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Bed bugs are blood-sucking parasites that feed on the warmth of your skin while they’re hiding in bedsheets and mattresses. Learn about how to spot the signs of a bug bite, when it’s time to call for help, and what kind of medical treatment is necessary. Bed Bug Bites are a common problem in the United States. They have been known to spread quickly and can cause serious health problems. This article will discuss symptoms, facts, and how to treat them.
Bed bug bites are highly frequent annoyances, with over 99 percent of all professional pest control firms reporting treating homes or buildings infested with bed bugs in the previous year. And they don’t look to be going away anytime soon.
Bed bugs may be found in every state in the United States, in almost every nation, and both new and ancient dwellings. According to the Pest Globe Organization, bed bug incidences have increased considerably in the last 10–15 years, and specialists worldwide believe that these bugs have lately “undergone a global rebound” for unknown causes. According to pest control studies, the top three sites where bed bugs are discovered are apartments/condominiums, single-family homes, and hotels/motels, rendering almost everyone vulnerable to bites at any time.
Thankfully, there are natural and safe methods to get rid of bed bugs and cure bed bug bites, and it all begins with recognizing bed bugs and learning how to recognize bed insect bites.
Bed Bugs and How To Get Rid of Them
Bed bugs are blood-feeding insects that bite people and other animals to survive. They may reside on a variety of surfaces in your house, not just beds. Bed bugs are found in many different species worldwide, but two of the most common are Cimex lectularius and Cimex hemipterus.
Bed bugs may thrive in various places, including couches or sofas, baggage, linens, within drawers, and rugs/carpets, despite their name implying that they exclusively reside on beds or mattresses. Other than houses and hotels, venues, where bed bugs are widespread, include nursing homes, college dormitories, business offices, schools, daycare facilities, and hospitals, as well as any room where people live or work in close quarters, particularly if the environment is messy and not cleaned often.
A form of dermatological response that generates an itchy, bumpy rash is the most prevalent indication or symptom of bed bug bites. A tiny number of individuals have more significant responses to bed bugs than itching skin rashes, such as anemia or allergy symptoms. Still, bed bugs are merely a nuisance, uncomfortable, and downright disgusting to encounter for the most part. Despite the lack of proof that bed bugs spread hazardous human infections, you should avoid them at all costs owing to the rash and “severe psychological discomfort” they may cause.
If you think you’ve been bitten, you’re undoubtedly wondering how to get rid of bed bugs in your house and keep them from coming back without using harsh chemicals. Using natural insect-repellent remedies in your home, such as essential oils and treating skin rashes with natural skincare products, may help prevent bed bugs and cure bed bug bites.
Symptoms and Signs
People respond to bed bugs in various ways based on their tolerance for bites and immune system strength. Bed bug bite rashes may start out as little macular spots and grow into bigger, very painful, dry areas that can “erupt” as they recover. The good news is that bed bugs are typically not extremely hazardous since they do not transmit germs that may cause long-term illnesses or viruses in people. According to studies, some bed bugs contain up to 40 distinct microbes/bacteria, yet the majority (if not all) are harmless.
The following are the most typical symptoms of bed bug bites:
- Itching on the skin, which may be severe at times
- Small red bumps that appear in lines or zigzags on the legs or arms – bed bug bites are generally flat or slightly elevated in certain spots, and they don’t have a red ring around the center as flea bites do
- breakouts on the skin that may bleed puss before healing
- When the bites heal, the skin becomes dry, and the color changes.
Bed bugs have a significant psychological impact since they may induce worry, humiliation, and difficulty sleeping for many individuals.
Keep in mind that not everyone responds the same way to bed insect bites. Some individuals have little or no symptoms after being bitten and hence have no clue they’ve been bitten. Others have a stronger response and may have allergic reactions, discomfort, and fever-like symptoms.
Most bed bug species are nonvenomous and quite innocuous to persons with ordinary or strong immune systems. Bed bugs are similar to head lice or mosquito bites in that they induce skin responses but seldom cause more. Increasing your immune system’s strength will help you avoid allergic or histamine responses to insect bites.
Because bed bugs’ saliva contains chemicals that irritate human skin, they may cause skin rashes. However, bed bug bites are typically not felt or painful while they’re occurring because the bugs may inject a numbing substance into the skin before they bite, making their fangs almost unnoticeable.
