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VERIFY: Can bed bug bites be harmful to your health?

The nation's capital is the No. 2 city for bed bug infestation, and that's got a lot of people creeped out. But are these little crawlers actually harmful to our health?
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Bed bug fear or bedbug worry concept as a cast shadow of a a parasitic insect pest resting on a pillow and sheets as a symbol and metaphor for the anxiety horror and danger of a bloodsucking parasite living inside your mattress.


Can you get sick from bed bug bites?


Though not very common, experts say yes bed bug bites can sometimes lead to severe allergic reactions, insomnia and even anxiety. 


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Mayo Clinic




Our Verify team is here to get you facts to the things you question online and in your neighborhood.

A viewer asked our Verify to find out if bed bugs can cause you to get sick and poorly affect your health. 

This comes after pest control company, Orkin DC as the second worst city, nationwide for bed bugs

So our Verify team got answers by going to experts at the CDC, Mayo Clinic and Terminix. 

Terminix experts say bed bugs often bite in lines or clusters forming red, swollen areas, but it's important to know everyone reacts differently, some people show no signs of red bumps on their skin while other people can show signs of an allergic reaction that include swelling, hives or excessive scratching. 

It's always best to talk to your doctor if you do experience an allergic reaction to the bites. 

However, the CDC clarified the parasitic insects are not considered to be dangerous usually don't pose a serious medical threat and are not known to spread diseases. 

Verify experts also checked with the Mayo Clinic, and they said most bed bugs can do not require medical treatment and can usually be treated with a skin cream containing hydra-cortisone or an oral antihistamine, like Benadryl. But other bed bug bite symptoms include insomnia and anxiety.

So we verified though not very common, in some instances bed bug bites can poorly affect both your physical and mental health.