Bed bugs inject saliva into their hosts’ bloodstream to prevent clotting and allow them to eat. While bed bugs do not transmit disease, they are bothersome and can be expensive to control.
Courtesy of the Center for Disease and Prevention (CDC)
The St. Francois County Health Center (SFCHC) has released information on bed bugs to educate local residents about the insects and take steps to prevent infestation.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), bed bugs are small insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals while they sleep. Bed bugs are reddish brown, wingless, and can survive for several months without feeding. Bed bugs are a problem worldwide.
“Given recent concerns about bed bugs in the county, we felt it was important to provide information and resources to the community,” said Amber Elliott, director of the SFCHC.
Bed bug infestations most commonly occur near areas where people sleep. They usually hide in or around the roost during the day. Areas at the highest risk of infestation include houses, apartments, shelters, dorms, hotels, and public transportation. A bed bug sighting does not necessarily indicate an infestation.
Bed bugs do not transmit disease; However, they are disruptive and can be expensive to control. Their bites can cause itching and difficulty sleeping. Excessive scratching can lead to a secondary skin infection.
“It is not uncommon to receive reports of bed bugs, although bed bugs are not required to be reported to the health department,” said Tiffany Roth, SFCHC’s communicable disease nurse. “When we have reports, we provide educational resources and refer to pest control.