Bed bugs lurk in various places such as furniture, clothing, and beds. These tiny insects thrive by sucking human or animal blood. Spotting bed bugs in your property calls for urgent measures. Prominent among these measures is knowing how to identify bed bug bites and treating them. In this article, we shall walk through the steps of recognizing and handling bed bug bites.
Identifying a Bed Bug Bite
Not feeling a bite from a bed bug is common. Anesthetic-like substances that bed bugs secrete make their bites painless. However, the subsequent appearance of red and swollen spots reveals their presence. Such spots come with a dark center, signaling a puncture. And because bed bugs are fond of feeding in clusters, their bites often appear aggregated rather than sporadic. Sometimes, you might see fingernail-sized fluid-filled blisters. Burning and itchiness are another tell-tale signs. If you have been scratching and find blood stains on your beddings, suspect bed bug bites.
The Significance of a Bed Bug Bite
Scratching a bed bug bite can lead to bleeding. It also paves the way for an infection. That’s why about 30 to 60% of people display no reaction to a bed bug bite. The absence of symptoms makes detecting bed bug presence challenging. In such cases, it often takes weeks to discern a bed bug infestation. Neglect usually allows the females to procreate, laying down one to three eggs daily.
Treating a Bed Bug Bite
Dealing with bed bug bites involves using over-the-counter medications and home remedies. To begin with, steroid creams counter inflammation and itching. Oral antihistamines help as well, alongside OTC pain relievers. Home-based treatments include applying a cold cloth or a thin baking soda paste. Most bed bug bites will subside without needing a doctor’s intervention.
Instances Needing Medical Attention
Rare systemic allergic reactions occur in a few individuals. These could manifest as hives, asthma, or potentially life-threatening anaphylaxis. Additionally, scratching can allow bacteria in, causing secondary infections like impetigo, folliculitis, or cellulitis. Therefore, always maintain hygiene by washing bites using soap and water while avoiding scratching. Whenever an infection or allergic reaction seems likely, seek medical help promptly. Symptoms needing urgent attention include hives across the body, breathing trouble, wheezing, throat swelling, fever, chills, dizziness, and confusion.
Preventing Bed Bug Infestation
Bed bugs easily get into homes by stowing away in luggage, clothes, or secondhand furniture. Thus, observing caution when returning home or acquiring secondhand items is a smart move. Utilize a suitcase heat device, use vacuum-sealed bags for clothing, and inspect secondhand objects before bringing them home. These precautions will minimize the chances of importing these nuisances to your home.
The discomfort of bed bug bites is something nobody wants to experience. Acknowledging their presence and taking action is the first line of defense. This involves knowing how to spot a bed bug bite, treating the bite, and averting potential infestations. Follow these steps and keep your home bed bug-free. In case the scenario is unbearable, seek immediate medical help.