How to Treat Bed Bug Bites
Most often, people who get bitten by bed bugs experience a range of symptoms like sores and irritation. These bites can be pretty itchy and discomforting.
It gives skin blemishes and sometimes leads to certain allergic reactions. Because bed bugs will feed on you at night, when you are asleep, you would most likely not feel any pain until you notice the bruises on your skin.
So it is important to know how to treat bed bug bites but also more important to know what bed bug bites look like.
People often mistake mosquito bites for bed bug bites and other bites for bed bug bites which most often complicates the situation.
This post will, however, explore how to identify bed bug bites, symptoms of bed bug bites, how to treat bed bug bites, and how bed bug bites can be prevented.
Identifying bed bugs bites.
Bed bugs are nocturnal insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals.
These flat, oval-shaped, reddish-brown critters sustain your blood. When they feed on you, they leave trails that people often confuse for something else.
Their bites are itchy and could cause allergic reactions.
One way to know if the bites on your skin are from bed bugs is to see a bed bug. But sadly, some insects look like bed bugs as well. This is why it is necessary to identify these bites to enable you to use the proper treatment to get rid of them.
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Bites that look like bed bug bites
- Flea bites – flea bites are often very itchy and occur around the ankle, armpit, or lower legs of the victim. They are often location-specific. The itching most times leads to scabies at the center of the wound.
- Mosquito bites – mosquito bites are sometimes more common than other insect bites. They are usually scattered around your body depending on where the mosquito bites you. The bites from mosquitoes often look puffy and are not numerous. You are likely to see one or two around a particular area.
- Mite bites – mite bites are often numerous but random and can easily be mistaken for bed bug bites. They are itchy as well and give similar bite marks as bed bugs. In fact, they can easily be mistaken for bed bugs themselves. What makes the difference is that bed bug bites are often in trail markings but mite bites are not.
What bed bug bites look like
Bites from bed bugs can be found anywhere on your body, mostly around places that are exposed when you sleep at night. Often around the hand, arms, neck, shoulders, legs, and face.
They most often target the upper parts of your body, unlike other insects. Sometimes, their bites are hardly noticeable but would cause itching and irritation on the skin of some.
Either way, the symptoms that develop from bed bug bites include the following;
- Redness on the swollen bite
- Dark spot at the center of the swollen red bite
- Multiple bites clustered around each other in groups
- Skin blemishes and sometimes irritation
Bed bugs excrete certain anesthetics when they feed on humans. This anesthetic makes it difficult for a bitten person to feel the pain immediately.
Most times, the bites are not visible until a few days later. The first sign you notice is red swollen bumps in clusters around a particular area. The bites may be multiple; say in threes.
It becomes very itchy and on some occasions will give a burning sensation. If scratched, the swollen sore could bleed and become infected.
Some people have a very weird severe reaction to the bite such as fever, breathing difficulty, nausea, and irregular heartbeat. If you experience such, do well to seek medical attention.
Treatment of bed bug bites
Bed bug bites hardly pose a serious threat to humans but for certain sensitive skin, it could lead to allergic reactions and skin irritation which is not a good sign.
Once bed bug bites are noticed, they should be treated as soon as possible. When it comes to babies, treating bed bug bites is important.
Bites from bed bugs may take a few weeks to heal but you must handle the itching before the wound becomes infected.
Ways to treat bed bug bites:
- One effective treatment method is applying anti-itching cream to stop the itching. If you are unable to get one, calamine lotion would come in handy. Just apply a considerable amount on the bites.
- You could also use an oral antihistamine to lessen the burning sensation and itching.
- For the pain and swollen area, you could use pain relievers. Just buy some pain relievers at the drug store and take prescribed tablets to dampen the swell and the pain.
- You could try antibiotics, in case of an infection.
These methods are efficient for mild cases but in situations where it leads to allergic reactions or infection, visit a doctor as soon as possible to have it checked.
- READ MORE: How big are Bed Bugs?
Natural methods for treating bed bug bites
There are natural remedies to bed bug bites. They are efficient and effective. The following ways are easy home remedies to try out.
- First, use ice, wrapped in a cloth, towel precisely, and place on the affected area to reduce swelling.
- Make a thin paste of baking powder with water and apply to reduce irritation and itching.
Other natural methods for treating bed bug bites include washing the bitten area immediately it is noticed, with soap and water.
This will reduce the itchy sensation and also prevent further scratching and infection. You could also use mouthwash, toothpaste, cinnamon, honey, and banana peels.
Just apply on the bitten area. It would stop itching in no time and also clear up the bumps on your skin. They are all good and would give you a much-desired result.
How to treat bed bug bites on babies
Babies have rather sensitive skin so you need to be extra cautious when using certain medications on them.
When you notice this bite, ensure that you wash the bites with mild soap and water to prevent any infection. After this, you could apply calamine lotion to reduce the itching or burning sensation.
Babies may not be able to stop themselves from scratching so endeavor to treat it as urgent when you notice it.
You could try out the natural methods above or some other methods listed here. If the itching is severe, you could give them pain relief drugs.
But before you give this drug to your baby, ensure that the drug is something prescribed and won’t have any side effects on them. You can soothe the bitten area with an ice pack wrapped in a towel.
Prevention of bed bug bites.
Preventing bed bug bites is necessary. It stops you from experiencing itchiness that sometimes disrupts your emotions and makes you unnecessarily edgy. It also prevents you from feeling uncomfortable or having to stress yourself worrying about getting rid of bed bug bites.
One sure way of preventing bed bug bites is maintaining good personal hygiene. Keep your surroundings clean, air your mattress, couch, curtain and any other place bed bugs would easily make their hideout spot.
Vacuum clean your home regularly and steam mop. This would eradicate any trace of bed bugs around your home. You could also use a dryer for your curtain, on your couch, just about places where bed bugs would readily hide out.
When you sleep at night, cover as much skin as possible. You can also stay away from infected furniture, bed, curtain, etc.
Apart from maintaining good hygiene, being able to recognize what bed bugs look like would go a long way. It would help you know what treatments to use when getting rid of them.
Bed bugs could be gotten from an outside source.
So it is important to keep your luggage in clean areas when traveling, avoid buying used furniture, couch or bed. If you cannot help it, clean them up properly before setting them up in your home.
These nocturnal insects will not hesitate to leave markings on your skin. Bed bug bites can be treated but it is best to keep your home free from them.