MRSA Bed Bug Bite: Do Bedbugs Spread Disease?

Female doctor concerned about a MRSA bed bug infection.

Female doctor concerned about a MRSA bed bug infection.

MRSA is a dangerous bacteria usually acquired from hospital visits. It often happens when a person has a cut or bite, such as those you might find from bed bugs.

It’s not the bite itself that causes the problem; it’s scratching the bite which causes the infection that brings you to the hospital and eventually in contact with the MRSA Virus (although not really a virus, it’s a strain of bacteria Staphylococcus aureus).

When you catch MRSA and have not been in a hospital, such as a bed bug infested apartment complex, it’s called Community Associated MRSA or CA-MRSA for short.

This bacteria’s resistance to oxacillin, penicillin, amoxicillin, and other antibiotics makes it dangerous; this is how a few simple bed bug bites can turn into MRSA, as shown in the picture below.

You can see that the bites started small, then the hand started to swell, then blisters, and eventually the underlying skin began to deteriorate.

The best treatment is preventative – when you have a bite from bed bugs or similar pests, keep the area clean, use antibiotic ointments or gel, and monitor the bite frequently to prevent infection and a hospital visit.

Comments on Bug Bites & MRSA

Ju Mitchell:

The same thing happened to me when bed bug bites turned into mrsa boils. I asked the doctor to swab the spots and send them for analysis.

I was on many different antibiotics before any swab was taken – you have to ask for it to be taken. It’s frustrating that for a long time, I was being treated for a staff infection and not the mrsa, when a swab would have indicated the correct medicine that was required.
All the best.

Mary Sue:

I’m not a doctor, but I believe the Weil-Felix test looks for rickettsia (carried by ticks, fleas, and lice-causing disease). If the test react with OX19, it would indicate a bacterial infection. I’d verify this with your doctorShirley:

I stayed in a Mariott Hotel near the Los Angeles Airport a few years ago. I got 26-bed bug bites. We were on our way to Hawaii, so I didn’t see a doctor and never got boils. However, after returning from our holiday, I began getting extremely tired.

I was diagnosed with a rare disease, sarcoidosis, which some Swedish doctors think is caused by rickettsia, which is carried by ticks, lice and other pests. I wonder now if the bed bugs could have triggered the sarcoidosis?

Anne S:

I had three rounds of antibiotics to kill my scalp, face, and ear infection. Finally, the doctor did a “swab,” and sure enough, it was MRSA, NO DOUBT in my mind now that I have bedbugs, and that’s where the MRSA came from.


I got MRSA from shaking hands with a fellow employee whose body was covered in MRSA boils, covered by clothing – the doctor was a general practitioner – but I went to specialists first, thinking it wasn’t his expertise; he knew immediately and prescribed Bactriban ointment; everything went away within two days and never came back.

My 2 yr old daughter now has four bright red bumps on her knees where she’d had dry skin for a long time, we had bed bugs last summer and got treatment, but I didn’t think they were all gone. They were isolated, or so we thought, to only my son’s room as I never bit. Baby, now with these bumps, has had an intermittent fever for three days and no appetite. I just wanted to let all of you know that the Bacriban worked for me.


I spent seven days in the hospital from MRSA; I have been fighting a bug of some type here, and it has caused me to lose almost all I own; the house may be next.

They have gotten into every building. The doctors for two weeks tried to tell me it was my nerves and sent me home with salve and Valium. Then I saw something stuff on my little dog’s forehead.

I went back to the doctor and said now tell me this is still my nerves. If you go out and see my dog no way my nerves are stuck on my dog’s head. He even had on that stuff you rub on their backs. So we are still in the middle of washing what we can and throwing. MRSA is not fun!