Thursday, January 26, 2006

Myth Bustin’ Part I

Let’s get a few exaggerations out of the way. The following are the most common misconceptions I’ve encountered concerning bed bugs.

Myth #1: Bed Bugs are highly contagious.

First off, for the most part, bed bugs almost always spread from one person to another via bags/luggage. You cannot get bed bugs by shaking one’s hand, kissing them, hugging them or being in the same room with them. Bed bugs do not have wings , so they cannot fly or jump from one person to another. As I stated in a previous post, you really can’t get bed bugs unless you are in the home, especially the bedroom of someone who has bed bugs. They are called bed bugs for a reason, because bed bugs live in the places where their human hosts sleep.

Myth #2: Bed Bugs spread disease and death.

According to every medical professional on the planet, no one has ever died from being bitten by a bed bug, and there are no diseases, viruses or illness that bed bugs have been known to carry. The reason why people are wary of bed bugs is because their bites itch and leave bumps on the skin that resemble mosquito bites. In some cases, some people may have different allergic reactions to bed bugs, ranging from mild itching to itches that linger for hours to even rashes.

Also, because of a person’s individual physiology, bed bugs may like to bite some people more than others. Adversely, there are some rare instances in which there are a small minority of people who bed bugs do not like to bite at all. Lucky bastards.

Fortunately for myself, my biological reaction to the bites isn’t that severe. It itches for a while, but after an hour the bumps and itching go away. The itching sensation can be reduced by buying prescription creams and ointments. There are several different products on the market and from what I’ve learned, all of them are quite effective. The cream really makes a difference.

The only constant downside of bed bugs is that they make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Because bed bugs hate the light, some people who have them often sleep with the lights on, which can make it hard to sleep for people who prefer or are accustomed to absolute or near-absolute darkness when sleeping.

If you need any further evidence of the relative harmlessness of bed bugs, I have a very logical reason why bed bugs do not spread disease. Unlike animals and insects that do, bed bugs do not feed off of dead animals or humans, bacteria, feces, urine or germs. They feed on YOU. A bed bug is basically as disease and bacteria-free as the person whose blood they are sucking. Though bed bugs have been known to feed on the blood of live animals, they very much prefer human blood.

Myth #3: Only people living in filth, poverty, substandard housing or who are from Third-World countries have bed bugs.

Bed Bugs are not maggots. They are not born from decaying carcasses or stale feces like maggots are. As I mentioned in the aforementioned paragraph, bed bugs consume the blood of live humans, not bacteria or germs or dead bodies of feces. And according to recent news reports, even the nicest hotels and homes are suffering from bed bugs. A plush limousine seats can have the same likelihood of having bed bugs as an upholstered seat of a city bus. If poor people can be connected to bed bugs in any way, it is mostly likely because poor people cannot afford to purchase the chemicals, special laundry detergent or throw away their linens and beds, all necessary actions to eradicate bed bugs.

I will offer more myths to dispel as I come across them. Feel free to add your own.

6 comments:

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Anonymous said...

It is worse also when your senses are heightened through stress and almost as if the little mites know. My partner has never! at any time been bothered by them, I recon his mattress most probably has the highest mite and bed bug count per mm in the globe,

Anonymous said...

"Itches that linger for hours" is by no means the most extreme reaction one can have. My bites are like itchier, sorer mosquito bites that last for weeks.

Good info otherwise though. It really annoys me when people think I have bedbugs because I'm unclean. They're not like cockroaches!

Anonymous said...

I AM PROOF THAT BED BUGS ARE REAL. I HAVE BEEN SUFFERING WITH THESE LITTLE B------S FOR A MONTH. I HAVE GONE TO THE ER, ONE DOC TOLD ME, HE HASD NO IDEA WHAT I HAD, THERN ANOTHER CAME IN AND THE SAME. THEY GAVE ME MEDS, BUT GUESS WHAT... IT DIDNT WORK. SO YESTERDAY, TODAY IS 11/30/2008, I WENT BACK AND THE DOC. TOLD ME I HAD BED BUGS BITES, MITES OR SCABIES AS SHE SAID. I AM GOING CRAZU WITH THE ITCHES, NOW I AM TRYING TYO FIND OUT WHAT CAN I SPRAY IN MY ROOM. OH, I WENT HOME AND TOOK OFF THE COVERS ON MY BED. GUESS WHAT I FOUND.. A BED BUG ALIVE. IF ANYONE HAS ANY IDEA WHAT I CAN DO PLEASE LET ME KNOW,

Anonymous said...

On yahoo answers someone mentioned lavender oil gets rid of them.

Anonymous said...

I have read that spraying rubbing alcohol will make them go away.... I think im having an allergic reaction to there chemical they produce cause my bites are pudding and even blistering up...im so uncomfortable!