More nightmare fuel: Bedbugs create cesspool of poop and histamine in your bed
Wednesday February 14, 2018. 09:56 PM , from Ars Technica
Enlarge / A typical bed bug aggregation showing blood-fed and unfed bed bugs and fecal spots that contain histamine (photo credit: Matt Bertone) (credit: DeVries et al.)
It’s official: pooping the bed is not the worst thing you can do. Letting bedbugs do it is worse.
As the creepy critters bite you while you slumber, they also squeeze out poops loaded with histamine, a chemical that our own bodies push out during an inflammatory response to allergens. Histamine can trigger itchiness, watery eyes, sneezing, trouble breathing, headaches, and asthma attacks, among other problems. Homes with bedbug infestations can become histamine Dutch ovens, according to a new study led by entomologists and health experts at North Carolina State University. The researchers found that histamine levels in infested homes were at least 20-times higher than levels in bed-bug free homes.
And that’s not all. Researchers writing in PLOS ONE also found that those histamine levels linger. In infested homes that were heat treated—which involves circulating hot air (~50 ̊C) into a home to wipe out the bugs—histamine levels remained high for months afterward.
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