We have just received an alert from the National Pest Management Association concerning Chagas disease and BED BUGS. This is or could be quite serious.
In a study just published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene , researchers from Penn Medicines Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics found that bed bugs are able to transmit Trypanosoma cruzi which is the parasite that causes Chagas disease. Now lets be clear here, this was a laboratory test that used mice and bed bugs but it demonstrate that the bed bug can both acquire and transmit the parasite. While there have not been any human trials conducted , this research has demonstrated that besides the “kissing bug” which has been proven to be involved in human transmission that we may be approaching a point where bed bugs may be added as a vector for this disease.
Now you may be asking , “what is Chagas” ? Chagas is a disease caused by a tropical parasite (a protozoan) . Initially the disease symptoms are mild such as fever, swollen lymph nodes , head ache and swelling at the site of the bite from the vectoring insect. The real problem of Chagas occurs over 10 to 30 years and include problems with the heart, esophagus and colon. This is a serious disease .
Tri-Hill encourages you to look this disease up and learn more about it. Yes, there will be more research done on this in the coming years and the relationship between the parasite and the vectors of the disease will be more fully documented.
Let me say this about our little buddy the bed bug though. Bed Bugs are transient pests and extremely difficult to control. (please note our other posts on bed bugs on our blog) Limiting contact with bed bugs is important and vital in mitigating your risk to exposure. It is important , when traveling, to thoroughly inspect your hotel room including not just the bed but also behind the headboard and furniture. Pay particular attention to the tell tale signs of stains or spots made from feeding bed bugs. Inspect the ENTIRE room before unpacking. If any of these pest are spotted, change rooms immediately to a non-adjacent room.
Remember , bed bugs travel by hitching rides. After a trip, inspect all suitcases before bringing them into your home and wash all clothing.
It is extremely difficult to control bed bugs by yourself and it is recommended you contact a QUALIFIED pest control professional to implement a treatment plan.
Have a nice day ! 🙂