Bed bugs bites can cause skin rashes, allergic symptoms, and even psychological stress on their human hosts. The rash can range from small red patches to prominent blisters if infected.
The best way to rid yourself of all the ill effects bed bugs bring is to do a complete eradication from your home.
How do I get bed bugs?
Bed bugs are so small and slim that it allows them to hide almost anywhere with a gap or crack. They can stay in these hiding places for weeks and months without feeding if they need to.
You can get bed bugs if you visit a place that is infested. Making physical contact with an infested bed or couch is enough to harbor a few bed bugs with you on your way home. The bugs will hide in the folds of your clothes or in your luggage. They are so small and unassuming that most people will never suspect that a bed bug has hitchhiked on them.
Because these pests are so good at hiding, most people do not see signs of an infestation during its early stages. The signs become clearer only when the infestation has become quite severe and difficult to manage.
What are the signs I should watch out for in case I do have bed bugs?
The very first and most obvious sign people note when they suspect a bed bug infestation are the bites on their body. Bed bugs feed on one area for a few minutes, biting multiple times, thus creating the signature zigzag pattern or clusters of bites. These bites look like red welts and they can be very itchy and painful. Refrain from scratching the bite as much as possible.
Check the seams and edges of your bed’s mattress and boxspring. These are the bed bugs favorite spots to hide in in your bedroom. There might be dark brown or black bed bug droppings that will stain the sheets and mattress. There could also be blood stains on your sheets from bed bugs that get squished while in the middle of feeding.
Check the furniture and carpet that are within six feet of your bed as these are the places that get infested if the bed gets too crowded. They like to be close to the bed because they do not want to have to travel far to get to their food source, which is you.
A severe infestation also causes a musty, moldy odor to hang over your room. This is because of the smells that come off of the bed bug’s scent glands.
How do I know if I’ve been bitten by a bed bug?
The best way to be sure that bed bugs are the cause of the bites on your body is to look for signs of infestation, as mentioned above.
When a bed bug bites you, they will also inject an anesthetic and anticoagulant that keeps the host from knowing they have been bitten and to keep the blood flowing as they feed. The bite marks are similar to a mosquito’s or a flea’s, raised, swollen, red, itchy, and painful.
Bed bug bites affect people differently. Some people may have no reaction, while others can have very severe reactions.
Can bed bug bites make me sick?
Bed bugs do not directly make a person sick. The ill effects people get after bed bug bites are usually due to allergies, infection, or even blood loss.
Studies have shown that there are over 40 disease-causing organisms that can be detected in bed bugs. None of which have been observed to be successfully transmitted to humans. But even if this is the case, the ideal situation is still to keep these pests as far away from your family as possible.
Even if bed bugs do not directly transmit disease, they can still affect people’s health in serious ways.
If your house has a significant bed bug problem, the multiple bites you suffer everyday can possibly cause anemia due to all the blood loss.
The bed bug’s droppings drying out and getting into the air around your home may be enough to trigger asthma attacks on family members that are susceptible.
People with sensitive skin can develop allergic reactions to the insect’s saliva which can manifest as rashes, hives, intense itching, and even a burning pain. In severe cases, people with systemic allergic reactions can have trouble breathing and even anaphylaxis.
If a person scratches on the bites too much, they can turn into open wounds which may become infected and have horrible scarring.
How can I treat a bed bug bite?
After finding bed bug bites on your body, thoroughly wash the area with soap and water. Use a mild soap and running water. Be sure to rinse off all of the soap.
The soap should be enough to alleviate the itchiness, but if not, you can try making a paste with water and baking soda. Place the paste on your bite and keep it there for an hour. After washing the paste off, the itchiness should have lessened considerably.
Of course, you can always buy over the counter anti-itch cream at any pharmacy. Just be sure that you follow the directions on the box correctly.
If the bites are becoming painful instead of just itchy, you can take some pain medication like aspirin or acetaminophen.
If any of the bites worsen, become infected, or even more painful, it may be best to consult with your doctor for the best course of treatment.
Bed bug bites are red, swollen, itchy, and painful. They are normally harmless since bed bugs are not known to carry any diseases that can be transmitted to humans. They can become an issue, though, if the person who got bit is allergic to bed bug bites. This can manifest severe allergic reactions such as trouble breathing and even anaphylaxis. Dried up bed bug droppings can also trigger asthma attacks in susceptible people.
The best way to keep you and your family from bed bugs and all their negative effects is to eradicate all of the bed bugs in your home.
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