In other words, the common bed bug! Impressed about how I managed to use another letter to talk about bed bugs? Don’t answer that!
Anyway, I had to do it because I heard an interesting tale at my hairdressers last Friday. The customer in the seat next to me was very chatty. Apparently she had returned from a previous holiday with bites on her arms. She was concerned and had gone to her pharmacy where she was told categorically that she had bed bug bites! The pharmacist also told her that because of her bites she was now infectious! Based on this advice she missed a friend’s wedding because she did not want to spread bed bugs to the other wedding guests.
I sat listening to this tale and could not believe she had been told she was infectious just because she had bed bug bites. I almost felt like butting into the conversation and putting her straight but then I had a moment of self-doubt! I was convinced that there is no way having bed bug bites makes you infectious but for a split second I started to doubt myself, so I had to ask our resident expert, Matt Green, to put the record (firmly) straight for me and anyone else out there:
Bed bug bites are NOT infectious!
Although scratching the bites might lead to a secondary infection of Staphylococcus aureus which is infectious, the bites themselves are definitely not. So, if you decide not to attend a wedding because of unsightly bites, let the reason be out of embarrassment and not because you think you are infectious. Unlike the classic stomach scene from the 1979 Alien movie, your skin is not going to start erupting live bed bugs. Phew! Hope that has eased some people’s concerns.
Have you been put off doing something in the past due to a nasty sting or bite?
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