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Did you ever wake up to itchy and swollen welts on your body? Chances are you’ve been an easy picking to bed bugs. These are small insects that can pose a real threat to your health. Bed bugs will bite, suck blood, and leave you with an allergic reaction. These bites are itchy and will cause distress to the person, especially to little kids. Knowing how to deal with bed bug bites is crucial, so we listed here some tips and suggestions to manage the irritation.
What bed bug bites look like
Bed bug bites are red, itchy, and inflamed rash that you’ll usually notice upon waking up in the morning. Knowing how to deal with bed bug bites starts bu identifying if the insect indeed caused the bite.
The tricky part here is that it’s easy to confuse bed bug bites with other insect bites. This is true, especially if your place is mired with various insects like ticks, chiggers, and other nocturnal bloodsuckers.
Bed bug bites can be anywhere in the body. Still, it’s more prominent on the back area since it has the largest skin, plus it’s in direct contact with the bed. You can also have bites on the legs, arms, neck, and face.
Moreover, you won’t feel the bite as it happens. The irritation will kick in after the bed bug injects saliva into the bitten area.
Some people will experience irritations right after the bite. However, there are also those that experience the irritation after a few days, with the itchiness developing slowly.
In this video, Dr. Mark Evans tells us more about bed bugs and the health problems it may cause:
Bed bug bite vs. flea bite vs. tick bite
It’s easy to confuse bed bug bites with flea and tick bites. True enough, all of these produce itchy and inflamed bumps. At some point, you may not even distinguish the difference between the bites.
The only way to check whichever insect bit you is to spot its presence. At night, if you feel itchy, check your bed or skin for possible bed bugs crawling and ready to bite. The same goes for ticks and fleas.
Mosquito bites are another thing since it only leaves a pinkish dot which can sometimes look inflamed. Also, mosquito bites rarely itch and can go away in a few days, even without treatment.
Signs of a bed bug bite
Bed bug bites will usually manifest the following signs and symptoms:
➡️Itchy bump with a dark or clear center
➡️Blistering and hives
➡️Small blood spots due to the bite
In worse cases, the symptoms will include the following:
In this video, Dr. Parada discusses the signs of a bed bug bite, its possible complications, and what you can do to ease the irritation:
If you experience any of these extreme symptoms, you should seek the help of a medical professional right away. You might be on the brink of anaphylaxis or other infections.
Take note that the number of bites will affect how your skin will react. The more bites there are, the more swollen your skin gets due to the accumulated bed bug saliva injected to your dermis.
Where do bed bugs usually hide?
Bed bugs are masters of hiding. Their flat bodies allow them to squeeze into small crevices all over your home. Most of all, they love staying close to their source of food. Here are some of the common places where bed bugs usually hide:
➡️Furniture near your bed
➡️Seams of upholstered furniture
If you wake up to bed bug bites, make sure that you check these spots to confirm the presence of the insect. It’s best to treat the area to remove the bugs from your home.
Aside from your home, here are some of the possible bed bug-infested places that you should be careful about:
➡️Trains and buses
You should how to deal with bed bug bites to prevent the itchy bites.
How to treat bed bug bites
There are many ways on how to deal with bed bug bites using household items. If you wake up to the dreaded bites, you can use the following methods to ease the irritation:
➡️Baking soda and water
With baking soda and water, create a paste-like mixture. Dab a small amount on the bites and let it dry. After it dries, wipe the residue with a clean cloth.
Dab each bite with this mixture and repeat the same process above. Baking soda has a disinfecting property that can help ease the irritation of the allergic reaction.
In case you have sensitive skin and baking soda is out of the picture, you can explore other treatment options below
Place a hot compress on the bites. The heat will encourage blood flow on the bitten areas, which will help ease the irritation and inflammation.
This is an excellent alternative from lotions and other substances that may irritate the bites even more. After that, seek the help of a dermatologist to know which treatments suit you well.
For random bed bug bites, we recommend that you use the Health Enterprises’ bite away stick. It utilizes heat to ease the irritation of each bite. Just press the tip on the bite and let the device heat it. For adults, press this for 5 seconds and 3 seconds for children. After that, remove the pen once the heat starts to hurt.
One of the common and most effective solutions to insect bites is calamine lotion. It relieves the itch and any rash, be it from an insect bite or an irritation.
We recommend the Swan Calamine Lotion. It has a thinner consistency, which makes it easier to apply. Also, it has bentonite magma as an ingredient which helps remove impurities on the skin. It acts as a skin protectant and a nourishing lotion for all skin types.
If you prefer natural remedies, fresh Aloe vera gel will also do. Apply the gel directly to the affected area and let it dry. It may sting a bit, but you shouldn’t experience any adverse reactions.
Knowing how to deal with bed bug bites doesn’t always have to be costly.
Lemon juice has a natural astringent property as well as antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects. Dabbing lemon juice on the bites will also help clean the bitten area of the bed bug saliva. Still, this will sting a lot. Most of all, it’s not advisable to use lemon juice on kids with bug bites.
