Bed bugs and other parasitic insects survive by consuming human or animal blood. Bed bugs, although they are not known to spread diseases, can cause so much discomfort among people once these pests have infiltrated a household or property. Even yet, after being bitten by bed bugs, one should be cautious even if there is no reason to completely frightened.
Nature of Bed Bug Bites
Bites from bed bugs are undoubtedly bothersome and, for the most part, very itchy. But these bites have unique characteristics that set them apart from those caused by other insects like fleas or mosquitoes. A bed bug bite consists of three to five red, swollen spots that can appear anywhere on your body. This bites are also found in the face, arms, legs, neck, and hands. These bites can appear in clusters, usually in straight lines or zigzag patterns. Also, there is a dark spot in the middle of each bite.
Others often have negative reactions to bed bug bites. If they have more serious symptoms like an infection or an allergic reaction. Although most people only have minimal symptoms and may get over the bites in a few days or a week.
Signs and symptoms of bed bug bites
When bed bugs suck your blood, they release a sort of anesthetic, which prevents you from feeling their bites. The bed bug bite symptoms can take a few days to appear. That’s when you start to notice the following symptoms:
- flat, red, swelling welts that have a dark spot in the middle of it
- several bites grouped together in lines or clusters
- blisters packed with fluid
- itchy bites (with a burning sensation)
- bloodstains on sheets (result from scratching the bites)
Some people who are bitten by bed bugs never experience any visible symptoms. The Pest Control Technology, as quoted by Behring (2022), stated that a bedbug bite can cause no reaction in between 30 and 60% of people. Nevertheless, some people become totally restless and scratch like crazy because of the itchiness of the bed bug bites. Because of this, bed bug bites can cause illnesses, lack of sleep, and, in rare cases, depression.
The bite treatment
Mostly, it will take 1 to 2 weeks for the bed bug bites to heal. The following are some common over-the-counter medications you can apply to relieve the symptoms:
- To lessen the stinging and itch, take an oral antihistamine (i.e. Benadryl).
- To reduce swelling and itching, apply a steroid cream. Some steroid creams can be bought over-the-counter or to be sure, consult your doctor so you can obtain a prescription.
- To minimize the discomfort and swelling, take some painkillers.
Besides these treatments, you may also utilize some home remedies that truly work like placing an ice pack or a cold cloth over the bites and applying a thin pap of baking soda and water mixture on the bitten areas.
Treatment for Babies Bitten by Bed Bugs
Typically, bed bugs bite people who are sleeping or not moving. They want to stay as close to people due to their to the human sweat and carbon dioxide. Immediately inspect your child’s bedding and any areas close to the crib or mattress if you suspect your child has been bitten by one of these crafty creatures.
Bug bites on children can be treated by washing the affected areas with clean soap and water. The baby’s nails should be kept short to reduce the risk of infections and skin discomfort from scratching. Applying a cold compress, calamine lotion, anti-itch treatments, or low-potency steroids may provide more relief from itch and discomfort.
An important note for parents: Some drugs might not be suitable for infants or young children. Thus, prior to letting your child take oral antihistamines or applying treatments like topical steroid creams, you first must consult your child’s pediatrician or pharmacist.
According to KidsHealth (2019), it is necessary for children–particularly those who are old enough to listen and follow your instructions–to be warned that scratching a bedbug bite can result in skin infections. A doctor will recommend medications to treat any infections that may arise.
Prevention is Key
Don’t feel so bad if you have bedbugs in your house. Remember that bed bug infestations are not uncommon and any household, regardless of hygiene, can be infested by these creepy crawlies. If you want to keep your home unattractive to bed bugs and get rid of these pests for good, the following tips can be useful: a) changing your sheets at least once per week; b) frequently vacuuming your floors; b) eliminating clutter; c) washing textiles, beddings, and stuffed animals in hot water and drying them under high heat; d) using bed bug-proof covers for your mattress.
Moreover, if you suspect your property to be infested by bed bugs, call a trusted pest control compan. Have a licensed bed bug exterminator inspect your home.