Don’t let the bed bugs bite… Bite them back!!
It is beyond comprehension to think that every night when we go to bed we share our sheets and covers with a parasite that feeds on human blood!
However, you will be relieved to know that bed bugs are not as dangerous as we might think. Yes, they are annoying, and yes, they can cause skin irritation, but – they are not ‘dangerous’. Bed bug bites don’t cause any serious health problems unlike fleas or ticks on dogs, who can transmit a variety of diseases (some of which can be quite serious). none the less they should be exterminated as soon as possible, but there is no need to panic!
To know for sure if you have bed bugs, it is important to know what bed bug bites look like, and be able to identify the difference between bed bug bites vs flea bites. Flea bites are random and they are usually found on a person’s legs (and ankles). Bed bug bites are grouped together and they are usually found on the upper parts of one’s body, including the face and neck.
Bed bugs are tiny creatures that are brown or red in colour and have oval-shaped bodies with the fully grown adult probably no more than about 5mm in length, and about 2mm in width.
One adult female can produce nearly two hundred eggs in very short time. Bed bugs live only for about 1 year, but they reproduce incredibly fast.
Given that any temperature below 46c (116F) will give a good home to a bed bug, we are all being exposed to the tiny creatures in epidemic proportions.
Unfortunately, because bed bugs have such thin bodies they can hide in the skirting boards, in between the floor boards and in any small crack or crevice in your bedroom. So a good strong vacuum will not always clear every bed bug from the room.
If you notice faecal staining on your bed or even on the walls close to the bed, it is likely you have a bed bug infestation. To avoid bed bugs you should regularly wash your pillow cases and sheets in hot water and dry on a high heat setting for at least 20 minutes and try to prevent sheets draping on the floor or carpet when on the bed itself.
Bed bug bites are not considered dangerous, but they can cause certain skin problems, such as skin rashes and allergic reactions. It is not very easy to diagnose bed bug bites. However, it is helpful to know what they look like.
What Are Bed Bugs?
■ Bed bugs are parasites that live in beds, closets, and wall cracks. These bugs are nocturnal, they feed during the night, and people cannot feel their bites right away. The bites will be visible after several days.
■ Bed bugs are brownish or reddish; they have flattened bodies without any hind wings. Adult bed bugs can grow to some five millimeters in length. In the beginning, bed bugs are light in color, but as they grow, the color changes to brown. These parasites are often mistaken for insects like carpet beetles, booklice, etc. Bed bugs communicate by using kairomones and pheromones.
Bed Bug Bite Symptoms
■ The symptoms usually do not appear right away, the bites will be visible after several days. You will see small reddish bumps, grouped together on your face, neck, arms or shoulders. The bites will become itchy after a couple of days. People who have sensitive skin may experience severe itchiness and a burning sensation in the surrounding bite area. In most people the rashes will subside after a week or so without any medical treatment.
■ Your skin can get even more irritated if exposed to sweat, chlorinated water, warm water, etc. If you see blisters on your skin, go to your doctor right away. Allergic reaction is not very common, but it is possible. If you experience any sign of allergic reaction, speak to your GP.
■ Bed bugs usually need to feed around once a month so that is why these symptoms can reoccur once subsided, In most people, the rash disappears after a week or so, but it can come back after a week or two, because bed bugs will need more blood.
■ Take a look at your bed sheets. If you see small dark spots on the sheets, this can be an indicator that you have bed bugs.
■ Some people are allergic to certain components of bed bug saliva. In such cases, severe allergic reactions are possible. However, these cases are very rare.
■ Skin can get damaged, but only if you scratch it. Therefore, you should not touch the affected skin. You can use some remedies to relieve the itchiness. Some of the most popular remedies for bed bug bites include lavender oil, calamine lotion, olive oil, baking soda, antibacterial soaps and cold water.
Antibacterial soap will lower the risk of secondary infections. Lavender oil will reduce the itchiness. You can use cold water to relive the burning sensation. However, before you start using any remedies, it will be wise to talk to your dermatologist. You have to be certain that these really are bed bug bites, before starting any treatment.
How to Prevent Bed Bugs
■ You can try several methods of prevention. The most effective way is to speak to someone who specializes in pest control/prevention. They will use special chemicals for this purpose.
■ In addition you can also call professional furniture cleaners. They will clean your furniture fully and you will be free from bed bugs for quite a while. However, you will have to maintain the hygiene in your home.
■ Remove old furniture from the house. Bed bugs live in bed frames, mattresses, armchairs, etc. They can even be found in the wall cracks.
Effective Home Remedies for Bed Bug Rashes
Bed bugs cannot transmit any diseases, but they can lead to certain problems, when it comes to your skin. If your skin is sensitive, you can visit your dermatologist to see if you can get some soothing lotion. There are many products made for such purposes. You can find creams and gels that are very effective in preventing bed bug bites. Most of these products are applied right before going to bed. This will keep you safe during the night and prevent bed bugs from biting you again.