Essentials oils like camphor, chamomile, rosemary, mint, and tea tree are just some of the soothing oils that you can use on your bed bug bites. Simply dab a small amount and let it sit.
If the essential oil is too concentrated, you can dilute it in a small amount of water to use as a spray. You can also use the oil in your bath so you can soak your body in case of multiple bites in different areas.
What if my baby got bed bug bites?
Unlike bites on adults, bed bug bites on babies need a different approach. The infants’ skin is more sensitive and you need to be careful about the remedies that you will use.
Most bed bug bite products aren’t suitable for children under six months of age. Most of the time, the bites will manifest irritation symptoms within 48 hours. If the bites are present in a large portion of the baby’s skin, it’s best to seek the help of a doctor to ease the irritation.
You shouldn’t apply any product or remedy to your baby’s skin unless the doctor recommends it.
Also, it’s best to cover the bitten area to prevent the baby from scratching it repeatedly. Put them on long-sleeved shirts and pajamas. Also, clip their fingernails to reduce the chances of infections.
Here’s what we recommend if the youngsters experience bed bug bites.
-Clean the area with mild soap and water
-Place an ice pack on the affected area
-Apply an antiseptic cream recommended by a doctor
-Clean the bitten area with soap and water
-Use topical corticosteroid
-You can also administer oral corticosteroid duly prescribed by a doctor
-Oral antibiotics in case of infections (should be prescribed by a medical professional)
When to consult a doctor
If you or any of your family has experienced intense bed bug bites, you can use home remedies for the irritation. However, you should see a doctor if you experience the difficulty of breathing and fever after the bites take place. As much as bed bugs don’t carry infectious diseases, your body may have an adverse reaction with their saliva.
Also, it’s best to consult a doctor if an infant gets bitten in multiple areas of the body. Even if the kid doesn’t exhibit any adverse reactions, it’s best to check with the professional. Also, the doctor will advise about the best remedy for the swollen bumps.
If an infant develops a fever hours after the bite took place, you should seek a doctor right away.
How to prevent bed bug bites
You can employ some measures to prevent bed bug bites, especially on your kids. Knowing how to deal with bed bug bites should include the following:
➡️Use bed bug sprays
Many bed bug sprays with Permethrin are safe to use on clothes and sheets. Apply this product regularly based on the frequency indicated on the label. You can also use bed bug repellent lotions.
➡️Place bed bug traps around
To divert the bed bugs off your family, you can set up traps to lure the insects to their death. Also, it will help to use mattress encasements to prevent the bugs from resurfacing at night. Aside from that, place traps on every foot of the bed and make sure that no part of the bed touches the wall and other furniture.
➡️Air your mattresses
Bed bugs are called as such because they want to cling to your mattress until nighttime when they can start feeding. You can reduce their population by airing your mattress outdoors and spraying it with a bed bug product.
➡️Vacuum possible bed bug hideouts
Vacuuming can help suck out bed bugs hiding in tiny crevices of your home and furniture. Although it will not remove the entire population, it will help reduce the infestation and even detect that the insect is present in your home.
➡️The hotel is no exception
If you’re traveling and staying in a hotel, always have a bed bug spray handy. Apply this all over the mattress and sheets to prevent possible bed bug bites. Usually, a 3-ounce bottle will comply with airline guidelines.
In this video, Dr. Steven Rubinstein tells us how to prevent a bed bug infestation via some helpful tips:
How to eradicate a bed bug infestation
The only way to entirely prevent bug bites is to remove the culprit from your home. Bed bug eradication is possible through DIY and professional methods.
Here are some of our simple suggestions:
➡️Dismantle bed frames
Since beds are the major harborage of bed bugs, you should disassemble the frame and treat it with a bed bug spray. After that, place your mattress in a bed bug encasement. There’s no need to treat the mattress. All you have to do is to keep the encasement on for at least a year to starve the remaining bugs.
➡️Wash infected fabrics
Wash infested linens on hot water (at least 120F). Some would add a Permethrin-based product on the wash to kill the bugs. You can also dispose of the linens in a sealed bag.
➡️Check your dresser
Remove all the drawers and check for possible bed bug infestation. If your closet is also infected, you’ll need to wash everything in it.
➡️Hire a bed bug inspector
To ensure that you won’t miss any spot, you can pay for a bed bug inspection. Pest experts will look into the possible harborage of the bugs. Once they confirm an infestation, the inspectors will recommend a specific treatment to eradicate the pest. For massive infestation, you’ll need to vacate your home until the treatment is finished.
Knowing how to deal with bed bug bites isn’t just about treating the itch. You should also address the root cause to prevent any future bites and infections. If you can’t perform DIY bed bug eradication, you can always tap the help of the experts.
What do you think of our tips here? Do you have something to share? Feel free to drop a comment below!