Whenever I look up this topic, all I get is articles that say "Bed bugs don't carry disease...", but they never explain why? Is it something in their saliva that kills microbes? Something in their gut maybe? When they are crawling over the floor wouldn't it be logical that they would carry microbes, I mean cockroaches do?


1 Answer 1


It's not entirely true. For example, a 2014 study demonstrates bed bugs can transmit Chagas disease. From Penn Medicine News:

The bed bug may be just as dangerous as its sinister cousin, the triatomine, or “kissing” bug. A new study from Penn Medicine researchers in the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics demonstrated that bed bugs, like the triatomines, can transmit Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite that causes Chagas disease, one of the most prevalent and deadly diseases in the Americas.

(I'll update with more details when I get off the road)

  • $\begingroup$ When bed bugs crawl about, presumably they must be coming into contact with microbes and then they crawl on humans. How is it they don't pass those microbes onto us? With cockroaches they crawl about and transmit those microbes, what is so different with bed bugs? Is there something on their legs that make the microbes fall off before they get to us or what? $\endgroup$
    – Travis
    Jul 7, 2019 at 15:38
  • $\begingroup$ @Travis I would want to be seconded but my guess is that bedbugs don't live in dirty places or rotting substances therefore don't catch a lot of harmful microbes. $\endgroup$
    – Aurelius
    Nov 27, 2023 at 20:47

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .