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Bed Bugs

Topics: Built Environment, Pest Control

Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are small, elusive, and resilient insects that live by feeding on the blood of mammals, including humans. Bed bug infestations have become prominent worldwide, generating increased public concern. Despite the attention given to bed bugs by the public, researchers, governments, and pest management professionals, there are still considerable challenges with managing bed bug infestations.

Currently, there is no evidence for the transmission of human disease through bed bugs, making it difficult to characterize their resurgence as a substantive public health threat strictly on the basis of communicable disease frameworks. However, bed bugs have been associated with adverse health effects, including allergic skin reactions, secondary infections, and scarring as a result of the intense scratching their bites provoke. There are concerns with improper insecticide use, which can be ineffective and result in harmful exposure. Perhaps of greatest concern is the psychological impact on people who are living in bed bug infested conditions. While anyone can be subject to a bed bug infestation, challenges are often greatest among people who are socially and economically disadvantaged. Given the complex issues arising from bed bug infestations, effective strategies often require collaboration and services from multiple public and private agencies.

We have developed a number of resources on bed bugs, including:

 

Posted by NCCEHMar 06, 2015