What are Bedbugs?
Bedbugs are tiny insects that feed o human and animal blood. These live in your furniture, bed, clothing, carpet and other belongings in your house. These are super active at night and feed on people while they are sleeping.
Bedbugs are usually 1-7 millimeters long and are flat oval-shaped. These are reddish-brown in color. These are born without wings so they completely rely on humans and animals to carry them around.
Bedbugs bite is not dangerous but can be very itchy. Sometimes it can also become infectious and may cause allergy. It is important to get rid of them as soon as you suspect these in your home
what do bed bugs look like?
Not everyone gets noticeable symptoms from Bedbug bites. The symptoms from bite tend to be like:
- Swollen, and red with dark spots at the center
- These are mostly arranged in clusters or lines
- Super itchy
These bugs can bite on any part of the body but usually, the area of skin which is exposed like face, arms, neck, and hands are the common targets. These bites can also develop into blisters filled with fluid.
Symptoms of a bed bug bite:-
If the bug will bite your skin, you won’t get to see the symptoms right away. These bedbugs excrete anesthetic in a very tiny amount before they feed on people. Sometimes you will notice the symptoms after a few days of bedbug bite.
These bites turn red and become swollen. You will see multiple bites in a cluster or some arrangement of a line in a small body area. These bites get itchy and cause a burning sensation on the skin.
If you find bedbugs in the living room of your house it is not necessary that they will feed on your blood every night. They can go on for many days without eating. You may realize after a few weeks that these bedbug bites form a pattern. If you will scratch these bites it can bleed and become infected.
How to treat bed bug bites?
Bedbug bites often get better within a week or two. Some treatment options to relieve these bites are:
- You can use calamine lotion or anti-itch cream to bites
- Try taking oral medication to minimize itching and burning sensation
- You can take over the counter medicines to relieve pain and swelling.
There are only a few cases that experience allergic reactions to bedbug bites. If you see allergic reaction symptoms you must visit the doctor immediately.
These bedbugs can also cause an infection called cellulitis. Wash bedbug bites with soap and water immediately to minimize the risk of infection and avoid touching them as much as possible.
Home remedies for bed bugs:-
There are many home remedies you can try instead of taking over the counter medications to relieve bedbug bites symptoms.
You can apply one or more things from the following list to soothe bitten areas.
- Water and thin baking soda paste
- An ice pack wrapped in a cloth or a cold cloth
- Essential oils to relieve itching and pain
Research suggests that Chamomile oil, camphor oil, and some other essential oils are good for relieving bedbug bites.
Some ways to get rid of bedbugs from home:-
- Steam cleaning- steam cleaning is a good option for the places where it is difficult to use a vacuum. The heat from the steamer will kill bedbugs and their eggs. If they are exposed to temperature above 140 degrees F they will die.
- Vacuum- these bedbugs will be sucked up in the vacuum cleaner with a power hose attachment. Vacuum every day until you see no signs of bedbugs. Use the vacuum on bedding, mattress, and furniture like cushiony chairs and sofas.
- Wash bedding and clothes- check labels on the cloth before using harsh detergents and if they can tolerate hot water. Wash properly every clothing item that has been exposed to bedbugs. Hot water and dryer combination will kill the bedbugs’ colony.
- Stiff brush- run the stiff brush all across the mattress seams. This will help to dislodge the bugs clinging on to the mattress along with any eggs which did not get sucked in the vacuum cleaner.
- Baking soda- baking soda sucks the moisture out of bug’s bodies. Spread baking soda wherever you find bugs including all the crevices and surface area of furniture. Use the vacuum later and redo this method after 2-3 days.
- Scented dryer sheets- dryer sheets smell repel bugs and insects and they seek out to other places to inhabit. This can be used as a temporary solution until you call pest control otherwise they will make a home in other places of your house.
Bed bug bites on a baby:-
If you figure that your baby is bitten by a bedbug, make sure to check mattress, sheets, bed frames and baseboards for bugs sign.
Wash the bedbug bite on baby with soap and water. Apply calamine lotion or cold compress to relieve pain and itching.
Talk to pharmacists or your child’s doctors before you apply any topical steroids cream or give oral antihistamines to treat bedbug bites. It’s not safe to use medication on young children and babies without a doctor’s recommendation.
If your child can understand instruction tell them to not scratch bites. Trim your child’s nails and you can also cover the bite with a band-aid to prevent scratching.
The risks of bed bug bites:-
Bedbugs live in public and home area. They are commonly found in places with high people turnover and people living in close quarters.
- Military barrack
- Homeless shelter
- Business office
- College dorm
- Apartment complex
Bedbugs don’t transmit diseases unlike other bugs when they bite. In some cases, the bite of a bedbug can also get infected. Some symptoms and signs of infections include:-
- Redness, warmth, and swelling
- Tenderness around the bite
- Pain in the bite
- Spots around the bite
- Red streaks
- Drainage or pus from the bite
- Dimpling on skin
If you recognize allergy in your bedbug bite you may come across intense itching, swelling around the bite. Sometimes it can also trigger a life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.
If you suspect any allergic reaction or infection you should immediately contact the doctor and get emergency help or medical care if you get any of the below-mentioned symptoms:-
- Breathing trouble
Bed bug bites vs. mosquito bites:-
Mosquito bite and bedbug bite both turn red, itchy and swollen. If you suspect bites in a line format and these appear in the small body areas, there are high chances that these are bedbug bites. If bites have no pattern formation then these are mosquito bites.
Both mosquito bites and bedbug bites recover on their own with one week or two. You can use calamine lotion, cold compress, or any topical treatments to relieve pain and itching symptoms. You can also try taking an oral antihistamine to relieve the symptoms.
Bedbug bites can also be confused with ant bites, spider bites, and other insect bites.
Bed bug bites vs. hives:-
People mistake bedbug bites with hives. Hives are like red bumps which develop on the skin due to some allergic reaction and other allergic cause. Similar to redbug bite these are very itchy.
If you suspect red bumps on larger skin are, changing shapes and are spreading on other parts of the body in a short time period, then there are high chances these are hives.
If the bumps are small and in line on a single body part and are not changing location or shape then these bedbug bites.
If you have other symptoms along with hives like dizziness, vomiting, breathing difficulty and nausea you must get medical help.
Bed bug bites vs. spider bites:-
Spider bites turn red, itchy just like bedbug bites. But spider bite, unlike bedbug bites, is only a single place. If you see only one bite then it is most definitely from a spider, not bedbug.
Spider bites take more time to heal as compared to other bugs bites. Sometimes a spider bite can cause some serious damage to the skin and also get infected. To minimize the risk of infection wash any kind of bite with soap and water.
Many spiders are poisonous. If you think a poisonous spider bite you should visit a doctor as soon as possible.
Bed bug bites on pets:-
Bedbugs not only bite humans but also family pets. Bedbugs feed on both animals as well as human blood. If you suspect signs of bedbug bites on your pet, most likely these will be healed in a week. If these bites get infected make an appointment with a veterinarian, and get your pet checked as soon as possible.
If you are planning to hire pest control experts to remove these bedbugs from your house, it is important to tell them that you have a pet at home. Certain insecticides are not safe to use with a pet at home while some are safe to use in the presence or pet. Wash your pet’s toys, bed, and any other accessories thoroughly because these bedbugs might be living in these.