Although most bites result in modest responses such as little red bumps, some individuals get more severe hive-like rashes, swelling, and painful skin sores. People who are sensitive to various common insect bites, such as mosquitoes or fleas, have the most severe symptoms.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, it’s recommended to contact a doctor if you’ve had a history of severe allergic responses to insect bites or detect evidence of an infection caused by any bites. Prompt treatment may help prevent skin irritation from increasing and the allergic response from becoming more dangerous.
Where Do Bed Bugs Originate?
Many experts believe that bed bugs are one of the most difficult pests to eradicate since they are both hardy creatures and can reproduce swiftly. In addition, they can survive in various temperatures, go for extended periods without feeding, and are small enough to dwell in small spaces without being seen.
Bed bugs are the subject of several urban legends, including the claims that they only bite at night, are only seen in the summer, and can leap across whole rooms. However, bed bugs don’t simply bite when you’re sleeping; they may bite at any time of day. In addition, although it’s a frequent misunderstanding that bed bugs can fly and hop from room to room, they don’t have wings and aren’t capable of leaping or hopping very far. Instead, they crawl from one surface to the next, looking for more food.
Unlike mosquitoes or ants, bed bugs are not seasonal pests and may infest your house or other regions at any time of year. However, bed bugs are reported in increased numbers throughout the summer months, even though they are not seasonal insect that thrives or dies at specific times of the year. The reason for this, according to experts, is that people travel more during the summer and stay in more hotels/motels. In addition, public transit use may rise during the summer, increasing the danger of bed bug transmission from one site to another.
How to Spot Them
- Because bed bug bites might resemble other insect bites, the easiest method to tell them apart is to find the bugs themselves in your house or check for the clues they leave behind.
- Look through your bed for dark-looking, flat, wingless insects or their light-colored eggs, particularly beneath the liner of your mattress.
- Remove all bedding and thoroughly inspect it for traces of insect feces. Bug “droppings” are tiny, yet they resemble black specks that may be seen all over your linens or mattress.
- Remove the dust cover from the bottom of your box spring and inspect the seams in the bed/wood headboard’s structure. Check for bugs in any tight spots where the mattress is attached to the wood frame of your bed by peeling back any fabric where the mattress is fastened to the wood frame.
- Note any unpleasant odors since bed bugs emit pheromones similar to stink bugs, which produce a musty stench.
How do bed bugs appear?
- Bed bugs are normally quite small, about four to five millimeters in length, yet they may still be seen with the human eye. Bed bugs come in various shapes and colors, but the most common are flat and red-brown in hue.
- The bulk of them is around the size of a pea. On the other hand, their eggs are considerably tiny, measuring around one millimeter in diameter, or approximately two grains of salt, and are frequently difficult to notice.
- Over 92 distinct species of bed bugs have been identified across the globe.
- Approximately one in every five Americans has had or knows someone who has had a bed insect infestation in their house.
- According to survey findings, persons who are most likely to meet bed bugs are younger, reside in metropolitan areas, and rent their houses.
- Living in a greater population area, living in an apartment, increasing mobility and travel, having a messy house, and practicing poor hygiene are risk factors for bed bug infection.
- Bed bugs live for around 10 months on average, but they may survive for up to 18 months in extreme cases even if they are not fed.
- Bed bugs can reproduce quickly and may deposit up to 500 eggs throughout their lives. They lay around five eggs every day on average, and it takes about five weeks for the fresh eggs to develop and begin reproducing.
- Bed bugs may travel large distances to find food, sometimes up to 100 feet over diverse surfaces.
- Bed bugs may consume seven times their body weight in human blood!
- Americans say they are typically worried about bed bugs when traveling or purchasing a new house. According to surveys, 27% have investigated their clothes after traveling, 25% have checked a hotel room for bed bugs, 17% have inspected their baggage for bed bugs, and 12% have postponed trip plans due to bed bug fears.
Treatment Using Traditional Methods
Bed bug bites are often treated using the following methods:
- Waiting and watching: Most mild rashes don’t need to be treated since they usually go away on their own within a few weeks. However, before taking any treatments to eliminate the rash, it’s typically best to wait and see whether it recovers.
- Corticosteroid medications. Controls inflammation and itching of the skin in difficult situations.
- Antihistamines: are generally taken by mouth or applied to the skin as an ointment to help reduce allergic responses in severe situations.
