CAN BED BUGS TRANSMIT THE CORONAVIRUS?

CAN BED BUGS TRANSMIT THE CORONAVIRUS?

CAN BED BUGS TRANSMIT THE CORONAVIRUS?

 

Everyone has heard about bed bugs, but not everyone knows how terrible it is to have them at home.  Bed bugs are blood-sucking insects, so imagine sleeping with them right in your own bed. Their bites are very itchy and unsightly.  Aside from that, bed bugs are high health risks.

According to three United States government agencies, namely the Center for Disease Control, the United States Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency, cases of stress, anxiety, sleeplessness, social isolation, and even depression have been reported after having bed bugs in their homes.  

Bed bugs will always be a problem for all homeowners, but now the whole world is faced with a new threat: the coronavirus.

Bed bugs and coronavirus are different from each other.  COVID-19 is the name of the disease caused by coronavirus; it is relatively new so very little information is known in relation to this disease.  What we all know is that as of this writing, almost 200,000 people were already infected and more than 7,000 lost their lives.

Due to the fact that this is a new disease, scientists have yet to scratch the surface as far as information about the virus is concerned.  Because of this, many so-called experts have posted articles about it. Some are true but a lot are fake. Legitimate organizations now scramble to disseminate genuine information in hopes of quelling panic caused by fake news.  

One cause for concern is how the coronavirus is spread.  Many have asked about bed bugs spreading COVID-19. After all, bed bugs bite and suck human blood.  Can they transmit this disease? While we can say that the answer is no, it is important to explain this even further so that we can avoid having people panicking over this situation.  

In this article, we will dig deep into what bed bugs are, and what COVID-19 is, and find out whether these two are related.

Overview of bed bugs

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Bed bugs are tiny insects that suck blood from humans and other animals; they are the size of an apple seed.   They are brown in color, with flat and oval-shaped bodies. However, they turn red and have bloated bodies after a blood meal.  

These troublesome pests are nocturnal, so they feed only at night when homeowners are sleeping.  You do not feel their bites, because they inject an enzyme that acts as an anesthetic as they suck blood.  

Bed bugs came to the United States in the 19th century via ships that traveled from all across the world.  Instantly, they wreaked havoc in American homes for several decades. That was until the 1950s, when new pesticides were invented, killing them all off.  Americans lived without worrying about bed bugs for decades, that was until they suddenly reappeared in the 1990s. Since then, bed bugs have become unstoppable; they are increasing in number never before seen.  They are much stronger too, having developed resistance from pesticides that used to be so effective against them.  

As usual, experts pointed to increased travel for the reason why bed bugs made a comeback.  More and more Americans are traveling to different parts of the globe. Since bed bugs are very good hitchhikers, they have successfully hitched rides to the United States.  They simply latched on to luggage or the clothes of unsuspecting travelers.  

Right now, the majority of calls received by pest control companies are about bed bugs.  

Where do bed bugs hide?

Every creature on earth, including humans, stays in areas where they can be near their source of food.  In the case of bed bugs, they need to be near humans every time humans sleep. For this reason, they are always near the beds.  They hide in mattresses, headboards, bed frames, and pillowcases. Unfortunately, bed bugs grow in number very quickly. When this happens, they scatter to different parts of the house.  Bed bugs usually hide in cracks and crevices of ceilings, walls, and floors. They also hide in drawers, electrical receptacles, doorknobs, and furniture.  

Health risks involved in having bed bugs

Bed bugs suck human blood to survive.  They have mouth parts that can pierce the skin to complete their feeding activity.  Their bites can cause severe itchiness and irritation, plus the fact that these bites look ugly on the skin.

As terrible as that sounds, bed bugs can cause other damages; they are high health risks.  These tiny insects can cause major psychological problems that can be as destructive as the physical ones.  

Some people with bed bug infestation problems have reported that they were too stressed out to function well throughout the day.  They became too anxious to sleep. Some have even reported cases of depression.

With that said, people are asking whether bed bugs can transmit diseases, and in particular, they are asking whether bed bugs can transmit the coronavirus.  Fortunately for us, bed bugs cannot transmit coronavirus. Actually, no vector pests can give you COVID-19. Vector pests include mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, rats, mice, and cockroaches.  

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What is coronavirus?

According to the World Health Organization,  coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause illness in animals and humans.  Several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory diseases in humans; from the common colds to more severe illnesses like the Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.  Now, it is the COVID-19 that we have to worry about. 

The COVID-19

COVID-19 is the latest disease caused by a coronavirus.  In March 2019, the World Health Organization called it a pandemic.  It is a relatively new disease, having broken out only in December 2019.  Experts say that COVID-19 started in Wuhan, a city in China. Chinese experts said that it all started in a small market that sold exotic meats, where people bought bats for food. They point to eating bats as the source.  

The disease has now infected almost 200,000 people and killed more than 7,000.  Health experts say to expect the worst before it gets any better.  

The COVID-19 transmission

COVID-19 is said to be a zoonotic disease, meaning it jumped from animals to humans.  Now it is being spread from one human to another. Here are the ways a human can get infected.

  1. A sneeze or a cough from an infected person can directly transport the virus directly to the eyes, nose, and mouth of another person via droplet transmission.  
  2. Being closer than 3 feet to a person who is infected for at least 15 minutes puts you at risk of becoming infected.  Shaking hands and kissing to greet someone should be avoided.
  3. You might get infectious droplets in your hands; touching your face would make you very vulnerable to infection.  

The Symptoms of COVID-19

On the first three days of infection, the symptoms will be similar to that of the common cold.  There is no fever and appetite is normal. On the fourth day, body temperature rises to 36.d degrees, with mild headaches and mild diarrhea.  The following day, the person will have throat pain and a hoarse voice, with a weak body and with joint pains. On the sixth day, the mild fever begins.  There will also be dry coughs. On days seven and eight, the patient will have a higher fever, difficulty in breathing, and incessant coughing. At this stage, tests will have to be taken on the patient.  

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Avoiding the coronavirus

Here is what you can do to avoid getting the virus.

  1. Wash your hands properly.  As much as possible, use hand soap.  In washing your hands, rub the back of your hands, the fingers, palms, between your fingers, and under the fingernails.  
  2. Avoid riding public transport.  Walking is the best exercise, so take advantage of the situation.  Biking is also a good alternative.
  3. Go out of your house only when needed.  As much as possible, stay away from public places until the virus is contained.  
  4. Practice social distancing.

As you can see by now, bed bugs have nothing to do with the coronavirus.  That does not mean that they can get a pass at this time. So while we are at it, we will give you some tips on how to get rid of bed bugs.

Controlling bed bugs

Here are some ways on how to exterminate bed bugs in your home:

  1. Sprinkle diatomaceous earth on places that bed bugs frequent.  Diatomaceous earth is made up of fossilized remains of diatoms and looks like tiny pieces of broken glass.  Each time a bed bug crawls on it, it would inflict tiny cuts on its body. Eventually it would bleed to death. 
  2. Wash your beddings with hot, soapy water.
  3. Vacuum areas where bed bugs are hiding.
  4. If you live in an apartment unit, inform your landlord at once.  They would be the ones to call the pest control professionals.  

If you need the best pest control professionals to help you with your bed bug problems, call Go-Forth Pest Control.  

Though we are just as helpless against the coronavirus, we are experts in exterminating pests like bed bugs, mosquitoes, roaches, and rodents.  So give us a call and our friendly operators will assist you.

 

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Go-Forth Pest Control is a family owned exterminator company based in High Point, NC. The company covers The Triad, The Triangle, Charlotte, Hickory, Wilmington, Columbia SC.