Bed bug impacts linger in homes, NC State research suggests

Bed bugs in a lab at NC State. Courtesy: George Umbenhauer/CBS NC

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The evidence of bed bugs lingers for months after the infestation is gone, leading to some health questions, according to new research out of North Carolina State University.

A study released this week looked at histamine levels in places bed bugs were. The compound levels were still high three months after the bed bugs were cleared, the research showed.


“This gives us some evidence they may not just be a nuisance pest and they may be actually influencing people’s health more than just the bites or some of the psychological effects of having bed bugs,” said Zachary DeVries, N.C. State post-doctoral researcher.

DeVries told CBS North Carolina the research could lead to some scarier results as they look into the exact health impacts.

Histamines, when working correctly, are part of a natural immune response, but sometimes lead to rashes and respiratory problems when inhaled.

“If there are health implications it means we can’t just get rid of the pests,” said DeVries. “We have to do some serious cleaning and really dive into the problem to help get rid of it.”

DeVries said if you have a bed bug problem should leave it to a professional because the pests are extra difficult to eradicate from homes.

Find more about the research here.


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