Bed bugs are one of the most common pests that infest our homes, yet they’re one of the few pests that feed on human blood as a food source. Their bite marks leave behind itchy red spots all over your body and they won’t stop until you completely get rid of them.
Bed Bug Bites
Finding itchy red bumps on your body is the first sign you’ll notice that indicates you’re dealing with bed bugs. You probably won’t see it happen though, because bed bugs tend to feed on your blood while you’re asleep. While you’re sleeping you won’t be moving around so much and bed bugs have plenty of access to your blood, which makes you an easy target. What other signs indicate a bed bug infestation?
Clues Left Behind
Bite marks aren’t the only signs that bed bugs leave behind. If you look carefully you can see their droppings left around. The most common place to find their feces is on your bed because that’s where they feed, but you may also see them on your furniture. They’re tiny brown specks that may be accompanied by a musty smell. The next thing you can look for is blood spots. Sometimes while the bed bugs are feeding on you at night you might accidentally roll over and squish one. Since bed bugs fill up with your blood they’ll pop like a water balloon if you crush them, leaving behind a blood spot. While a bed bug matures it sheds its old skin and forms a new one. These casings can also be found around your bed if you look closely enough.
Bed Bug Prevention and Care
Once you’ve figured out if you have a bed bug problem the next step is getting rid of them and treating any bite marks. If you’re tired of dealing with bed bugs then you’ll want to act fast. The longer you wait to rid yourself of your bed bug problem the harder it will be.
Clean, Clean, Clean…
Your first step should be to clean your entire bed. Bed bugs not only live on your bed but also lay their eggs on it. Start by removing all of your blankets, sheets, covers, and pillow cases. Throw them in the washer on high heat and dry them in high heat as well. The temperature will kill any bed bugs lurking on your bedding and any eggs that may be hanging around. While your bedding is in the wash, start working on your mattress by thoroughly vacuuming it. Make sure to get in between the seams where the bed bugs like to hide and lay their eggs, but also to get underneath it. Finish by covering your mattress in an air-tight plastic cover to prevent any bed bugs that are still on your mattress from feeding on you. The cover will also stop any new bed bugs from hiding on your mattress.
Treating Your Bite Marks
Bed bug bites usually only last a couple of weeks at the most, but they’re still bothersome to deal with. One way to reduce inflammation and to soothe the itch is by applying a prescription steroid cream to the affected area. Using antihistamines is also a good way of relieving the itchiness and burning sensation you get from the bites. If you want quick relief without having to go to the store then you can use a cold wash cloth or ice pack on your skin.