Human Health Considerations: Anemia


Paulke-Korinek, M., M. Széll, H. Laferl, H. Auer, and C. Wenisch. 2012. Bed bugs can cause severe anaemia in adults. Parasitology Research. 110: 2577–2579.

A clinical summary of two patients admitted for medical illnesses and found to have severe anemia (Hb 5.3 and 5.2 g/dL) due to a massive infestation of bed bugs in their home.


Pritchard, M. J., and S. W. Hwang. 2009. Severe anemia from bedbugs. Canadian Medical Association Journal. 181: 287–288. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.090482

A medical case study documenting anemia in a 60-yr old man whose home was infested with bed bugs.


Venkatachalam, P. S., and B. Belavady. 1962. Loss of haemoglobin iron due to excessive biting by bed bugs. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 56: 218–221.

The average iron content of 100 large bed bugs was 0.73 mg, and 100 mixed-sized bed bugs was 0.37 mg. Bed bugs that were starved had 0.046 mg of iron/100 insects. The significance of iron that is lost through repeated bug bites is discussed in relation to wide-spread iron deficiency anemia among infants and young children in Hyderabad and surrounding areas in India.