income housing. Bed bugs can survive anywhere a suitable host (i.e. humans) is present, which includes homes and public facilities.
The spread of this pest is twofold:
1.) Movement of infested materials (bed mattresses and box springs, suitcases, etc.)
2.) Infested humans
How can one combat an infestation?
Do not attempt to control an infestation of bed bugs, which will require professional expertise and pesticide products that are not available to the general public.