What bed bugs leave behind that can make you sick, even after they’re exterminated


It’s no secret that bed bugs can be harmful. Getting rid of them may not be enough though, because the waste they leave behind could still make you sick, according to a new report. 

>> Read more trending news 

Researchers from North Carolina State University recently conducted a study, published in the scientific journal PLOS One, to determine how the critters could be dangerous even after successful exterminations. 

The researchers examined apartment complexes in Raleigh that were infested with bed bugs. They tested the indoor dust that was visibly infected by bed bugs and the indoor dust that wasn’t. A professional pest company then successfully exterminated the infestations, and the scientists inspected the spaces a second time. 

>> Related: Dirty laundry a strong magnet for bedbugs 

They suspected that the insects left behind a compound in their feces called histamine. Although histamines help the immune system fight off germs and repair injuries for humans, they can also have damaging effects, including rashes from physical contact and respiratory issues from inhalation.

After analyzing the results, they found that “histamine levels in bed bug infested homes were at least 20 times higher than histamine levels in homes without bed bugs,” coauthor Zachary DeVries said in a statement

>> Related: Another home burns down in botched attempt to kill bedbugs with rubbin

The scientists also tracked the histamine over time after the extermination. They discovered these levels did not decline significantly three months later. 

They are not sure how to reduce histamine but plan further investigations into eliminating bed bugs and their adverse effects. 

>> Related: Orkin study: Cities with the most bed bug infestations

“A combination of heat treatment to eradicate bed bugs and rigorous cleaning to eliminate some of the household dust could be a way to reduce these histamine levels,” DeVries said. “We’ll do future testing to bear that out.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation World

Teen admits to killing Memphis couple, setting apartment on fire
Teen admits to killing Memphis couple, setting apartment on fire

An arrest has been made after a Memphis couple was found dead in an apartment that went up in flames Thursday afternoon. >> Read more trending news  Aareon Berryman, 18, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, especially aggravated robbery, aggravated arson, possession of marijuana with the intent to manufacture or sell...
Britney Spear’s ex K-Fed wants child support increase amid star’s Vegas success
Britney Spear’s ex K-Fed wants child support increase amid star’s Vegas success

After seeing how successful her four-year Las Vegas residency has been, Britney Spears’ ex-husband Kevin Federline is asking for an increase in child support. >> Read more trending news  Federline’s attorney reportedly sent the pop singer a letter recently indicating that he would like to renegotiate the $20,000...
New tests, including blood check, could help doctors diagnose autism
New tests, including blood check, could help doctors diagnose autism

A newly developed blood and urine test could potentially detect autism in young children. >> Read more trending news  That’s according to new research from scientists in the United Kingdom and Italy who conducted tests in search for damage to proteins previously known to be higher in children with autism spectrum disorders. The study...
Check for recall announcements for golf carts, pots, candles & more
Check for recall announcements for golf carts, pots, candles & more

A kettle, fire pit, bleeding candles and golf carts are among the new recalls announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission: The handles on some Whirlpool KitchenAid electric kettles could come loose and cause the liquid inside to burn you.  There are three reports of minor burns and a total of 79 reports of the handles separating. ...
Weekend to bring more rain, threat for strong storms
Weekend to bring more rain, threat for strong storms

While much of the area is getting a break from steady rain Friday night, another wave will arrive toward daybreak. Storm Center 7 meteorologists have been tracking multiple rounds of rain since Wednesday with several more to go. Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell said the heaviest rain will arrive late Saturday. “We’ll likely see steady...
More Stories