What diseases may be transmitted by bedbug bites?

Updated: Apr 18, 2019
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

At this time, no evidence suggests bedbugs actually transmit pathogens to humans. [36] Theoretically, failure to diagnose bedbug bites puts a patient at increased risk of hepatitis B or some other infection. Because bedbugs may at least theoretically transmit disease, the physician may be at medicolegal risk if the patient develops any such infection. Reinhardt et al suggest the delayed reaction time of skin to bites has implications in litigation, such as when people seek compensation from hotels. [20]

DEET is a highly effective bedbug repellent, but it has a substantial order and can dissolve certain plastics. [37]

Bedbugs can spread through ventilation ducts, water pipes, and gutters and can travel in clothing and luggage. [4] Travelers should examine hotel rooms, looking behind the headboard and in mattress seams, for evidence of bedbugs.


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