- Anesthetics: These are frequently administered to the afflicted regions to relieve itching and discomfort.
“The abuse of pesticides and other technology for eradicating bed bugs has the potential to have a detrimental influence on human health,” cautions the Department of Medical Entomology at Westmead Hospital in Australia.
Insecticides, prescription medicines, and chemical home cleansers may be harmful, causing reactions such as worsening skin conditions, allergic reactions, and more. It’s important to avoid bed bugs invading your house in the first place if at all feasible. When a rash appears, you may focus on naturally relieving itching and properly cleaning your house to avoid an infestation.
Bed Bugs and How to Get Rid of Them
1. Clean Up Clutter and Inspect Your Home
Although it is a fallacy that bed bugs exclusively reside in old or filthy houses, it is true that the more congested a place is, the more likely it is that they will survive and reproduce. By removing clutter from your house, they will have fewer opportunities to hide in spaces and on surfaces.
If you think you’ve been bitten, go through your mattress, headboard, carpet, sheets, and the space surrounding your bed to see if you can find the bugs. If you wake up with itching regions you didn’t have before going into bed (because this is where many individuals get bit since it’s simple for the bugs to survive if they have regular access to blood), your skin rash might be caused by bed bugs. Also, if you’ve just purchased a new bed, carpet, or furniture, particularly if any of it was previously owned, you’re in danger.
Some individuals detect particular symptoms that indicate the presence of bed bugs in their homes, such as:
- Bloodstains or dark streaks on linens or pillows that might be bed bug feces
- Small eggshells or skins that have been shed
- A common odor that has been characterized as “musty.”
2. Wash Affected Surfaces and Fabrics Thoroughly
If you find bed bugs in your house or see any evidence of bed bug bites, you should contact a professional service firm that has dealt with them before. Some firms will utilize organic, natural remedies to help control bed bugs, but most will not. Please inquire about the sorts of pesticides that firms in your region employ and the possibilities they provide. If you do employ a business that utilizes chemical pesticides, be sure that the treatments are safe to use on mattresses that may come into touch with your skin afterward.
The good news is that, while many people do, you don’t have to toss away your mattress, sofa, carpet, or clothes if bed bugs have invaded them. It is feasible to clean textiles and surfaces thoroughly enough to eliminate bed bugs and their eggs, which is most effective when done with strong professional cleaning equipment.
- Clothing or materials that have come into touch with bed bugs or their eggs should be cleaned in a washing machine and dried on high heat for at least 30 minutes.
- For example, lemon oil and thyme oil may be added to your washing machine detergent to improve its anti-bug/antibacterial properties. Thyme oil (Thymus vulgaris) not only repels insects but also aids in the treatment of bitten skin. It’s a natural approach to protect your skin and house against pests and parasites that feed on the body (mosquitoes, fleas, lice, and other insects, as well as bed bugs), thanks to its active ingredients. If you already have evidence of bites, add a few drops of thyme oil to your laundry, use it to wipe down surfaces, diffuse several drops throughout your house, or apply it to your bath.
- After removing the infected surface or mattress, cover the clean mattress and box spring with a closely woven, zipped cover to prevent bedbugs from entering or fleeing. Keep the cover on for at least a year to guarantee that any bugs that remain inside die off and cannot escape to other surfaces.
3. Make use of neem oil
Neem oil is a pesticide made from the seeds of the neem tree that is found in nature. Because of its strong odor, azadirachtin is the most active component in neem oil, which helps repel insects and pests. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, neem oil is safe and efficient against bed bugs in both private residences and commercial settings.
Not only does neem oil keep bed bugs out of your house, but it also keeps them from reproducing if they’re already there. Look for TER-TRU1 (which contains 5.5 percent cold-pressed neem oil and is suitable for houses) and TER-CX1 (which contains concentrated neem oil and is ready to use) (containing 22.0 percent cold-pressed neem oil, which is best for commercial use in large spaces).
4. Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
Diatomaceous earth (DE), another natural insect repellent, comprises the fossilized remnants of small aquatic creatures called diatoms. It is normally in the form of a white powder and is used to naturally eradicate free radicals, viruses, insects, parasites, and other unwanted organisms in water filtration, food production, skin goods, and farming.
