A bed bug is a small insect that feeds on the blood of people and animals. It is possible to find them in your bed, furniture, carpet, and clothing. Their most active time is at night when people are asleep.
A bed bug can be anywhere between 1 and 7 millimeters long. They’re flat, oval-shaped, and reddish-brown. In order to travel, they rely on animals or humans to carry them.
Bites from bed bugs are rarely harmful, but they can be very itchy. They may cause infections or allergies in some cases.
The best thing you can do if you suspect your home has bed bugs is to get rid of them.
Symptoms of a Bed Bug Bite
Wherever there is skin, bed bugs will bite. Bite sites are usually areas that are exposed during sleep, such as:
An infestation of bed bugs can bite you without you feeling it right away since the bugs emit a tiny amount of anesthetic before feeding on people. Bed bug bites may take a few days to develop symptoms.
Red, swollen bites are a sign of bed bug bites. There is a chance that you will experience multiple bites in a small area of your body. Typically, the bites are itchy. The bites might feel burning.
Bed bugs do not likely feed every night if they live in your home. It is even possible for them not to feed for several days. The bites might not be apparent for several weeks until you realize they are a piece of a larger pattern.
It is possible to become infected or bleed from scratching bug bites.
How To Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Observe your bed and other parts of your home for signs of bed bugs if you suspect your home has them.
Bugs may be visible to you. Blood drops or black bug droppings may also be found in your bed. Get in touch with your landlord if bed bugs are found or contact a pest control service.
To contain and eliminate the infestation, it is important to:
- Cleaning your floors, furniture, mattresses, and appliances should be done with a vacuum and steam cleaner.
- The hottest setting on your washing machine and dryer should be used for your linens, drapes, and clothing.
- Put items that cannot be cleaned in plastic bags and store them at 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-17 degrees Celsius) for several days or at warmer temperatures for several months.
- Warm items up to 115°F (46°C) safely.
- With caulk, you can fill gaps around baseboards and cracks in furniture.
Additionally, bed bugs can be killed with several insecticides. There are some insecticides and equipment that pest control companies may have access to that are difficult to purchase, rent, or use on your own.
Treatment for Bed Bug Bites
An average bed bug bite will heal in one to two weeks. Here are some tips to help relieve symptoms:
- Using soap and water, clean the bites.
- Calamine lotion or anti-itch cream can be applied to bites.
- Itching and burning can be reduced by taking an oral antihistamine.
- Reduce swelling and pain with an over-the-counter pain reliever.
It is possible to become allergic to bed bug bites in rare cases. The first thing you should do if you experience signs or symptoms of an allergic reaction is to call 911.
An infection known as cellulitis can sometimes result from bed bug bites. Try not to scratch the bites and wash them with soap and water to reduce the risk of infection.