A new Canadian study has confirmed that bed bugs carry diseases, including the antibiotic resistant staph infection strain MRSA. ABC reports in the video below.

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Although there’s no evidence yet that bed bug bites spread MRSA, doctors should now be on the lookout.

In recent months MRSA has shown itself capable of being life-threatening even in strong, young student athletes. For people with a weakened immune system, getting rid of MRSA is an even bigger battle.

It doesn’t help that bed bug bites are spreading across the country as the creatures stow away on suitcases (even if your hotel room doesn’t have bed bugs, because of how they breed having the room next door be infected makes taking a pregnant one home with you just as likely.)

Unfortunately, just like antibiotic resistance, there’s growing pesticide resistance. As the video recommends, getting professional help early may help reduce bed bug bites, but calling for pesticides may not be worth it.

Here’s how to prevent bed bug bites:

-Use an allergin cover on your mattress—the plastic makes it harder for bed bugs to move in.
-If you’re at risk for bed bug bites (you live in a city like NY where it’s a major problem, or someone in your family travels) use natural scents like eucalyptus to deter bed bugs from your soft materials. Other pests are also repelled by such scents, including mint.
-At the first sign—bed bug bites on your skin, blood spots on your sheets/mattress—take action. Wash everything that can be in the hottest water possible, and use steam elsewhere. If it will be ruined by steam, take it to the dry cleaners (call first! they may not want to handle bed bugs or may be able to recommend a specialist) and leave it there until you’re sure they’re gone.
-Stay vigilant—eggs may hatch weeks after the bed bug bites stop appearing.

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