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Bug-Bourne Illnesses Making their Way to the US

bed bug in seattle waAs if bed bug bites aren’t bad enough on their own, new research shows that beg bugs may transmit the Trypanosoma cruzi parasite that cause Chagas disease, a condition that can lead to heart failure. While there aren’t any reported cases of humans contracting the disease from bed bugs, Oregon and Washington pest control experts warn you to be extra vigilant as you travel this holiday season.

Expert Findings on Bed Bugs

The most common carrier of Chagas disease is the triatomine insect, or kissing bug, the bed bug’s cousin. The insect passes the parasite through its droppings as it feeds on the host. In a controlled study, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine’s Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics exposed mice and bedbugs to the T. cruzi parasite in different manners. The study found 75 percent of the mice that cohabitated with infected bed bugs contracted the parasite.

The study did not examine if infected beg bugs or rodents could transmit Chagas to human hosts. The science community needs to conduct more research about how the recent findings apply to human health. At the time of publication, there is no research suggesting that bed bugs can transmit diseases or parasites to humans.

Holiday Bed Bug Pest Prevention

Traveling is one of the most common ways of contracting bed bugs. This holiday season, Washington and Oregon pest control professionals offer the following prevention tips:

  • Before booking a hotel reservation, read online reviews for mentions of bed bugs.
  • Inspect a hotel room for signs of bed bugs before unpacking. Places to look include:
    • Mattress (all sides) and mattress seams
    • Along the headboard and bed posts
    • Sofas and chairs
    • Wooden luggage racks
    • Curtains
    • Ironing boards
  • Keep all the items in your luggage in zippered plastic bags. Use a protective cover over your suitcase.
  • Unpack your luggage outside and inspect your suitcase for bed bugs and eggs.
  • Immediately place clean clothes in a hot dryer for at least 30 minutes to kill bed bugs you do not see.
  • Wash dirty clothes with hot water and dry them on the hottest setting.
  • Vacuum and steam-clean your luggage before storing it.
  • Store luggage away from bedrooms.
  • Use a bed bug cover over the mattresses and box springs at home.
  • Clean and inspect guest rooms after they leave in the event that they introduced bed bugs into your home. 

Bed bugs are simpler to prevent than control. If you suspect that you have a beg bug infestation in your home, contact Eden right away. Our experts have proven methods of finding and controlling bed bugs that are more efficient and effective than harsh chemicals.

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