Bed bug rashes usually do not require any treatment. The rashes will disappear in roughly ten days, but in the meantime, you can do several things to relieve the itchiness.
■ Calamine lotion is considered very helpful in treating bed bug rashes.
■ You can also use lavender oil. However, you must not smother the skin with lavender oil (or any other oil), because these products won’t let your skin breathe if you use them too often.
■ Olive oil is another good option for reducing the skin irritation.
■ You can also use some antibacterial soap, in order to prevent skin infection. People with sensitive skin are often advised to use antibacterial soap. Talk to your doctor about the right type of soap, suitable for your skin type.
■ Baking soda is another good home remedy for bed bug rashes. Mix it with water to create a paste and then apply onto the affected skin. Wait until it is dry and then wash it off.
■ Cold water can help you relieve the itchiness.
■ Bed bugs reproduce incredibly fast. Just one adult female is capable of producing hundreds of eggs in very short time. These bugs have very short life span (they only live for a year), but during that time, they can produce hundreds of eggs.
■ The best way to prevent bed bugs is to keep your house clean. You can use some chemicals made especially for this purpose. However, you should opt for products that are not harmful to humans (or animals). This is very important, especially if you have pets. Make sure to store these chemicals where your pets can’t reach it. The bottle must be closed and kept away from children! If you (or any member of your family) are hypersensitive or allergic to anything, talk to your doctor before using any of these chemicals.
Home Remedies for Bed Bug Bites
The most popular home remedies for bed bug bites include:
■ Calamine lotion
■ Baking soda
■ Antibacterial soap
■ Lavender oil
■ Olive oil
■ Cold water can be very helpful. It will calm the itchiness.
If you have been bitten, you must not scratch the skin. Bed bug rash is very itchy, but you must not scratch it! Scratching can lead to irritation and it can leave scars. If your child has been bitten, you have to explain that he/she must not scratch the skin. You can visit your dermatologist and ask for some soothing lotion. Some of these products are applied onto the skin right before going to bed, so you will be safe during the night.
However, you should not just wait for the rash to disappear. You should do something to prevent bed bugs from biting you again.
How to Prevent Bed Bug Bites
■ The best way to prevent bed bug bites is to exterminate bed bugs! You can find many different products made for bed bugs extermination. Many of these chemicals are believed to be quite safe, but you need to read the labels carefully. Always store these chemicals in a safe place, where they can’t be reached.
■ Bed bugs love old furniture, like closets, beds, armchairs and carpets. They also hide in the wall cracks. Fixing your walls will help you prevent other insects, as well. Storing the old furniture in the house is not a good idea. If you store any old furniture in the house, remove it!
Bed Bug Rash
Bed bugs are active during the night, and that is why most people do not even know they have these bugs in the house. Skin rash is the first symptom of bed bug bites. These bites look like small reddish bumps, grouped together. In most cases, the bites occur on a person’s face, forearms, shoulders or neck.
Bed bug bites are not dangerous. These parasites feed on our blood (which is exactly why many people are afraid of them), but they cannot transmit any diseases. The rash will disappear after one or two weeks, and in most cases, it won’t require any treatment. It is important not to scratch the skin, because this will cause more irritation. If you have sensitive skin, do not touch the bites! You can use some natural remedies to reduce the itchiness. For example, you can use calamine lotion, lavender oil, olive oil and baking soda. Antibacterial soaps will help you prevent skin infections.
Bed bug bites are different from fleabites. Fleabites are usually random, while bed bug bites are grouped together. If you are not sure whether these are bed bug bites or fleabites, you can always go to your dermatologist. If you have very sensitive skin, perhaps it will be better to visit your doctor and get some lotions or creams to calm the irritation.
If you store any old furniture in the house, you can expect bed bugs to show up sooner or latter. These creatures live in bed frames, wall cracks, closets and other dark places. Old furniture is actually a perfect environment for these bugs.
Bed bugs reproduce very fast, so you will have to do something to prevent this. Clean your house thoroughly. You can call professional cleaners to come and clean your furniture (especially beds and closets). You can also buy some chemicals for bed bug prevention.
Bed bugs cannot cause any serious health problems, but their bites can lead to skin irritation. After all, it is very unpleasant to have bugs in your bed! Do something about it, before they start reproducing.
Bed bug bites treatment usually includes home remedies such as lavender oil, calamine lotion, baking soda, antibacterial soaps, and other similar remedies. Let us find out more about bed bug bites.
Bed bug rashes are usually found on one’s neck, shoulders, forearms and face. These bites look like small reddish bumps, grouped together. Bed bugs cannot transmit any diseases, but they can lead to skin irritation. The bites are very itchy, but you must not scratch the skin! The rash will go away in ten days, without any special treatment. However, if your skin is sensitive, you can use some home remedies to calm the skin irritation.