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.

23 replies
  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
    • 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
  4. 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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