Study Shows Bed Bugs Can Transmit Chagas Disease
“Good night. Sleep tight. Don’t let the bed bugs bite.” A common phrase uttered to so many children before sleep. Only now, however, this saying is a bit more alarming. Instead of a simple wish for pleasant sleep, many homes are finding themselves under attack by these tiny invaders. Almost like human fleas, bed bugs feed on blood, causing sufferers to wake up with small bumps on their legs and arms in the form of bed bug bites. Unfortunately, recent research is showing that these creatures may be carrying more than simply an annoying need to feed on blood.
Also known as Trypanosoma cruzi, this parasite is responsible for one of the most prevalent diseases in America, Chagas disease. If left untreated, the disease causes damage to both the heart and the central nervous system over time. Originally, this parasite was only found in the bed bug’s cousin, the “kissing” bug. Five times larger, this “kissing” bug is normally found only in South America and has been long known to spread T. cruzi. The parasite is spread through fecal matter. As the bugs feed, they immediately defecate. Since the waste is so close to the open wound, it has a very high chance of entering the blood stream, resulting in human infection.
Scientists, alarmed by the increase in American cases, have now started studying bed bugs. While the “kissing” bug is far less likely to invade an American home, their much smaller cousins are already rapidly spreading, forcing many places to ban the sale of used mattresses altogether. Since they’re related, this has caused many scientists to begin studying the nature of Chagas to understand just what kind of a threat it poses. After many bouts of research with mice, the parasite can indeed transfer to bed bugs which then can transfer it to us. This is startling as the number of cases has climbed up to 300,000. The scariest part is how resistant to pesticides bed bugs are, making the war on them a very tough battle. On top of that, most people infected with Chagas might not even know they have it until it’s too late.
While the growing epidemic is a scary thought, it is not impossible to fix. If you are worried your home is infected with bed bugs or you just want to get it checked out, reach out to the professionals. They know exactly what to look for and how to find the near microscopic pests. Should the house test positive, get professional bed bug extermination immediately. They know exactly how to get rid of bed bugs so that they never return to harm you or your family again. If you are in Arizona, contact us for pest control in Phoenix. We have the professionals you need to restore your house to one of safety and cleanliness.
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