DE includes silica, which has been shown in experiments to kill insects by eliminating a piece of the razor-thin, waxy outer layer that aids in moisture conservation and survival. It effectively dries them out from the inside without the use of chemicals, and it is more effective than abrasion or poisoning. Sprinkle DE powder where required in your house, brush or sweep the powder into fabrics/carpets, and allow the powder to soak for four to twelve hours before vacuuming. This procedure should be repeated once a week for a total of three to four weeks.
5. Assist in the reduction of itching caused by bed bug bites
The skin should be washed and treated with moderate anti-itch remedies if it has been impacted by a rash produced by bed bug bites. Apply a natural antihistamine to your skin to reduce swelling, itching, and redness. Bites may be treated with natural remedies such as:
- Patchouli is a kind of essential oil. Patchouli oil contains antiphlogistic characteristics, which means it can reduce skin irritation and accelerate healing. Several drops of patchouli oil should be rubbed into your palms and massaged into any bites. Allow the oil to seep into any irritated area rather than washing it away. You may also use five to ten drops in a warm bath.
- Cool compresses. It helps to reduce swelling and soothes sensitive skin.
- Baths with oatmeal. Itching, redness, and dryness are all reduced.
- Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic. Tea tree oil may be used on the skin in various ways. It may be used to relieve itching, prevent redness and inflammation, and treat sensitive skin as it heals. Apply one to two drops at a time to a carrier oil such as coconut oil, then apply twice daily to the afflicted regions. Witch hazel, geranium, rose, lavender oils, and coconut oil to heal damaged skin or scabs left behind are other essential oils useful for rashes when applied on the skin. Apply three drops of essential oil to the affected region three times per day. Lower the potency by mixing three drops with a half teaspoon of coconut oil if you have sensitive skin.
- Bed bug bites are highly frequent annoyances, with over 99 percent of all professional pest control firms reporting treating homes or buildings infested with bed bugs in the previous year.
- Bed bugs may be found in every state in the United States, in almost every nation, and both new and ancient dwellings. According to the Pest Globe Organization, bed bug incidences have increased considerably in the last 10–15 years, and specialists worldwide believe that these bugs have lately “undergone a global rebound” for unknown causes.
- According to pest management studies, the top three sites where bed bugs are discovered are apartments/condominiums, single-family homes, and hotels/motels, putting almost anybody vulnerable to bites at any time.
- Bed bugs may thrive in various places, including couches or sofas, baggage, linens, within drawers, and rugs/carpets, despite their name implying that they exclusively reside on beds or mattresses. Other than houses and hotels, venues, where bed bugs are widespread, include nursing homes, college dormitories, business offices, schools, daycare facilities, and hospitals, as well as any room where people live or work in close quarters, particularly if the environment is messy and not cleaned often.
- Itching on the skin, little red bumps that appear in lines or zigzags on the legs or arms, skin eruptions that may bleed puss before healing, and dryness and color changes in the skin after the bites heal are the most typical symptoms of bed bug bites.
- Bed bugs are the subject of several urban legends, including the claims that they only bite at night, are only seen in the summer, and can leap across whole rooms. However, bed bugs don’t simply bite when you’re sleeping; they may bite at any time of day. In addition, although it’s a frequent misunderstanding that bed bugs can fly and hop from room to room, they don’t have wings and aren’t capable of leaping or hopping very far. Instead, they crawl from one surface to the next, looking for more food.
- Inspect your house for bed bugs, tidy up clutter, carefully wash afflicted surfaces and textiles, apply neem oil, apply diatomaceous earth, and treat bed bug bites by reducing itching.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you know if bed bugs have bitten you?
A: If the bed bugs were alive and biting when you first noticed them, then they are most likely still there. However, if it’s been more than a week since you saw bites coming from your skin or felt small bumps on your body that could be their eggs (looks like grains of rice), then chances are high that they have left.
What happens to your body when a bed bug bites you?
A: Bed bugs cause intense itching and irritation and repeatedly bite you. The bites can become infected with bacteria, or your skin might develop a more serious rash for people who are allergic to bedbugs.
Do bed bugs spread diseases?
A: This is difficult to answer as bed bugs do not actually bite and spread disease.
- identifying bed bug bites on humans
- early signs of bed bugs
- are bed bug bites itchy
- how to treat bed bug bites
- pictures of bed bug bites and mosquito bites
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