Bedbugs may be small but they sure are terrible since they cause a lot of trouble. They can transmit diseases like kala-azar and tularemia. The former is a parasitic disease characterized by fever, anemia, enlargement of the liver and spleen, and edema.
Tularemia, on the other hand, causes chills, fever, headache, joint and muscle pain, nausea and weakness. Complications include enlargement of the lymph glands and pneumonia. Both diseases are fatal if untreated.
Bedbugs are also responsible for the plague that killed millions of people in Asia and Europe. The plague or black death, as it was known during the Middle Ages, produces chills, high fever, headache, vomiting, enlargement of the lymph glands, and black hemorrhagic spots all over the body. Experts say another plague could strike the earth if the pests that bring it, bedbugs included, are not controlled.
For a restful sleep without bedbugs, here are some suggestions from the World Health Organization taken from "Insect and Rodent Control Through Environmental Management: A Community Action Program."
Cracks and crevices in the house should be plugged. Floors, walls, and ceilings should be made smooth.
Light infestations within the house can be deal with by thorough cleaning of household articles and by keeping the house tidy.
Furniture, mattresses and beddings should be taken some distance from the house and then beaten to dislodge the bugs.
Beds can be treated by pouring boiling water on bed frames or running a lighted candle under bed springs.
Sharing clothes and beddings with other people should be avoided. (Next: Menacing mosquitoes.)