Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Control, Treatment Of Bed Bugs Challenging

Date:
April 7, 2009
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
A review of previously published articles indicates there is little evidence supporting an effective treatment of bites from bed bugs, that these insects do not appear to transmit disease, and control and eradication of bed bugs is challenging, according to a new article.

A review of previously published articles indicates there is little evidence supporting an effective treatment of bites from bed bugs, that these insects do not appear to transmit disease, and control and eradication of bed bugs is challenging, according to a new article.

Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) have been known as a human parasite for thousands of years, but scientific studies of this insect are recent and limited. International travel, immigration, changes in pest control practices and insecticide resistance may have contributed to a recent resurgence of this blood-sucking insect in developed countries. Bed bug infestations have been reported increasingly in homes, apartments, hotel rooms, hospitals, and dormitories in the United States since 1980, according to background information in the article.

Hiding places are usually within about 3 to 6 feet of suitable hosts and include seams in mattresses, crevices in box springs, backsides of headboards, spaces under baseboards or loose wallpaper. Health consequences include biting and skin and systemic reactions. The potential for bed bugs to serve as transmitters of disease and optimal methods for bed bug pest control and eradication are unclear.

Jerome Goddard, Ph.D., of Mississippi State University, and Richard deShazo, M.D., of the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, examined the evidence regarding the health and medical effects of bed bugs and control and eradication strategies. The researchers conducted a search for articles on these topics, identified 53 articles that met criteria for inclusion, and summarized the findings.

The authors report that although transmission of more than 40 human diseases has been attributed to bed bugs, there is little evidence that they are transporters of communicable disease. A variety of clinical reactions to bed bugs have been reported, including skin and rarely systemic reactions. A review of case reports indicated that the usual response to a bed bug bite appears to be no reaction with a barely visible mark at the location of the bite. The most common reactions for which medical attention is sought are lesions. These usually itch, and if not made worse by scratching, resolve within a week. Some patients experience complex skin reactions.

The authors write that the use of any treatment strategy for symptomatic bed bug bites has not been established. Treatments of common and complex skin reactions are usually symptomatic and not evidence based. Treatments that have been used with varying results include antibiotics, antihistamines, topical and oral corticosteroids and epinephrine (adrenaline).

The authors add that bed bugs are extremely difficult to eradicate. No evidence-based interventions to eradicate bed bugs or prevent bites were identified. Pesticide control of bed bugs is complicated by insecticide resistance, lack of effective products, and health concerns about spraying mattresses with pesticides.

"Bed bugs are likely to be more problematic in the future due to travel, immigration, and insecticide resistance," the researchers write. "Development of effective repellents and public education about bed bugs are also important goals. Research is needed to elucidate the pathogenesis of clinical reactions to bed bug bites so that optimal therapy may be identified."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Goddard et al. Bed Bugs (Cimex lectularius) and Clinical Consequences of Their Bites. JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association, 2009; 301 (13): 1358 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2009.405

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Control, Treatment Of Bed Bugs Challenging." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090331183504.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2009, April 7). Control, Treatment Of Bed Bugs Challenging. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090331183504.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Control, Treatment Of Bed Bugs Challenging." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090331183504.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo

Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo

AP (July 30, 2014) River otters were hitting the water slides to beat the summer heatwave on Wednesday at Ichikawa City's Zoological and Botanical Garden. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins