bed bug bites

Woman Killed by Bed Bug Bites?

In a rare, tragic incident a 96-year old woman has died as a direct result of bed bug bites. Or at least that’s what the numerous headline’s we’ve seen over the last couple weeks state. Even The Onion has chimed in on it. But was she really killed by bed bug bites?

Though she would not have died if she had not been bitten by bed bugs, her death was a direct result of neglect and, frankly, abuse by her caretaker. Her bites were left untreated and ultimately developed into open wounds which turned septic, leading to the infection that ultimately killed her.  Reports on the incident include interviews with a blind woman who was also under the care of Deborah Butler and who felt the bugs crawling over her and was powerless to do anything.

bed bug bites

Could these be fatal?

It’s important to note that this does not mean bed bug bites are more dangerous than we’ve previously thought. This was not a simple case of someone being bitten so much that they were killed, or of the bed bugs themselves causing an infection that led to death. Instead it was a vulnerable woman who relied on others for care who died as a result of lack of proper medical attention.

While it’s a relief to see that  the caretaker is being charged with neglect and involuntary manslaughter this is still an awful outcome for a problem that could have been fixed. Bed bug infestations – no matter how severe they get – are treatable if you take the time and effort to fight them. The caretaker has stated that she was unable to afford to get professional help for the infestation; while cost can be a burden that prevents many people from fighting their infestation it should never be an excuse for letting someone die.

34 replies
  1. Avery Dallapiazza
    Avery Dallapiazza says:

    First off, this has to be fake news or her house had to be the worse house on the planet. Plus, you dont get bed bugs from being dirty. Bedbugs originated in the hills of Africa. With modern day travels, people spread them. Females can lay up to 5 eggs a day. They take about 7 weeks to be full grown. They dont usually feed for the first few weeks. They can live up to about a year without feeding. They are very hard to get rid of. You can keep them at bay with DIY treatments but getting rid of them you should call a bug specialist. Once you see one you already have a problem. If left untreated, they will multiply fast. In a few months time you could have millions of them. They are no joke. There bites itch and increase in annoyance. They also leave red marks, usually in lines. One bug goes out looking for food leaving a scent trail for others to find when they find food(your blood). Next thing you know you are getting bit constantly. They can travel up to around 25 meters in a day. Please do your research. I had them and studied them. I did all I could do to get rid of them, I failed multiple times. I finally called a bug specialist and they wiped them out on first treatment. I paid for a couple of treatments to make sure they were gone. It cost me about 1400 for the treatments. Plus, I spent about 300+ on DIY treatments just to keep them at bay. So what I’m trying to say is if you see them or know you have them, just call a bug specialist. Dont waste your time and money on trying to get rid of them on your own. Unless you are very knowledgable and completely know what you are looking for. In my opinion, you still wont get rid of them. Bug Specialist!

    Some things to help you can do to keep them at bay are; taking all clothes, bedding, stuffed animals, etc. out of the closet, drawers, etc. Putting them in plastic bags for transport. Take to laundromat and put everything in dryers for 20-30 minutes on high heat. Spray bed bug treatment on beds around the edges of your mattress and box spring, furniture, etc. Rubbing alcohol will kill them but only if directly sprayed. Bed bug sprays can work for up to 2 weeks from the time of spraying and you dont have to spray them directly. If you see them keep spraying. They can be anywhere but typically are in bedrooms and living rooms. Think of where people are 70 percent of the time. That’s where they like to stay. Bottom line call a bug specialist, you wont get rid of them on your own. I’m sure I forgot some things but hopefully I helped some people out. A lot of comments on here were wrong so I felt I should shed some light. Do research and remember to call a bug specialist. It’s expensive but if left untreated for a period of time it will cost you more. If it gets bad they will have to heat treat your home and that could cost around 8000 to 10000. Sooner the better, it will cost you less.

    Reply
  2. Brody
    Brody says:

    Yes its uncalled for, but, she was 94 years old!! A gotdam butterfly landing on her could have kilt this lady too! Sheesh.

    Reply
    • Janet
      Janet says:

      Wow, you really are out of touch, my mother was 97 when she lived with us. Never did she have a bed bug on her body, they are filthy, gross parasites and this is disgusting, whoever let her die without getting rid of those bugs should be in prison for gross neglect and abuse. Maybe one day you’ll find them crawling on you and no one to help, wake up, get some compassion,

      Reply
  3. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Hey um they are fatal….. I woke up with a massive crater on my leg straight to the meat and now a scab on my cheek really it’s a big deal

    Reply
  4. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    also, you cant just leave
    you must treat every single item in your house, with heat or professional.chemicals and live out of bags for months to be rid of them. its extremely difficult. However there is NO reason for this womans death. THAT is despicable!!

    Reply
  5. Patricia Jackson
    Patricia Jackson says:

    Alcohol and a spray bottle kills that stuff there is no excuse why this woman could not be taken care of..alcohol dries them out and kills them ..they sell bed bug powder you lightly sprinkle around your house and furniture at it’s also safe for children and pets..so no excuse why this woman could not have been taken care of..$4-6 for a tube of hydrocortisone cream to prevent infection.. this really makes me mad..

    Reply
        • H
          H says:

          B,nB’s are getting away with housing the homeless in absolute filth,I,ve been fighting mites bites for 6 weeks now,this is now a major endemic ,doctors n hospitals don’t know wot to do ,diatomatious earth ,from amazon,rub in all over 3 times daily for as long as you are rid of the torturous little f#c#!!

          Reply
    • Tracy
      Tracy says:

      I’ve been a registered nurse for more than 20 years. There is a lot more to getting rid of these bugs than a little alcohol. Bedding, towels and clothing worn within 3 days must be washed in very hot water. They die without a host after 3 days. The best way to get rid of them is treat yourself and all household members from the neck down and stay somewhere else for 3 days while they die. Please do not believe these bugs go quietly. THEY DON’T.
      The caregiver should be prosecuted in this case for neglect of a dependent elder!!!

      Reply
        • Anonymous
          Anonymous says:

          Ik I have them I haven’t seen one for weeks but I saw one on this girls book bag and we have had them I have seen 17 in total counting the 2 I seen and I have not seen one till we ut my new bed boxspring and bed frames but we have bed bug interceptors and stuff one got stuck in it it got killed but I wonder if they can still get to me

          Reply
      • Anonymous
        Anonymous says:

        I saw your post and wanted to reach out– they do NOT die within 3 days. High heat from a dryer for 35+ minutes will kill them, hot water not so much. Also, they can go into a type of hibernation for upwards of a year and a half without eating and without dying, then suddenly reactivate (for lack of a better term) when they sense a blood meal nearby. They can travel upwards of 100 yards for a blood meal and sense us by our CO2 emissions in our outward breath along with our heat. Dtay safe and healthy, and please, stay knowlegeable. This poor, poor woman, this is so sad.

        Reply
      • Jesicca
        Jesicca says:

        Please, please PLEASE research what your saying. I know you arent saying this to be malicipus but trust me when I say, your comment is incorrect. Someone has given you false information. bedbugs are killed by dry heat, IE your dryer on high heat for 35+ minutes. Not a washing machine/water. Bedbugs can live&hibernate for 1 to 1.5 years without a feeding, 3 days is nothing. Your home and every single item in it must be treated if treating with chemicals, also if treating with chemicals every single fabric item in your home must be heat treated in the dryer, high heat for 35+minutes then bagged in plastic bags and completely sealed for the duration of treatment. Rubbing alcohol can help sanitize and dry them out but is only a tool in a whole toolbox of treatments that must be used. if using heat it must be extremely hot with no cooler pockets. Im not sure the temp but somewhere around 140°F. Leaving for 3 days does nothing. I dont comment to be rude, but to help with incorrect information because bedbugs are becoming insanely tough to get rid of. This poor woman should never of died due to this, its absolutely disgustingly appalling!! Ive never heard of something like that happening!

        Reply
        • Jenn35
          Jenn35 says:

          My aunt has them she told me they was stink bugs but they not me and my 2 yr old now have bites so we are going to my dad’s and he said he is going to use his dryer and that we need a bath and shower

          Reply
  6. chanelle
    chanelle says:

    This is the most desisting thing and to all people who look after people you are more disgusting then that picture you are the reason why people that get looked at like u kill people they would probably b alive it’s you guys are the reason people die I hope this comment will b read or seen and get in the paper s it horrible

    Reply
    • Anonymous
      Anonymous says:

      Caretakers are gross if they can’t afford to take care of them, why don’t they give the person to someone who can afford to take care of the person.

      Reply

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